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SAM vs. PODS: Moving and Storage Compared (Prices, Sizes, and More Reviewed)

SAM vs. PODS: Moving and Storage Compared (Prices, Sizes, and More Reviewed)

by Fred Fauth (email Fred) | | September 15, 2008 | 33 Comments »

Back in May we had our first opportunity to use one of those fancy new PODS containers (PODS is a clever acronym for Portable On Demand Storage). We helped two friends move locally from a townhome to a single family home they bought in a bank sale.  PODS really made the move easy, and prompted me to write this review of PODS’ service.  If you’re not familiar with the offering, here’s a brief overview to get you up to speed.

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How PODS Works

PODS drops off a container (a.k.a. a POD) at your starting point. You can take as long as you want to load it (subject to local regulations and the depth of your pockets).  At your request, they pick up the loaded container and will either move it directly to your destination, or store it in a secure warehouse until you’re ready to have it delivered. After you finish unloading it at the new place, a call to the PODS hotline will summon them back to pick up the container and be on their way.  PODS sells simplicity and convenience in the self-moving business, and they’ve really nailed it.

pods vs. sam

Of course, the PODS business model isn’t rocket science.  Buy a few hundred containers, paint them, hire some drivers to move the containers around, and collect payment. (Ok, ok… I know its more than that). But there’s no huge technological advancement in this business. They’ve taken containerized shipping–an innovation that has given us the myriad of goods at our favorite big box stores–and brought it to residential moves. The lack of barriers to entry was sure to attract some new players to this market, and it already has.

About a month ago I was watching my favorite cable news network and up popped an ad for SAM, the latest entry into the residential container self-moving market.  For what its worth, SAM is a not-as-clever acronym for Store and Move.  Not surprisingly, they do just that: store and move your stuff (although I suppose they actually move, then store, but MAS was found a worse acronym than SAM).  I could explain their business model, but that would make this post repetitive.  If you need to understand it, back up two paragraphs, replace PODS with SAM, and you’ve pretty much got it.

What follows is a comparison of a few facets of their business that should help someone make a decision between them.  Note that I’ve only experienced PODS.  The information on SAM is from their own advertising material.

As always, experience speaks louder than advertising.  If you’ve got experience with either, weigh in below and make this comparison even better.

Local Availability

I’ll say up front that it is a bit unfair to compare these services based on their local availability.  That’s why this section came first.  After all, if either company doesn’t do business in your departure or destination location, you’ll rule them out without further examination.  But, for the sake of completeness, I took a look.

What I found was that SAM was more up front with the locations they service.  SAM provides a map and list of serviced cities on their site.  PODS requires you to query their system with a start and end destination in order to find out whether they serve that area.  I understand the motivation for this: no need to give your competition easy access to the data.  The only issue I have is that PODS requires your e-mail address to process the request.  The system doesn’t do an e-mail confirmation, so any fake address will work.   Even if it did, you could always use Guerilla Mail (or in my case, test@test.com).

Container Storage Facilities

Both PODS and SAM offer climate controlled, secure facilities.  SAM also offers non-climate controlled facilities. Climate-controlled facilities are essential to the self-storage business.  Most people don’t want to store their goods outside for any period of time.

Container Sizes, Shapes, Weight Capacity and Quality

Container Shapes, Sizes & Weight Limits:

PODS: There are three sizes:

  • 7′x7′x8′ (49 sq ft., 392 cu ft.) (weight limit not listed)
  • 8′x12′x8′ (96 sq ft., 768 cu ft.) (weight limit not listed)
  • 8′x16′x8′ (128 sq. ft., 1024 cu. ft.) (weight limit not listed)

SAM:  One size fits all:

  • 8′x16′x8′ (120+ sq. ft., 900+ cu. ft.)  7500 pound weight limit

Container Quality and Aestetics

SAM containers with their silver finish and polished lines are more attractive than PODS, although I suspect PODS containers work better for visual marketing.  Both container styles are weather resistent (PODS says theirs will withstand 110mph winds when partially loaded).  Neither have climate control options (no air conditioning / dehumidification on the container).  As a result, you’ll want to load furniture quickly and have the container shipped to a climate controlled facility.

Bottom line: as long as you need an 8′x16′x8′ container, either of these solutions will do just fine.  If you need something smaller, only PODS will accommodate you.

