Moving Experience: Stephanie’s Move with Berger Allied

Interstate moves can be daunting, especially when you’re relocating high-value family heirlooms like moveBuddha reader Stephanie did.

Stephanie, a real Berger Allied customer

As a Los Angeles native, Stephanie found herself in a unique situation when her mother moved into assisted living in Austin, Texas, leaving behind cherished (but incredibly heavy) antique art and furniture for Stephanie to inherit.

Not exactly eager to move thousands of pounds of antiques herself, Stephanie ultimately chose Berger Allied to pull off the move. She loved their binding estimate, which guaranteed her moving costs wouldn’t increase after the fact.

But Stephanie had quite a few fragile, priceless items for her move. Did Berger Allied transport everything scot-free?

As a Better Moves Project participant, Stephanie received a $500 moving stipend to share her honest opinion about Berger Allied’s quote process, communication, handling of her belongings, and other important factors. In this review, Stephanie shares how she chose Berger Allied and what she would do differently for her next big move.

Move day takeaways for Berger Allied customers

  • Communication: Stephanie rates Berger Allied’s communication as a 5 out of 5. She says they couldn’t have done a better job!
  • Pricing accuracy and transparency: Berger Allied’s binding quote meant Stephanie didn’t pay a dime over her $4,000 quote — even though the final move weight was heavier than the estimate.
  • Professionalism: Berger Allied’s drivers, coordinators, and sales team were the peak of professionalism at every step. They put Stephanie at ease and made themselves available to answer all her questions.
  • Timeliness: Berger Allied always called Stephanie before showing up and arrived exactly when they said they would.
  • Loss and damage: There were a few small dings and gouges, which Stephanie plans to submit damage reimbursements for. Overall, though, these damages were small, and the antiques are still intact.
  • Would Stephanie use Berger Allied again? Absolutely. Stephanie would recommend Berger Allied to anyone looking for a trustworthy interstate mover.

Stephanie needed help moving heirlooms from Austin, TX, to Los Angeles

Berger Allied truck on moving dayStephanie’s mother lived in Austin, Texas, but soon needed to downsize after moving into an assisted living facility. Stephanie flew to Austin from her home in Los Angeles to help her mother manage a lifetime’s worth of belongings. She received her family’s china set, several high-value paintings, antique mirrors, and heirloom armoires. Oh, and a vintage Ms. Pac-Man machine!

Stephanie briefly considered DIYing the whole affair, but the sheer weight of the heavy antique furniture made her realize this was a job for a professional. She started shopping around for a full-service moving company that would treat these belongings with care, loading, transporting, and unloading them without loss or damage.

Stephanie’s move at a glance

Move date December 9, 2023
Moved from Austin
Moved to Los Angeles
Distance 1,300 miles
Move size One-bedroom’s equivalent of antiques
Moving company Berger Allied
Moving quote $4,000
Actual cost $4,000

Stephanie got quotes from nine full-service movers

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.5 / 5
Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
  • 20 yrs experience
  • Flat rate pricing
  • Family owned
Get A Quote
(866) 835-2392

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.5 / 5
Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
  • Best overall value
  • Portion to charity
  • Veteran owned
Get A Quote
(855) 650-0657

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.5 / 5
Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
  • Specialty packing services
  • White-glove reputation
  • 80+ years' experience
Get A Quote
(866) 935-3437

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5
Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
  • Family owned
  • East coast focus
  • Affordable pricing
Get A Quote
(980) 217-6841

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.25 / 5
Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
  • White glove
  • Expensive items
  • Guaranteed delivery
Get A Quote
(703) 972-1772

% of users select this mover

Stephanie spent four months carefully planning the move with her mother. She found the moveBuddha site early in the process, but she consulted many websites to gather information.

It was overwhelming, to say the least, but moveBuddha’s Better Moves reviews helped Stephanie make a more informed choice. It was great reading in-depth reviews by real people who shared the honest pros and cons of each company.

Stephanie took three weeks to narrow down the list. She requested nine estimates, ranging from $2,800 to $5,000, then looked harder at Berger and three other top moving companies.

Company Estimated volume/weight Estimated cost
Berger Allied 3,500 pounds or 400 cubic feet $4,000
American Van Lines 3,500 pounds or 400 cubic feet $2,800
Safeway Moving 3,500 pounds or 400 cubic feet $3,600
Allied Van Lines 3,500 pounds or 400 cubic feet $5,300

Stephanie chose Berger Allied for their in-person inspection and binding estimates

Berger Allied truck with Stephanie's items

Berger Allied wasn’t the cheapest quote, but they were the one company that Stephanie felt she could truly trust.

All the other movers opted for virtual video estimates, while Berger Allied was the only company that could send an in-person representative for a quote. That made all the difference to Stephanie.

The virtual estimates were okay, but she felt more comfortable with Berger Allied because they better understood the items’ sizes, weights, and value. The guaranteed price was also a big factor for her, since it meant she didn’t have to worry about a big jump in the price.

