Overall Opinion of NorthStar Moving Company: This organization’s commitment to marketing, promotions, and philanthropy is amazing. Based on its Hollywood-area location, they offer specialized services for celebrities, production studios, and similar high-end clientele.
NorthStar appears to be doing a very significant amount of moving business, as reviews are plentiful across Google, Yelp, etc. The main drawback is that sometimes the movers are often inconsistent as it relates to preventing damage to belongings.
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The company was established in 1994 and is headquartered in the Chatsworth section of Los Angeles employing roughly 100 people.
In recent years the organization has begun promoting franchise opportunities through NorthStar Franchising, L.L.C.
- Local Moving: When destinations are less than 100 miles away and within the state of California they are classified as local.
- Long-Distance: They claim to offer affordable rates on long-distance moves by consolidating items from multiple customers into a single trailer or container.
- International Moves: Prices for moves to overseas destinations are typically based on volume, which is calculated in cubic feet or weight. They have an established network of agents that can facilitate door-to-door international moves. They also can deliver the belongings to a port or airport destination.
- Office Moves: Moves for commercial clients are managed by a NorthStar Moving Office Project Manager. He or she will proactively contact building management to ensure the relocation goes smoothly.
- Celebrity Moves: They have provided services for many in the entertainment business including Shirley MacLaine, Diana Ross, and Cheech Martin.
- Production Moves: Another niche that the company services are organizations that create entertainment such as movie production outfits. They have successfully provided moving and relocation for the Location Managers Guild, National Film Preservation Foundation, and others.
- Personal and Commercial Storage: The minimum sized storage units are 5’x7’x7.5’. They have sufficient warehouse space for large items and will create and maintain a documented line-item inventory. NorthStar currently has more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space in the Los Angeles area for commercial storage needs.
- Packing and Unpacking: Their trained staff is available to offer full-service packing and unpacking services. They have proven techniques for moving fragile items including act collections, electronics, etc.
- Boxes and Supplies: They maintain an inventory of customized packaging materials including those designed for mirrors and pictures, mattresses, dishes and glassware, and others. A 25% discount is available for customers that have their items packed in recycled (previously used) boxes.
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The Good: Very Broad Collection of Service Offerings
NorthStar is well-established in the local, long-distance, and international moving business. They differentiate themselves by offering a vast number of specialty services, which can best be illustrated in the following three examples:
- The Paris Dog Care Service: Customers can have their dog cared for by an affiliated pet care service for the duration of the move. Even grooming services are available!
- The Betty White Senior Care Service: They work with the National Association of Senior Moving Managers to deliver specialty services geared for seniors. For example, a staff member will go through all items in attics and basements with a customer to decide whether to retain, dispose of, or donate these belongings.
- The Mirror Image Perfect Packing Service: All belongings are photographed and compiled into a visual inventory. Furniture and housewares are initially photographed so that they may be reassembled and positioned at the destination in the same way that they were.
The Bad: Lack of Consistency in Preventing Damage to Belongings
The vast majority of the negative feedback from customers is related to damage that occurs during loading, transport, or unloading. It seems that they do not consistently package fragile items and that the loads are insufficiently secured before being transported.
- Experienced in moving specialty items including art collections, pianos, and more
- They offer dozens of specialty services such as programs for moving boats, cars, pets, and others
- The company is very active in the community such as promoting food drives and supporting environmental causes
- Has an excellent national and international service area network established
Ranked as a Top Women-Owned Business for 2020 by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
- There is an increased potential for the belongings of multiple customers becoming intermingled when shipping is consolidated
- Consolidated shipping may reduce prices but slow the process of reaching a destination
- Sometimes the movers are careless in properly preventing and protecting items from being damaged
Despite the distinction of offering luxury packages and celebrity moves, the company promotes affordability to potential residential and corporate customers. One way that savings are created among competitors is by shipping consolidation, which is most applicable to long-distance moves. This involves creating efficiencies by sometimes moving loads from multiple customers in the same trailer or shipping container.
The process of obtaining a price quote generally is initiated by entering contact information, origin and destination locations, and other basic details. A representative then will follow up to gather additional information and an on-site visit is typically made to complete the estimate.
Local moves are typically based on the number of movers needed, the time for loading and unloading, and the distance between locations.
The price for moves that span longer distances is generally based on the travel distance between locations and the total weight of the load. They currently do not offer “flat-rate” pricing options.
All licensed moving companies include basic valuation in the cost. The basic coverage that is included is calculated at sixty cents (.60) per pound of each item. For example, a 100-pound piece of furniture would be eligible for compensation of up to $60. The company encourages customers to consider third-party insurance options.
All moving costs are payable by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or cash. Personal or business checks are not accepted, but a cashier’s check may be used for long-distance moves
Their overall Google rating for the Chatsworth, California headquarters is 4.7 out of 5 based on 268 reviews. The customer feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The vast majority of the negative reviews were the result of belongings that were damaged during the moving process. The San Francisco location had more than 500 Google customer reviews with a similarly strong overall 4.9 out of 5 ratings.
The Los Angeles location has roughly 850 reviews on Yelp with an overall 4.5 out of 5-star rating. The two primary complaints relate to items being badly damaged in the moving process and that unexpected add-on fees were charged. Many recent customers were pleased that the movers wore gloves and facial coverings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating for the California headquarters is an A+. There are more than 130 customer reviews on the BBB site and 10 formal complaints. The majority of the formal complaints involved belongings that were damaged during moves. A representative from NorthStar has responded to all the formal complaints.
NorthStar Moving Company is a leading provider of full-service moving and storage services for the residential and commercial markets. They have a tremendous number of public endorsements, accolades, and a vast array of niche and specialty service offerings. The company is also very competitively priced in the long-distance market.
Those with an upcoming move that have particularly valuable or sentimental belongings should be cautious. It is best to obtain sufficient insurance coverage and properly declare the value of any costly items.