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Moving Tips from the Better Business Bureau

Since most people do not relish moving to a new home in chilly weather, summer is Minnesota's time to move! The Council of Better Business Bureaus reports that complaints on moving and storage companies ranked number 12 of all complaints received by Bureaus in 2003. Bureaus received over 10,000 complaints on moving companies last year. Here are twelve important tips to help you hire a moving company:

1. If you decide to use a moving company, be sure to call the Better Business Bureau to obtain a report on the company. Although most companies are reputable, one call to the BBB could steer you away from the few who are not. The Bureau will give you a list of member companies if you ask.
2. Ask the company for references and check them.
3. Since summer is the peak season to move, be sure to call the moving company in advance to make sure you can reserve their services for the days you need them.
4. Now is the time to PURGE! Go through all of your belongings and throw, or, if possible, give items to local charities. Donations may be a great tax write-off.
5. Find two or three companies who will give you free estimates. Make sure each company is sending a representative out to your home to do a visual inspection of the goods to be moved and also make sure each company is giving you an estimate for approximately the same poundage of items to be moved. This is especially important since many of the complaints received by the BBB concern pricing issues.
6. Be sure all estimates are in writing on a document that has the company's name, address, phone number, and signature of the sales person.
7. Although packing is usually included in the moving cost, you may want to pack and move fragile items, valuable documents and jewelry yourself. (You can also pack items yourself to save money - ask your mover if you can purchase "used" boxes for further savings.)
8. Talk to your insurance company about what type of coverage your homeowner's policy provides for moving. Some movers will provide extra coverage for a fee, but make sure you understand it is usually by the weight of the item to be insured. If you want extra insurance on your grandmother's clock, make sure you are getting enough insurance to cover the value of the clock, not just the weight of it.
9. Keep a detailed inventory of everything that will be moved by the company. This may be time-consuming, but it will be a life-saver if an item does not show up at your new home!
10. Before the movers begin, look at their inventory sheet to make sure you agree with their evaluation of existing damage on your belongings.
11. If possible, be present when the movers load and unload the truck. Don't be afraid to give the movers directions. If you want certain items to be moved into your new home first, make sure they are the last to be moved into the truck.
12. Contact the Department of Transportation (DOT) to confirm a moving company's prices. By law they must list their prices with the DOT.

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