The moving company quoted her $4,000, which is about what she expected. She purchased loading, transportation, delivery, and unloading from Berger Allied.

The friendly moving coordinator was a huge plus. They communicated with Stephanie via phone and email to coordinate different aspects of the move, making themselves available to answer all her questions. Berger Allied told Stephanie to fill out the required forms for the interstate move. They also sent her a sheet of moving tips to help her pack.

Stephanie was a total boss and decided to pack everything herself. That included building two custom crates for an antique mirror and a large painting, which is impressive! You can always pay a mover to crate fragile or high-value items, although this does come at an added cost.

Stephanie packed her mother’s antique crystal and china in bubble wrap before placing them in boxes. She also carefully wrapped the art pieces in paper and bubble wrap before packing them inside padded mirror boxes.

Moving day was easy as pie

Berger Allied unloading at a new home

Leading up to moving day, Stephanie had several calls and emails with the relocation and move coordinator. They were clear and helpful, and Stephanie felt her move was in good hands.

On moving day, Berger Allied gave her a window of 8 to 10 a.m. for arrival. The driver called her at 8 a.m. to let her know they would be there at 8:30 am. They arrived when they said they would, and their communication was world-class.

Berger Allied also handled her items professionally. Before loading anything into the truck, she did a walkthrough with the crew, noting which pieces were fragile and which ones needed extra care. In total, loading took three hours.

Delivery was fast and mostly damage-free

U-Haul truck unloading

Stephanie’s belongings traveled 1,300 miles in nine days, which was well within the timeframe Berger Allied provided. Before delivery, the move coordinator and driver both chatted with her about the delivery date and parking arrangements.

Everything arrived right on time.  Since she lived in L.A., Berger Allied had to move her items into a smaller U-Haul truck rental instead of an 18-wheeler because of parking restrictions. However, with this smaller truck, they could park directly in front of Stephanie’s home, making unloading much easier.

The process went smoothly. While Stephanie packed her items with care, there was some damage. A very small piece of trim came loose on a cabinet, and there was a gouge in the china cabinet. While she hasn’t filed a damage claim yet, Berger Allied told Stephanie she has nine months to do so.

Berger Allied followed up with a survey after Stephanie’s move, and she was more than happy to give them top marks in all categories.

Our take on the move

Berger Allied employees carrying large furniture
Both Berger Allied and Stephanie knocked this move out of the park.

We applaud Stephanie for going with an in-person estimate. Virtual estimates are better than phone estimates, but in this case, it was best to go with an in-person estimate since the weight of the items mattered a lot.

It was also super smart for her to go with a binding estimate, locking in her price and giving her more predictability during a stressful time. Not all movers offer binding quotes, though, so be sure to ask.

For their part, Berger Allied did everything right. Their move coordinator, relocation coordinator, and drivers gave Stephanie the white-glove experience she deserved.

It helped that her move happened in December, which is the slow season for moving. One of the most common moving complaints is poor communication, but that’s often because they move during the busy summer months. If high-touch communication matters to you, try to move during the slower season, like Stephanie.

Stephanie DIYed packing to save money, although she wishes she’d asked Berger Allied to take care of that, too. It’s wild that she built two custom crates herself, but we commend her for her grit. Packing services cost more, though, so you have to do the math to see if you’d rather save money by packing yourself or save time by paying the mover to do it for you. You can use our moving cost calculator to help you decide.

Stephanie’s move had a little bit of damage that she plans to submit a reimbursement for. It’s great that Berger Allied has such a generous claim window, but we don’t recommend waiting nine months to file.

It’s too easy to put off a task like this and forget about it, so submit for reimbursement ASAP. A quick reimbursement can also put more money in your pocket during the chaotic moving process, which is never a bad thing.

The verdict

Wood furniture moved by Berger Allied

Berger Allied couldn’t have done anything differently for Stephanie’s move — that’s how happy she is with their service. They were easy to talk to and made themselves reachable by phone and email. The team quickly set the move date and always updated her on the delivery timeline.

Thanks to her binding estimate, Stephanie didn’t pay a dime over her quote for $4,000. From their world-class communication to respectfully handling her items, Stephanie felt confident that her heirlooms were in good hands.

Looking back, she wishes she’d been more organized with packing. She suggests labeling each box with a list of the contents and your name and delivery address. That would have given her greater peace of mind and made unpacking faster.

Stephanie recommends that anyone planning a move do their research first. She encourages folks to check out resources like moveBuddha to learn more about the complexities of interstate moving.

Here’s how Stephanie rated Berger Allied’s performance on a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Communication: 5
  • Timeliness: 5
  • Quote accuracy: 5
  • Overall experience: 5

Do you have an upcoming move? Share your moving story with the Better Moves Project to earn a $500 stipend. Sign up now.

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