How to choose a moving company?
The BBB had more than 8400 complaints about moving company in 2009. the NY Times suggests that “Common complaints included final prices greater than original estimates, damaged or lost goods and, in the worst scenarios, movers who held belongings hostage until customers paid thousands of dollars.”
You don’t want to be one of these guys…. Careful preparation and research will help you ensure that your move will be successful.
• Make sure the mover is registered with the Federal
• Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) by visiting http://www.protectyourmove.gov
• Check the complaint record of a mover at www.protectyourmove.gov
• Avoid movers that do not show U.S. DOT numbers and Motor Carrier (MC) numbers in their advertisements
• Check the company’s D.O.T status on the D.O.T website Don’t hire a company with unsatisfactory record
• Make sure you understand the type of liability you sign for. This is a common pitfall for consumers. Ask yourself if 60 cents per pound is enough coverage for all your household goods if the unexpected happens
Choose a reputable mover:
• After doing all that start your actual selection process by asking a written estimate from at least three reputable moving companies. The estimate should be based on an actual inspection of your household goods.
• Remember your priorities when hiring a mover – If you hire a mover based solely on the cheapest price, you may be sacrificing other things that are actually more important, such as getting your possessions moved and delivered on time. And remember, movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than ten percent above the price of a non binding estimate. This is known as the 110 percent rule.
• Read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet from the Federal government that your mover is required to give you if you are moving from one State to another. This booklet also has information you’ll need if your goods are lost or damaged during the move. Finally, check the mover’s complaint history with local consumer advocacy organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau. Don’t hire a company that has many resolved claims with the BBB.
• Ask for recommendations from neighbors, friends, and relatives regarding the mover. An experienced and satisfied customer is the best reference you can get for a moving company.
• Your estimate: Your estimator should provide you with a comprehensive estimate of the cost for your move. The estimate should include such factors as: labor charges, trucks, packing materials, travel time and valuation coverage/insurance.
When selecting a mover, be sure you understand:
1. The rates and charges that will apply.
2. The mover’s liability for your belongings.
3. How pickup and delivery will work.
4. What claims protection you have.
In our business, there are two types of estimates: a non-binding estimate which means your final price will be based on the actual amount of hours and materials used on the job; and a binding estimate which gives you a guaranteed price that won’t exceed the amount quoted
A non-binding estimate is beneficial if:
1. You are not exactly sure of all the items you are moving ahead of the move date.
2. Your move will involve an unusual amount of details, like moving of a lot of fine art or antiques that you don’t want to rush.
A binding estimate is preferable if:
1. You want to guarantee your budget.
2. You haven’t moved often, and you are not familiar with the moving process.
Whichever type of estimate you choose – and whatever mover you work with, here are some helpful advice to ensure yourself a good estimate/moving experience.
• Don’t be tempted by the lowest price! It is easy for a salesperson to provide a low estimate for the job on a non binding estimate. The client will have to pay the full price if the job takes longer. Don’t be fooled by this tactic and investigate the estimate to find out if it’s realistic. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
• Get at least three estimates. This will allow you to make a fair, objective comparison.
• Compare apples to apples. Break down the elements of each mover’s estimate and make a detailed, realistic comparison of the parts, as well as the whole.
• Expect estimates to fall with a reasonable range of each other. A good estimate should be no higher – or lower – than 10 percent of the final cost of the move.
• Get reliable recommendations. We strongly suggest that you check out potential movers through objective sources like the Better Business Bureau, your state’s Department of Transportation or the AMSA. A reputable moving company will be listed with all three of these agencies – and they will have no claims registered against them.
• Ask a friend. We also suggest that you talk to your friends and co-workers. Get their unbiased opinions of movers they have worked with. Learn from their experiences. No one wants to recommend a mover to a friend – and have the move go badly. At Moishe’s, we are proud to say that a very large percentage of our new customers come to us from satisfied, past customers.
Getting an estimate from U.Santini – Call us at 718-768-6778 and talk to Brian or Daniel. We will be happy to schedule a home visit and provide you with an written, accurate estimate of your move. Our relocation consultants will help you determine your needs – at no cost or obligation to you. And they will also assist you with any problems that arise before, during and after your move. You are not alone in this process. We are with you – every step of the way.