Moving Tips: How to Avoid Common Moving ScamsBy Child Safety Specialist May 17, 2012 | 02:00 PMPosted in: Home
One of my best friends is moving today….in the pouring rain….with two small kids….and a husband who’s already been relocated.
May is National Moving Month, one of the busiest times for moves, and helping my friend reminds me how stressful my own move was two years ago. While I knew enough to call around and get two or three bids from moving companies, I can’t believe how much I didn’t know. Here is what I’ve learned about moving scams to help make your move a little easier and perhaps help prevent you from getting ripped off.
Research your potential moving companies before calling them. If you’re moving within the state, check with your local Better Business Bureau as well as with the State’s Attorney General’s Office to see if there have been complaints against the company. If you are moving out of state, they must have a license issued by the Department of Transportation. You can check if your moving company has their license by visiting www.protectyourmove.gov . Also, if you are moving out of state, your mover is required by law to give you a booklet, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” which is provided by the Federal Government. For more great information on interstate moves, you can download a free guide from The American Moving and Storage Association.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is a great moving tip. Run for the hills if any moving company tries to give you a quote over the phone based on how many rooms you have. They have no idea how much furniture you have or if some item will be required to go out a window because it can’t fit out a door. Any reputable moving company should come out, find out exactly what you wish to have done and then give you a price. And, if that price is way below your other two bids, chances are they’re not legit.
All moving estimates are not alike. I didn’t realize that there are binding and non-binding estimates. A binding estimate clearly details all of the services and requirements and guarantees that the price they quote you will be the accurate amount based on what’s in the estimate. In a non-binding estimate, the mover will quote you what he estimates the move will cost based on the services required but the final bill could be higher based on actual weight and any tariff provisions. Clearly a binding estimate is the way to go if you can. Be sure to completely discuss if you have a narrow staircase or oversized furniture that will be required to be moved out of a window and what the additional costs are for that.
Don’t sign off until you’ve checked everything. While it’s often chaotic and rushed when you’re moving it’s important to inspect every box before you pay your mover. If you have friends or relatives helping you, be sure they know to look at every box as well. If one appears damaged, open it in front of the mover and inspect it together. Take photos and make a written note of exactly what is damaged.
Moving is never easy but often, when dealing with moving companies, it’s a case of buyer beware. Follow these moving tips and do as much homework up front to help make it a little less stressful.
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