Web Site Ease of Use

Both web sites are very easy to navigate and reserve your container.  Both offer online payment options and guaranteed delivery dates.  SAMS gets a slightly higher mark in this category for being a little more streamlined and less cluttered… Mostly because they are in fewer business lines than PODS (which has expanded into the broader containerized shipping market.

Container Costs & Pricing

For both companies, pricing varies directly by the following factors:

  • Number of containers rented & container size.
  • Length of rental period.
  • Shipping distance.
  • Number of drop offs and pick ups.

Rather than analyze each of these factors for pricing effects, I took the easy route.  I’ve created two scenarios to compare these titans of the container shipping market.  Here’s the two scenarios:

Move Scenario #1: Local move with two (2) 8x8x16 containers.  Container #1 will be delivered first, loaded, and stored at a storage facility for <1 month.  Container #2 stays on property until it is moved directly to the new location.  Total move will take less than 1 month.  Both containers will be shipped to the new location and then picked up by the company.

  • PODS Price: $314.25 (Container #1) + $333.75 (Container #2) = $648.00*
  • SAM Price: $344.00 (Container #1) + $301.50 (Container #2) = $645.50

*Surprisingly, PODS system charges more to move the container than move and store the container.  Had we selected to “move and store” both pods, the price would have been only $628.50.  I tried forever to figure out why this pricing anamoly is the way it is.  The best I can tell: PODS screwed up.

Move Scenario #2: All the same options as scenario one, except the move is interstate from Maryland to California.

  • PODS Price: NOT GIVEN.  (Requires a phone call – UGH!).
  • SAM Price: $5513.60 (both containers shipped together – WOW!)

Thoughts on Price: For any move, it wouldn’t hurt to call these companies to gain competitive pricing.  Let them know you’re looking at other store and move companies and you need their most competitive offer.  The reality is that $5513.60 is a monster of a price to pay to ship goods!

Overall Evaluation

At the end of the day, for local moves, these companies are pretty much equals.  PODS offers a few more options, SAM’s web site is a bit easier to use.  If you choose to use either, make sure to give them a call and tell them you’re scoping the competition.  It will certainly be worthwhile.

What do you think? My comparison of PODS and SAMS is based on their claims, but real experiences speak louder than advertising.  Have you used either of these?  What has your experience been?

Containers Photo by photohome_uk.

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Conversation on This Article

33 Responses to SAM vs. PODS: Moving and Storage Compared (Prices, Sizes, and More Reviewed)

  • gimbler responds...
    September 15th, 2008 9:37 am

    We used PODS about 18 months ago – (I think before there was a SAM) and couldn’t have been happier with the experience. We had a pod delivered to our driveway and the driver asked which way we wanted the door to face. We put it right up against the garage door. Since it’s flat on the ground it was easy to load. Especially our large collection of books! Most of them went onto rolling carts that I just rolled right in and then secured to the walls.

    We rented the POD to “declutter” our house before it went on the market. We put everything we didn’t need for staging or day to day living into the POD and sent it to their storage facility.

    Then when our house sold we packed up what was left into one Budget rental truck and drove from Delaware to our temporary rental in Pittsburgh. When we found a house to buy in Pittsburgh we notified PODS of our new address and set up a delivery date. Our stuff arrived in good shape and on time.

    The storage fee was about $200 a month – which was more than for a normal self-store facility. But the convenience of not having to load it to a truck, unload it at a storage facility, load it again when we moved, rent and unload at ANOTHER storage facility in Pittsburgh while we shopped for a new home and then load and unload once again once we actually closed on our new home… let’s just say it was money well spent!

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  • Door To Door Moving & Storage responds...
    September 16th, 2008 2:10 pm

    There are lots more options for portable storage containers than just PODS and SAM. Of course this varies based on where you are living (in a city, in the suburbs, small rural town etc.) Search the internet yellow pages and you’ll surely find a list of moving and storage companies that will help with this. Call each one and not only should you compare rates, but ask how many days you get to pack it, whether or not you can access the POD while it’s in storage, how large the physical pod is, is there a weight limit, etc. A little effort will go a long way. In the end, portable storage is surely less stressful than normal self-storage.

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  • Fred responds...
    September 16th, 2008 6:11 pm

    gimbler: while I’m sure people have them, I haven’t heard a negative story about PODS yet. Glad to hear your experience was good. Even though you pay a little more for the convenience, you’re absolutely right, it makes it so easy its worth it!

