Saturday, October 26, 2013

10 Important Questions to Ask Before You Move

1. How do I know I selected the right mover?
Limit your choice of movers to one that came to your house to perform an estimate.Beware of internet movers that offer prices on-line or over the phone, they can be highly inaccurate and deceptive (It's called Bait & Switch). A reputable licensed mover will come to your home and perform a visual survey of the items to be packed and moved and give you a written estimate or a binding price as required by law. Be sure his license number and his address are included in his advertising and visit a prospective mover's facility if possible. Do not be attracted by a low price. He should also give you copies of legally required brochures which vary depending on whether you are moving local or long distance.

2. How can I be sure I have an accurate estimate?
Show the estimator everything you want moved, have a written list of items to move, not being moved or other special requests. Show all the items that you expect them to pack and what you will pack. Discuss delivery dates, access and stairs at your new destination, any extra pick-ups or deliveries and if you want any boxes unpacked. Don’t select the lowest estimate since final prices for non-binding estimates will be determined by the actual time involved in the move plus the actual number of boxes that the mover packs, as well as any other requested services. An accurate survey, including a count of the boxes that you intend to pack is the first step in receiving an accurate estimate. 

3. What can change the price of a Binding Estimate?
Any mover is allowed to change the price if any circumstances change that was not included in the original price. Moving includes normal delivery with one-time placement of furniture. Additional charges may be incurred if unanticipated problems arise during your move, especially if known problems were not written on your estimate, such as hoisting or flights of stairs.  These are some of the common reasons that cause increased cost:

  •  You did not get all of your packing completed, or added packing not shown to the estimator.
  •  Your shipment is delivered into an elevator building, apartment or townhouse with one or more flights of stairs.
  • Access to your residence is more that 75 feet from where the mover's truck must park to your front door.
  • You have added or changed the items to be moved, changed dates or destination or add an extra stop.
  •  Delays beyond the mover’s control; such as waiting time for closing or delivery delays, rearranging furniture or restacking in a storage area, basement, attic or garage.

4. How will I be charged for packing?
Packing charges are based on the number of boxes packed by the mover. This can be a variable portion of your cost of moving, especially if you did not not get everything packed. The movers will not move loose items, they will pack them in boxes and charge you for the boxes and packing. To get an accurate packing estimate it is necessary to have a concise list of what you want packed before moving.

5. How do I pay for my move?
Be certain to have cash or certified check to pay the driver for your move. Personal checks are not an acceptable form of payment. Most movers accept a credit card with advanced notice, ask your mover before you move.

6. What is not covered for damage?
Movers only assume basic liability unless you have made arrangements for additional insurance but they do not assume any responsibility for the following:

  • Documents, currency, jewelry, precious stones, furs and articles of extraordinary value, unless specifically listed on the Bill of Lading prior to moving.
  • Loss or damage due to breakage of china, glassware or similar fragile items, unless packed and unpacked by the mover or unless visible exterior damage is done to the container and documented on delivery.
  • Mechanical operating condition of televisions, appliances, computers and electronics.
  • Missing items not specifically inventoried by the driver and documented as missing on delivery.
  • Items previously broken, repaired, glued or too weak or unstable to move.
  • Damage to items not documented on delivery.

7. If there are any damages, how long do I have to file a claim?
You have ninety days to file a claim for a local move, you are most likely to receive a settlement if you document damage on delivery and file immediately. Final settlement will be paid for basic liability of $.60 per pound unless you purchased insurance or additional valuation from the mover before the move.

8. How much notice do I need to give a mover to book a moving date?
A mover can accommodate most moves if he has at least two weeks notice, with a firm date. More time is preferable, particularly in the busy season (May to September). If you have less notice, call before agreeing to a firm date and he will do everything he can to accommodate you.

9. Are there any items I should not ship?
Do not pack or ship ammunition, fireworks, flammable items, propane tanks, liquid detergents or bleach, aerosol cans or any other items that may cause damage to your shipment. This could void insurance coverage if there is a leak, fire or an unforeseen accident.

10. How do I keep communications open on moving day?
Telephone and utilities should not be turned off until the day after you move. If you have a cell phone, be sure to give the number to the mover's office and the driver.

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