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Educational Consumer Tips

Moving & Storage, Local

Author: Better Business Bureau

When choosing a moving company, consider the following:
* Get at least three written estimates for the work. Prices are usually based on the distance to be covered, the amount to be moved, generally, by weight, and whether the mover will be required to provide such extra services as packing, unpacking, and disconnecting appliances.
* You may choose either a binding or non-binding estimate.
Binding estimates are quoted as the exact amount of the final bill, provided the load or other aspects of the move are not changed.
A non-binding estimate is really more of a true estimate, with the actual bill being drawn up after the move, when the load has been weighed and the distance measured.

* In Ohio a moving company is required to provide a written estimate if charges will exceed $500 or if the move is to take place more than five days after your initial contract with the mover.
* Packing charges are usually based on an hourly rate.
* On moving day make certain the mover prepares a written inventory of all the contents to be moved and get a signed copy. Note the condition of the items whenever possible. This can help you in filing a claim if something is damaged during the move. If you file a claim, the moving company must respond within 30 days and settle the claim within 120 days.
* Ask about the mover's liability for your belongings and any claims protection you have. You may want to purchase additional valuation.
* You may pack some items yourself to save money, but keep in mind, the mover is usually not liable for items packed by owners. Therefore, you may want the movers to pack anything that's expensive or fragile.
* Finally, as your items are unpacked, note any missing or damaged items on the inventory list. If you discover damage after the driver has left, leave the item in the original carton and immediately contact the destination agent or mover.

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