    I actually wrote a post about using PODS to stage your home. Its an easy way to increase the bottom line on your sale.

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  • Martin responds...
    October 8th, 2008 11:44 am

    After weighing both options (SAMs and PODs)I just booked a move though PODs.
    The quotes were very similar, the issue was not price.
    The issue to me was the loading/unloading of the containers.

    PODS:
    Uses some kind of “patented process” that keeps the containers flat at all times. No tilting for loading or unloading.

    SAMs:
    Uses the same process as a dumpster delivery and pick-up where the containers are dragged up an inclined flat-bed type vehicle.

    This may not seem like a big deal when the containers are empty, but when they are full and being dragged up onto the flat-bed (30-40 degrees?), the odds are more likely for shifting (regardless of how secure it is packed.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this?

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  • Fred responds...
    October 8th, 2008 10:16 pm

    Martin – excellent comment, thanks for sharing. I didn’t know that there was a difference in the unloading mechanism. I did know that PODS uses a “PODZILLA” system that keeps the container flat. I wonder if PODS has a patent that prevents this technology from being used by others.

    I think if you secured the furniture well (this depends on a lot of factors), it probably isn’t too bad to shift the container when moving it. Containers that are less solidly packed, this would certainly be an issue.

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  • Josh responds...
    November 26th, 2008 10:14 am

    After doing quite a bit of research on both companies, I eventually chose PODS for the same reason that Martin did. They’re “Podzilla” lift system (which is patented incidentally) keeps the container flat while moving. I didn’t like the idea of my container bbeing dragged up an inclined bed, just in case I hadn’t packed as securely as i thought. Besides, all things aside, pricing seemed to be about the same.

    I can testify that our experience with PODS was excellent, and I’d recommend them to anyone moving or in need of storage space.

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  • travel lift responds...
    January 4th, 2009 3:54 am

    The self storage systems are a thing of the future, but the “podzilla” uses the same technology that a marine travel lift uses. But not as stable. From all the video’s I saw on youtube, the container was swinging from side to side depending on the skill of the operator. And when a truck goes up a hill, the load does not remain flat. So I think PODS is using scare tactics against other competitors.

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  • nonix999 responds...
    January 22nd, 2009 4:33 pm

    I moved from Boston to DC in October, had PODS ship my stuff in Sept and it has been in storage since then. I picked PODS because they were the cheapest option for moving out of state. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

    Moving is stressful enough – but PODS made it 100 times worse, first by selling me a POD size that no longer exists, then reneging on the quote they gave and by that time the next appropriate size was sold out. Every time I called I spoke to a different person and got a different quote. It was finally escalated and they gave me my original quote. This is after a week of wondering if I’d even be able to move my stuff when my lease ran out. The difference in quotes was not insignificant – usually $500. Nobody knew what I was talking about when I called. It was miserable.

    I will say that the people I spoke with were all nice – but I have never been more stressed over a move in my life (I move just about every year). And they were very inconsistent with their information.

    Now, after being assured that delivery was included in my original quote – I am told they stored my stuff outside of the area where I moved and it will be another $1000 to deliver it (WHAT??). I don’t even know what to do now – this is after more calling back and forth. I don’t understand how – after I told them I was moving to the DC area they stored it near bmore, but they did and apparently I will have to pay for it.

    IT IS NOT WORTH THE STRESS

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  • Daniel Webster responds...
    June 11th, 2009 9:54 am

    Going with SAM, as long distance move (MASS to NC) with two containers are $2500 vs $3300 (PODS). Will pack tight & secure in light of no Podzilla Lift system. Also need to store locally for several months and with some companies their long distance move containers are different than those in local storage which essentially destroys the point of the ‘convienience’ factor. DCW

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  • John responds...
    June 22nd, 2009 10:21 pm

    I have used SAM and they were great. Driver gave me tips on how to load. The issue of the delivery system only comes into play if your a bone head and choose not to secure your load properly. Did you know that the majority damage occurs while in transit and not during delivery and pick up? The inertia of stopping, turning, hills and traffic causes loads to shift over and over. I chose SAM because I was given access to the driver unlike pods. Oh well I’m sure the fact that SAM is 100% american owned company and pods is owned by a company in dubai may have had a small play. Anyway do your own research and enjoy your final destination as I did :)

