Educational Consumer Tips
Author: Better Business Bureau
Moving from one home to another can be a stressful process. It takes careful planning to make sure all items are properly packaged to arrive at a new home intact. Hiring a trustworthy moving business with experienced and reliable movers will help ease the process. By researching before a move, consumers can feel at ease when hiring a business to protect their possessions.
Tips for Hiring Movers:
Research Different Movers. Ask friends and family if they’ve used a moving business before and what businesses they recommend. Always visit bbb.org to check out a business before hiring. Look for movers that are accredited, in good standing, and have few complaints. Call to inquire about references to see what they have to say about their experience with the business. Check the SaferSys website to make sure the business’ USDOT number comes up with the correct information and that they are licensed and insured.
Get a Few Estimates. Ask moving businesses for estimates months before the move. Have someone from the business visit your home to get the most accurate estimate. Find out whether the estimate is binding or nonbinding. Binding estimates do not allow the movers to charge anymore than the quoted price while nonbinding is an approximate cost. Tell the movers if there are any special circumstances ahead of time to avoid extra costs added later. By showing movers other businesses’ quotes some movers may be able to offer a more competitive price.
Consider Insurance. Consumer’s possessions are insured by renters or homeowners insurance at the old home and the new home but not while the movers are between homes. If the move is a long distance, consumers can purchase relocation insurance. If consumers pay movers extra to pack their items, the business is accountable for the items up to a certain amount depending on the dollar value and weight.
Review the Bill of Lading. A bill of lading is the contract between the movers and the consumers. Have the movers explain all the details of the contract and answer any questions that need clarification before signing it. The bill of lading should contain the mover’s information, breakdown of charges, pickup and delivery times, what liability the movers have for the belongings, and claims protection. Make sure to save a copy of the contract for future reference.
If the Movers are Hired to Pack. If the movers are also hired to pack the belongings, be present while they are packing. Set a date for packing in the contract a few days before the move. Make sure all big electronics and appliances are properly unplugged before the packers come, unless the business has planned to do it as part of the packing.
Make an Inventory. Make an inventory list of all items that are being moved by the business. Make sure all the items are listed and numbered on the inventory. Make a separate inventory sheet for valuable items. Once the movers arrive at the new home, check all the crates and boxes off on the inventory list to make sure nothing was lost or damaged. Once the inventory is checked, customers will sign off on the list before and after the move.
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