According to the AMSA, there are four really simple things you can do to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible:
- Get at least 3 written in-home estimates (avoid internet or phone estimates if possible).
- Ask for the pre-move required documents from each moving company.
- Avoid large down payments.
- Ask plenty of questions.
Checking Out the Company
- Use a moving company that has been in business for a while or at least it can offer references and testimonials which you should and can verify. Check out the business’s BBB Reliability Report and its testimonials on major directories such as Kudzu, Yahoo, Google, Citypages and etc.
- Check if the moving company is a current member of the AMSA.
Getting an Estimate
- Binding: With the so called binding estimate, the actual moving costs may not exceed the initial estimate. Make sure the estimate is specific and written. Also, consider purchasing additional valuation of your belongings (the worth of the shipment).
- Non-binding: These are not contracts or bids, but an approximation of the cost based on the mover’s survey of your belongings to be moved. A non-binding estimate is based on the actual weight of your times and its price will usually be lower than the above mentioned binding estimate. However, when or if you receive a non-binding estimate there are no guarantees at all that the final cost will not be more than the initial estimate.
- Not-To-Exceed: This type of estimate is based on actual cost or on a binding estimate, whichever is lower. Like the binding estimate, it must be provided to you in writing and is binding on the carrier.
- Insurance: Make sure you find out how much insurance the carrier has and what it covers. In some cases you may need to purchase extra insurance to protect your belongings.
- Additional services: All moving companies reserve the right to charge for extra/additional services if they are crucial to accomplish delivery, even if those services are not requested or mentioned by the shipper. This may include services such as storage facilities if you are not prepared to accept the rental of a smaller truck if your street is too narrow for the delivery vehicle or if you can pick up the delivery. Usually your mover will bill you for such services 30 days after your shipment is received if they were not included in your initial estimate.
Getting the Best Deal
Avoid moving from May to September since in that time most movers are busy because the schools are out. Also it would be great if you can move in the middle of the month. Reasons for this is because most people choose to move at the end or beginning of the month to coincide with a mortgage or rent payments. Also, avoid booking at the last minute because you have less of a chance to find the best moving service and price.
The Big Day
- Be prepared and organized so the movers can do their job untroubled. Consider making arrangements with a family member or a Confirm delivery date and delivery address with the movers.
- Supervise the move and make sure your boxes are clearly marked.
- Make sure your real estate agent knows how to get in touch with you.
If Something Goes Wrong
- Damages: If a loss or damage occurs request a company claim form from your mover. Complete the claim form to the best of your ability. Your company will tell you where to mail this form. You must file a detailed written claim with the mover within 9 months of delivery. Your claim must be written but does not have to be submitted on your moving company’s claim form.
- Charges: The charges that a moving service assesses for its job must be contained in a published tariff, which must be made available to you upon request. If you feel that your company has overcharged you, you can always contact the Surface Transportation Board to obtain further assistance.
- Settling a Dispute: dispute resolution programs might be available through your mover.
Stick to this advises and you can save yourself some serious headaches! And remember if you live somewhere in Pittsburgh, PA or in the 100 mile area surrounding the city, you can always rely on Grogan Brothers Moving Storage. With more than 106 years of experience behind our moving service, we can transport your belongings to your new home or business in the exact professional manner you expect!