How to Choose a Mover, How to Get a Moving Estimate ,How to Plan Your Move !
Moving companies provide a variety of services for a range of fees. It is a good idea to talk with different movers to compare their services. To find out who the best movers are in your area, begin by asking friends about their experiences with the movers they have used. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau or other consumer organizations in your local area. Relocation Portal Group does not recommend moving companies nor does it recommend one moving company over another.
Once you have compiled a list of movers, inform them of the destination and timing of your move. Ask them about the types of services they offer. Also ask them to explain their estimates in detail and to give you a copy. Then carefully compare to see which mover best suits your needs and budget.
If you are moving interstate, you should read and understand all of the information you will receive. In addition to brochures explaining their various services, moving companies should give you a copy of a consumer booklet entitled Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move and information regarding the mover’s participation in a Dispute Settlement Program. Distribution of the consumer booklet and the requirement that movers offer shippers neutral arbitration as a means of settling disputes that may arise concerning loss or damage on household goods shipments are requirements of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and formerly, the Interstate Commerce Commission.
It is important to try to make arrangements for your move well in advance, at least four to six weeks before the moving date.
The rates and charges that will apply. The mover’s liability for your belongings. How pickup and delivery will work. What claims protection you have.
The cost of an interstate move is usually based on the weight of your belongings and on the distance they are shipped, plus the amount of packing and other services that you require.
To help you anticipate the cost of your move, movers will give you an estimate of the price. Help the movers calculate the cost of your move by showing them every single item to be moved. Don’t forget to go into the attic, basement, garage, closets and under beds. Reach a clear understanding about the amount of packing and other services needed. Anything omitted from the estimate but later included in the shipment will add to the cost.
Most movers offer two types of estimates binding and non-binding. Binding estimates are
written agreements that guarantee the cost of the move based on the items to be moved and the services listed on the mover’s estimate sheet. Therefore, it’s important to make certain the binding estimate sheet contains all of the items to be moved, along with any additional services to be provided by the mover. anything that is added later might result in increased charges and may delay the move.
Non-binding estimates, on the other hand, are not guaranteed. Instead, a non-binding estimate is an approximation of the cost based on the mover’s survey of the items to be moved, with the final cost determined after the shipment is weighed. A non-binding estimate does not bind the mover. When you receive a non-binding estimate, there is no guarantee that the final cost will not be more than the estimate.
When you are discussing your estimate with your mover, be sure to ask about the arrangements for paying for the move. It is customary for movers to require that charges be paid in cash, by certified check, or by money order. Most movers
will not accept personal checks. Some movers will accept payment by credit card. However, do not assume that because you have a nationally recognized charge or credit card that it will be accepted for payment. Ask your mover.
Summer time is the busiest time of the year for movers. In addition, the beginning and end of each month are traditionally busier than mid-month, regardless of the season. If you are planning to move during one of the times, plan well in advance so your mover’s schedule will fit yours.
Now it is time to contact the movers on your list. Inform them of your destination and the timing of your move. Ask movers to provide you with a written estimate, and have them explain the services listed in the estimate in detail. Carefully compare each estimate to see which company best suits your needs and budget.
Check out our moving planner, Countdown to Moving Day, to be sure you don’t forget anything.
Proper packing by a trained packer using specially designed cartons and materials is crucial to a good move. Schedule packing with the mover a day or two before the moving van is loaded. If you are packing yourself, it is never too soon to start. While packing yourself can save money, movers will not usually accept liability for damage to items packed by owners.
Be present when your goods are packed. An inventory of your goods will be made and it is important to resolve any disagreements prior to signing the inventory. Make sure all copies are legible and all items are numbered. Have valuable items listed separately. Some appliances may require servicing prior to the move. Your mover can schedule these services for you.
There are several options for insuring your goods. All household goods shipments move under limited liability. However, you may purchase additional liability coverage from your mover.
Planning Your Moving Day
Your mover may ask you to select several consecutive days during which your goods can be loaded and a second series of dates during which your goods can be delivered to your new home. A spread of days gives you and your mover the flexibility needed to keep your move on schedule. Remember that summer months are the busiest, and some movers offer lower prices between the months of October and April.
Be on hand when the movers arrive. Discuss the delivery arrangements fully with your mover. Have beds stripped and ready to be packed. Save your energy – let the moving crew disassemble goods. Read the Bill of Lading before you sign it. Tell your mover how to reach you at your destination. Keep in contact with the mover’s agent at your destination while you are in transit.
Generally, your belongings will be transported in a van along with those of other families in the same general direction. This helps to keep your costs down. Delivery is made on any of the several consecutive days agreed upon before the move began. Make sure the mover knows how to contact you to schedule actual delivery. If you cannot be reached at destination, the mover may place your shipment in storage to avoid delaying other shipments. This can mean additional charges for storage and handling.
Upon delivery, check your goods for damage. Do not sign the inventory until you have inspected your furniture and the exterior of the cartons.
If any of your household goods are damaged or lost, report the facts promptly and in detail on the van driver’s copy (original) of the inventory sheet before you sign it. If you notice damage after unpacking, a claim must be filed within nine months after delivery. However, it is to your advantage to report damage as soon as possible. The mover must acknowledge receipt of your claim within 30 days and must deny or make an offer within 120 days of receipt of your claim. When making a claim or considering a settlement offer, keep in mind the amount of liability that you declared on your shipment. For example, if the value declared on your shipment was $5,000, the mover’s maximum liability for loss or damage to the articles in your shipment is $5,000. Claims for more than this amount will be declined because they are in excess of the mover’s liability that you declared on your shipment.