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  • lionfan90 responds...
    July 7th, 2009 9:45 pm

    I have used a SAM in the past. They do use rollback truck. The grade would be the same as driving up hills. I am no expert when it comes to loading my stuff but it arrived with no problems. They also allowed me to access my SAM at the whse at no charge. The people at SAM were great. They even gave me a direct line so I could deal with the same person and not have to dial through the automated phone system. My understanding was the PODS delivery system is great but looks very unsafe by youtube footage. And it will not work in tight areas. SAM also told me upfront how much space they would need for there truck to unload so I could make sure there was plenty of room. I also received calls the night before to tell me what time to expect to see the driver. loved the service and the personal communication. It also had loading tips posted inside the container for help. It also has a roof that lets the light in and rings to straps your stuff down with. This definately helped keep everything from shifting. Good luck and give them a call, you may find more discounts over the phone.

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  • Tom responds...
    July 23rd, 2009 2:57 pm

    So is SAM the most better one to go with when moving out of state? We are moving to Ohio and we don’t know a thing about what we need to look for. We saw the commericals on T.V. there are so many to choose from. You have PODS, SAM, PACKRAT they all seem great but we want our stuff to get to where we are going without having to pay extra for our stuff. It’s kinda of scary. Can anyone lend some more experience on this issue.

    Thank you.

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  • Cynthia Ward responds...
    August 22nd, 2009 5:51 pm

    I need the 16′ unit to fill up from the house I am renting, clear out and rid myself by combining furniture in another self-storage unit, and eventually compact over 6-8 mos. to move to a house I will be buying. Does anyone know if a company exists like Sam or Pods which will sell you the unit in time, or outright, say used? I want to keep it afterward.

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  • Cicia responds...
    November 20th, 2009 12:36 pm

    I move a lot due to my job, averaging a move every 6 months (sometimes across town and sometimes across country). I’ve had this job for several years now, giving me the change to try a little bit of everything from the very expensive full service moving companies like Mayflower all the way down to the very small SmartBox Portable storage containers. When I first decided to go with portable storage, SAM was not in the industry yet. I went with PODS for my first 2 containerized moves (1 local and one out of state). Let me just say that I’m glad that some competitors joined the industry. My first move with PODS was an out of state move ending up a lot like the story nonix999 had shared. It was a mess and I swore to never use them again. However, after reading up on them and hearing everyone’s great experience, I figured that it was a 1 time thing. I mean all companies can have a bad day, right? Well, when I used them for the second time for my local move, it wasn’t quite as bad, but it engraved in stone my choice to never use them again. My belongings had actually shifted against the walls in transit. I had everything wrapped with moving blankets, but somehow I had wooden splinters go through the blankets and into my furniture. I’ve since used SmartBox; they were too small and took 4 boxes to move the same amount of stuff costing more in the end. Not to mention they were just wooden boxes (more splinters?) with tarps on them….thankfully it did not rain because I was worried. My experiences with SAM (3 local moves and 1 out of state) have all been great. My 2 SAM moves were in Maryland with all of the things that make container deliveries hard for the drivers. I had hills, low lines and skinny driveways. I had heard that the rollback method was bad and yes, they use a rollback to raise the container and it requires a certain amount of space, but Travis the driver (see, I know his name still because he personally made my move better) did take the time to call me the night before and go over all of that, so I prepared the space for him. During that same call, he let me know an ETA of when he planned on arriving and told me to go about my day until I heard from him on the delivery day. He called again the day of delivery and said he would be at my house in an hour, saving me from waiting around and putting my errands off all day; I was so nervous by what I had heard about the delivery method that I wanted to be there. Once he was there, he delivered the SAM, showed me how to secure my things so they wouldn’t shift and went over all services that they provide just in case I needed something else. So, since I’m no “bone head” as John form above had advised, I took his advice, purchased rope from the driver and strapped things down. I was also very excited to see that their containers were made of very smooth fiberglass inside and out. YAY !! No more splinters !! It had metal rings to tie my stuff to and I could see because the top was translucent, letting in plenty of light even in the late afternoon. Initially the prices were competitive to PODS, but since then, I’ve learned to find and locate the dealer to book my order with them directly instead of using their 800 number or website saving me a lot of money off the standard pricing. I still use their website to locate the dealer in my area and for the space calculator, but that’s it. SAM is more personal and deals with their customers 1 on 1, so why not take advantage of that? They have never charged me for storage access at their warehouse and they have even gone out of their way to deliver my container from storage on the same day I called, not saying it is too short of notice as one of the others had in the past. The drivers are always friendly for each of these companies, but only with SAM did I see the same one for each phase of a move. I will only use SAM now and I try to tell everyone that I can about them. So, SAM is always cheaper (when you find the dealer), very functional on all aspects of containerized moves and just a lot easier to work with.

