By Denisha Maxey
At some point in life we all have had to move and often moving requires the need to hire a professional moving company. Moving can be a stressful event; especially when the handling of your valuables are placed in the hands of strangers. Thousands of moving complaints are filed in our office each year, as well as hundreds of customer reviews. The complaints detail horror stories of moving companies providing reasonable quotes only to increase the rate substantially, often adding hundreds of dollars on to the total. If consumers fail to pay the additional amount, their valuables or held hostage.
Additional complaints received also outline traumatic experiences of family heirlooms and expensive furniture being damaged by inexperienced and careless movers. The damage does not stop there, sometimes there is damage done to consumer’s residents as well. What rights to consumers have to protect themselves from these types of experiences? Use these valuable tips to reduce your stress and chances of being scammed during your next move.
You need to familiarize yourself with the different types of estimates a moving company can provide. Nonbinding means the actual cost of the move can exceed the estimated cost. Binding means the final cost must not exceed the estimated quote. Guaranteed not to exceed means the final cost must be the exact amount of the estimate or lower. When soliciting an estimate from a moving company always ask for a written estimate and read all of the fine print. You want to know exactly what is all included with your move, avoiding any extra unsuspected fees for additional services.
Insurance is the key to protecting your valuables! While the moving company is responsible for your valuables, all moving companies are required to replacement items at .60 cents per pound. You will end up with a check for $60 to cover your hundred pound entertainment center that was broken into a million pieces. Ask about purchasing additional insurance from the moving company and also check with your homeowners or renters policy for coverage. Although it can be hard to place a monetary value on your belongs, you do not want to end up with nothing in the end!
Always verify a moving companies licensing. Interstate movers are required to be licensed by the federal government and assigned a motor carrier number. You can visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at www.fmcsa.dot.gov to get the carrier number.
Be clear about who you are booking your move with. There are several companies who are only brokers; a third party coordinating your move with another moving company. Ask specific questions about who will be performing the move. Avoid having your move booked with a subcontracted company. You may find yourself in a difficult situation if issues arise, if you are dealing with a company you do not know anything about. Last but certainly not least, always review a moving company’s profile for complaints, customer reviews, and other important information about the company at BBBhou.org.