NorthStar just completed a move for us and it was an excellent experience. My daughter was moving across the country to go to grad school, so she took an apartment full of furniture (sofa, bedroom set, desk, bookcases, dining room), plus over 40 boxes (kitchen stuff, books, cleaning supplies, food staples, appliances and framed artwork).
It was a substantial move and I approached it with more than a little anxiety. I did research on moving companies and found that the reported problems were frightening (damage, shipments held hostage, etc.). I put the move out to bid and found NorthStar was not the lowest but was very competitive and had by far the best reviews and recommendations, and as I worked with them, I saw that they earned their excellent reviews, from start to finish. Here’s our experience:
Estimated Cost: They gave me an estimate, based on the inventory I provided them, with easy to understand calculation of their pricing. Everything is based on weight, not the number of boxes or the amount of time it takes to load or unload, which was different from the local moves I’d done in the past. This meant that the cost was very reasonable, even for a 3,000 mile move. Samantha was our rep and she was very helpful in explaining everything, so no surprises.
Pick-Up: Erik, Melvin and two others (apologies for not getting the names) did an amazing job of wrapping furniture and loading everything and were extremely friendly and helpful. I was a careful packer but had them pack a lamp in their special boxes and was glad I did. I also purchased a dozen blankets in advance, which saved some money and they used all of them plus a few of theirs. The cost for their packing materials was less than I could get on my own. They did a careful inventory and then gave me an updated estimate.
Actual Cost: After the shipment was picked up, it was weighed, item by item, to get an actual cost. We ended up shipping significantly more than originally anticipated (not uncommon) our revised bid reflected that. Our final cost was actually less than the revised bid. Happy surprise.
Move Updates: We signed a contract based on an actual pick-up date and a window for delivery. I was nervous not knowing the actual delivery date, but Illyas, our dispatcher, provided ongoing updates and we were able to plan accordingly. We got preliminary schedule after the shipment was weighed, along the route, 24 hours in advance and 1 hour in advance. We were so grateful they got everything there within the delivery window, before my daughter started classes.
Delivery: The two people who delivered could not have been nicer. They placed furniture, assembling the bedroom set, attaching the mirror to the dresser, etc., and placed the TV and printer where they needed to go, which would have been hard for my daughter to do on her own. All boxes marked fragile were in perfect shape. Boxes not marked fragile were treated a little more roughly, but everything arrived in good shape and all boxes were intact.
Follow-Up: Both the day of delivery and after having a chance to unpack, NorthStar called to make sure everything was fine. We found a damaged lamp shade and they were great about compensating us for that (Ram was especially helpful). They have a form they emailed us and it was easy. Given the move (2,500 pounds over 3,000 miles), I was delighted that this was the only problem and they resolved it beautifully.
I wholeheartedly recommend NorthStar. It’s scary to move long distance and they made it as easy as possible.
I recommend that you check out the California PUC and Better Business Bureau for reports on movers. Here are those URL’s:
California PUC: https://delaps1.cpuc.ca.…
Better Business Bureau: http://bbb.org