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  • Teresita Mondick responds...
    December 13th, 2009 9:24 pm

    Here are a few differences from SAMS and PODS. After asking for quotes from both companies, SAMS was least expensive and will outbid PODS by a significant amount. For military customers, make sure to ask for the discount and request a weight ticket ( for DITY moves)
    Pick up and delivery charges:
    PODS charges for every movement : 2 pick-ups and 2 deliveries
    SAMS charges for 3 only : 2 Pick-ups and 1 Delivery
    Cost:
    My husband and I are military, both companies offered military discounts. The difference in monthly fees for 16′ is about 10-20 dollars, pick and delivery fees had an 80 dollar difference, overall SAMS was cheaper.
    Containers:
    PODS has wood interiors that they say reduces humidity… storing your container in a climate controlled facility should assist with this problem.
    SAMS has metal rings anchored to the walls which will help secure big items. All you need are a few ratchet straps.

    [Reply]

  • Kenny Hall responds...
    December 18th, 2009 4:45 pm

    I was in need of a moving company last year and wanted to make my move as easy as possible, so I decieded to look into portable containers. I shopped both PODS and SAM and found that PODS was cheaper or will match SAM pricing. In the end I decieded to go with PODS because of how they deliver and move their containers. They use a hydrolic lift system that doesn’t damage your property or belongings. SAM on the other hand just rolled their containers off their truck…
    So to me it was a no brainer that PODS was the way to go.

    [Reply]

  • Scotty responds...
    January 3rd, 2010 7:34 pm

    I can honestly say working with PODS has been the WORST EXPERIENCE I have every had. If I could do it all over again I would have rented a truck and moved it all myself. Customer service is terrible, management never calls you back they just send confirmation e-mails of how much they are charging you. Please beware. I should have known when they were droping it off and litterally gave me a three foot clearence between my driveway wall and the door and when we asked the driver to move it when he was still there he said it would be a $75 charge. I ended up moving it with my pick-up truck. ANYTHING BUT PODS WOULD BE A BETTER CHOICE
    Your average Joe

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  • Frustrated responds...
    April 10th, 2010 9:10 am

    PODS seemed like the answer to my prayer but it would not fit in the driveway UGGG! They need a 14 feet openning and I only have a 10 foot opening. I wish they would have explained that to me before today. This threw a glick into my moving plans.

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  • Jim responds...
    May 12th, 2010 12:17 pm

    I have researched all of the portable storage companies and have used PODS several times for both local and long distance moves. PODS has the best delivery system, which keeps the POD level during the loading and unloading process, unlike SAM and many others that use a roll-off style that tilts the SAM to get it on and off the truck (this causes damage to your belongings). Also, PODS services many more locations so they were the best and only option for my out of state move.

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    Gettin' Ready2move Reply:

    … only option for my out of state move. = didn’t really have a choice

    [Reply]

  • Tay responds...
    May 19th, 2010 6:24 pm

    We are in the middle of a move with PODS and their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

    When we heard about PODS we thought it would solve a lot of our problems. My mom’s business requires her to travel frequently, and we have a lot of stuff to move so we didn’t know if a U-HAUL would work for us.

    We decided that having the PODS dropped off one at a time, a couple months apart would give us enough time to pack in between trips, and that having them delivered to the new house one at a time would make it easier to deal with unloading and rearranging everything.

    But what they told us it wouls cost and what they are charging us are two very different things.

    First: they told my mom when she called in Feb. that their winter rates were cheaper than spring and summer rates, but if she made all of the reservations in Feb. that the rates would be locked in.

    Now they are sending bills for a higher amount every month, because they say that the rates change no matter what and there isn’t anything they can do about it.

    Second: My mom told them multiple times that we live off of a dirt road, and they said that was fine, but didn’t tell her that there was an extra charge for delivery and pickup, which, since she is having 3 PODS in total is quite a bit more money.

    Third: They told her that the rental fee per pod was $99 per month flat rate, and now they are charging more for the pod we have at the old house, because they say that the rental charge per month is different depending on if the POD is at their faculity or at your home.

    And, as nonix says, you will never talk to the same person twice when you are trying to figure out your bill that looks very different from what they said.

    [Reply]

  • William Valdez responds...
    June 30th, 2010 7:11 pm

    I am in the middle of a Cross Country move with PODS and it is MISERABLE!!!!! They quoted me one price which the contract was based on and they have continued to add charges. Since they have your credit card on file and your items in storage you are at their mercy. I have discussed these issues with their “Platinum Service Department” which is just like everyone else’s story, you never speak with the same person more than once, and they will never comply with the terms of the contract.

    I am in the process of suing PODS over their non-compliance with the terms of the contract and I am trying to get my credit card company to go after them for overcharging.

    Whatever you decide to do never use PODS, you are guaranteed to get over charged and taken advantage of. This is a CRIMINAL COMPANY that I would suggest everyone stay away from!!!!

    [Reply]

  • Robert responds...
    July 14th, 2010 11:25 pm

    I just finished a 20 month move with PODS, and overall was very pleased. My last move had been with North American Van Lines, and swore I would never use them again. When I started packing I knew I would be moving, but didn’t know exactly where. Pods was very upfront about the costs to the two areas I was considering, saying that the final delivery cost would be different, and the move would be different, but delivery to where I was moving from and storage would be the same. We packed all the “stuff” we would want into two PODS, and all of our stuff we wanted to store into a third. All three were picked up the same day (scheduled a couple days in advance). And the two we wanted moved quickly were delivered to the house a couple days after we arrived (we drove quickly, they had to put them onto a bigger truck and it took a couple days). When I first called I asked about weight restrictions and they said that there were none, but if it was full of books they may not be able to lift it. The one we put into storage was not full of books, but rather had a 6 person hot tub, a boat, a trailer, and lots of books.

    Drivers on both ends were very nice. When I called to have them delivered they asked where I wanted the door (front or back) and put them right where I wanted them. All the packing was done on grass and a gravel driveway, and the first two deliveries were on blacktop. When I had the last pod delivered I asked if he could put it behind my house and he said “As long as you don’t have a septic back there.” Was willing to drive around my house, and put the pod right where I wanted it, in my back yard. Sure, there were different people I talked to every time I called, and had different drivers for most of the pick up and deliveries, but they are a big company and I expected that. Found each of the drivers we had very willing to try to do what we asked.

    I only had the chance to visit my pod once while it was in storage. it was in a very sketchy neighborhood, so was glad that it was locked inside a building most of the time. They were only open half a day on Saturday and not on Sunday (would have liked to have had longer hours on weekends), but I called and they brought it outside for me (it was a nice day) and it was ready for me to back right up to and get out what I wanted to get out. Put my lock back on when I was done, and that was it.

    My only complaint is that they are expensive and wish they had given me something for the longer storage (they did give me my 3rd month free, or something like that), but wish they could have done the 3rd, 9th, 16th (or something like that). Just kind of felt that if you were using it for longer storage, they could “reward” you a little for that, but they did say when I called for the final delivery that if I was able to unload it within 4 or 5 days, I would be in the month grace period (a few days after your month) and as long as I called within that time for pickup would not be charged for that last month.

    They do have different rates for local storage vs. moving and storage. When I had the last pod delivered the driver said to next time get a local box, store it there for a month or two, then ask them to move it. They will move the local boxes, but I guess it costs less to do that then to get a moving one. I also noticed that they have at least two styles of boxes. One with wooden sides, one with plastic sides. Not sure which is better (or if you can even request one over the other), but ended up with one plastic and two wood.

    But after moving with a self drive truck (U-haul), and with a professional moving company, this was much less stress and certainly worth the money. Although my experience was very good, when/if I move again, I will certainly look into all the options. Not sold they are the best company, but worked great for me on this move.

    Last note, we discovered a few companies that will unload pods for you. We used a company called “Collage Bound Movers” to unload two pods. Reasonable priced, hard workers, fast, and worth every penny. So even if I was not doing a “self pack” move, I would seriously consider hiring them (or a similar company, not sure if they are national or not) on one side to pack the pods and on the other side to unpack. Still, I think, better then a company like North American Van Lines.

    [Reply]

  • Ben responds...
    September 21st, 2010 1:04 pm

    I’m moving from Northern Virginia to Albany, NY. I don’t have a place yet, planning to store my stuff there for a few months until I buy a new spread. PODS doesn’t support delivery around Albany, so they quoted me a price to deliver and store in their Schenectady facility. But then I’d need to come to the facility myself and get all my stuff. The customer service lady I spoke to wasn’t very flexible, she couldn’t tell me any zip codes around Schenectady they deliver to.

    I am going to go with upack (upack.com). The customer service lady I spoke to gave me her name and number and said I could call her about my move anytime. She quoted me a price to deliver, store, and move, and said they’d deliver anywhere within 25 miles of albany for the quoted price. Upack seems a lot more flexible and willing to work with you. They quoted me $95/month storage per container, which is 6x7x8′. Move fee was 602 for two containers or 770 for three. That seems a little more expensive than pods on the storage, but a lot cheaper on the move fee.

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  • Tony Larosea responds...
    October 27th, 2010 1:12 pm

    I decided to use PODS because they portrayed an easy move and more.

    Since I was on a tight schedule I needed all the flexibility I could get. I have always used UHAUL in the past and never had a problem with them. PODS, however, is a different story. I am moving from Columbus to Cincinnati – a 2.5 hour commute.

    They notified me the day before I was supposed to receive the POD with my belongings that they couldn’t deliver it until 4 days later. This was not part of the deal. It is a 2.5 hour commute! – they had a week to get the POD to Cincinnati.

    This has cause a lot of stress since I can only move on the weekends.
    I see this as a product of bad management& careless people. I recommend BINS and not PODS. I have used them with great sucess

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  • Brian responds...
    November 18th, 2010 8:49 am

    Just wanted to clarify the rollback system used by SAM v the Podzilla used by Pods. The rollback allows for a 15 degree grade which as a driver has never caused anything to shift. The trucks themselves use an air ride system to alleviate stress from hauling. The 15 degree grade is no more than the usual bridge or incline on a road and the container itself actually uses smooth interior walls and d-rings to to secure any loosely packed or heavier items that may have a tendnecy to shift.
    Secondly, with the rollback system, and the container being on wheels; it can be placed in more convenient locations such as taking up only one spot in a two car driveway.
    Finally, SAM containers are represented by moving companies that give you full-service options as well as do-it-yourself. It is an extension of the services that we offer which focuses on giving the customer more options during periods of moving and de-cluttering which are stressful enough to say the least.

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  • Susan responds...
    May 26th, 2011 11:13 am

    I used PODS a few years ago when moving from Midwest to East Coast. Overall I was very happy with the entire experience. The only negative I had with PODS was that they don’t give you any leeway or grace period with regard to charging you for the next month’s storage fee (i.e., they had my POD in their storage facility for several months. When I moved into my new place on the 1st of the month, PODS still charged me full storage fee for that entire month just because of one day). I could not move into my new place until the 1st otherwise I would have done everything a day sooner. I asked if they could at least prorate the cost but the woman said no. I thought that was a bit unreasonable. I may use them again, but I’ll also check around for a better deal.

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  • John responds...
    May 31st, 2012 1:42 pm

    We used PODS for a 15-mile move, back in 2006. It was a great experience. We had no problems at all, everything went smoothly and the price was right.

    I called PODS today for a quote on a 90-mile move. The internet site wouldn’t give me a quote, so I had to call them. The agent was friendly and provided good customer service, but the price was awful. The $1500 cost was three times what the local moving company would charge me for a full-service move (quote of $450).

    Just an FYI, the SAM company reviewed here seems to have been purchased by United Mayflower. They don’t provide service to my area in Indiana and Illinois. :(

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  • Ivonne responds...
    June 3rd, 2012 11:49 pm

    Need estimate to move from illinois to northern dallas area

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  • Ivonne responds...
    June 3rd, 2012 11:51 pm

    I need a quote on moving from illinois to northern dallas tx

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  • VM responds...
    January 5th, 2013 11:35 am

    The cubic feet listed here is entirely incorrect. The dimensions listed are the exterior dimensions, not the interior. The 16 foot PODS container is roughly 800 cubic feet of space, nowhere near the 1000+ listed.

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