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Moving Services Charges

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Of the four options listed the two with the biggest variations in pricing are the full service moves through a major van lines and the á la carte moving services offered from regional independent movers in a broker’s network.

Generally, interstate moves performed by the nationally known major van lines or the regional independent moving companies are charged based on the weight of the property being transported or the amount of space (cubic feet) the property occupies on the truck, the distance traveled, time of year the move takes place, and the service options ordered.

If the charges are based upon weight make certain that you are provided with official certified scale certificates verifying the accuracy of the weight. After the goods have been packed and loaded the truck will be weighed to determine the “line-haul” charges. Only after the truck and property has been weighed and services performed can the actual final charges be determined.

Since the estimates are not typically guaranteed and the final price cannot be determined until services have been performed, the final actual charges could be higher or lower than the estimate. Generally, you are only required to pay up to the amount of the last estimate issued to receive your property. Any charges above the last estimate issued are due thirty days after delivery.

​Also, it is standard practice for a moving company to offer extra services at an additional charge. An example of extra services not included in the weight or “line-haul” charges are for the use of expedited guaranteed delivery service, stairs, shuttle, long carry, elevator, packing and labor, storage, appliance services, etc. You must have a clear understanding of what services are included in your estimate and what services will be charged at an additional rate.




March 8, 2015 |

How To Get An Accurate Estimate

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Accuracy of estimates are based in large part upon the accuracy of the information the consumer provides the estimator. Whether an estimate is given after an in-home visual inspection of the property or over the phone based upon a consumer’s list of items to be moved – the accuracy depends on the information provided.

To help get an accurate estimate consumers need to fully inform the company of all items that will be moved and the specific services needed. You should always get three written estimates to compare and check a mover’s license and references. If you are going to use a professional moving company always make certain to hire a company that is properly licensed and insured. Consider the following list of tips to help ensure the accuracy of an estimate:

✓ Inform the estimator of all items being moved. Don’t forget to list the items stored in an attic, storage unit, or garage.

✓ Describe in detail the physical location of the pick-up and delivery locations and inform the estimator if there will be stairs, excessively long walkways, or roadways inaccessible by a tractor trailer truck.

✓ Inform the estimator if you have any unusually large or bulky items being transported such as oversized pool tables, backyard playground sets, and/or large gym equipment.

✓ Let the estimator know if you need any special packing or wooden crating services of special items such as an antique vase or other large fragile items.

✓ Between the time you receive your initial estimate and the day of the move keep in contact with the estimator and provide updates if you decide to move additional items, change the services ordered, or need the movers to pack your property. Informing the estimator of changes or updates to your move before the day of the pick-up will the let you see an updated estimate so you can avoid surprise price increases.

✓ Let the estimator know if you need to order expedited or guaranteed delivery service or if you want the less expensive standard non-guaranteed ground transport service.

Moving is a difficult, unpleasant, and expensive process. Consumers can save money and help reduce stress by selecting the right type of service for their move and having realistic expectations of what is and is not included in the price of the moving service. Make certain to carefully review the details of the moving estimate and contract.




May 8, 2015 |

Moving Broker V. Moving Company

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An interstate household goods moving broker is not a moving company and is not held to the same legal standards as a moving company. An interstate household goods broker is any person or company who, for compensation, arranges, or offers to arrange the transportation of property by an authorized motor carrier. 49 CFR § 371.2(a). An interstate broker provides estimates for household goods transportation services to potential consumer shippers. The motor carrier selected by the consumer shipper to perform the moving services must agree to adopt the broker’s estimate as their own and follow the terms and conditions as estimated.

HOW MUST A BROKER ADVERTISE IT SERVICES?

An interstate broker of household goods must disclose to each potential consumer shipper that it is operating as a broker and not a motor carrier. Generally, an interstate broker must disclose in writing in each of its advertisements that it is a broker. 49 CFR § 371.7.

ARE BROKERS LIABLE FOR THE ACTS OR OMISSION OF MOTOR CARRIERS?

Generally interstate brokers of household goods are not liable for the acts or omissions of the motor carrier. A broker merely provides an estimated cost of services to a potential consumer shipper. The broker is not a party to the shipping contract (bill of lading) entered into between the consumer shipper and the motor carrier.

The United States Supreme Court has described interstate brokers as middlemen between motor carriers and the shipping public. Under the federal law brokers are not motor carriers and cannot be held liable as if they were a moving company. The legal and contractual role of a broker and/or shipper’s agent is to negotiate, arrange, or coordinate the interstate transportation. As a broker’s role in the interstate transportation is limited; so too is their liability. A properly licensed broker is generally not liable for the acts, omissions or negligence of the motor carrier. Moreover, interstate brokers are generally not liable for the value of the goods involved in the interstate commerce.




July 8, 2015 |

Moving Glossary & Definition

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ACCESSORIAL SERVICES: These are services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, or piano stair carries that a shipper may request to be performed. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

ACTUAL CASH VALUE (ACV): Money equal to the cost of replacing lost, stolen or damaged property after depreciation. A method of determining the worth of an improvement.

ADVANCED CHARGES: Charges for services not performed by the moving company but instead by a professional, craftsman or other third party at the shipper’s request. The charges for these services are paid for by the moving company and added to your bill of lading charges.

AGENT: A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of the carrier.

APPLIANCE SERVICE: Preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment.

BILL OF LADING: The receipt for the goods and the contract for their transportation.

BROKER: An interstate broker is any person or company who for compensation arranged for or offers to arrange the transportation of property by an authorized moving company.

BULKY ARTICLE: Include such items as boats, snowmobiles, golf carts, and campers. These “bulky” items usually carry an extra charge to compensate the hauler for the difficulty of loading and unloading, as well as for their unusual bulk or low-weight density.

CERTIFIED SCALE: Any scale designed for weighing motor vehicles, including trailers or semi-trailers not attached to a tractor, and certified by an authorized scale inspection and licensing authority. A certified scale may also be a platform or warehouse type scale that is properly inspected and certified.

CARRIER/MOVER: The moving company and its agents, contractors, employees, and representatives.

CASH ON DELIVERY (COD): This means payment is required at the time of delivery and prior to unloading at the destination residence (or warehouse).

CLAIM: A statement of loss or damage to any of the household goods while in the custody of the moving company or its affiliated agent.

CONSULTANT: Person with whom a shipper discusses the particular move requirements, who usually makes a note of items to be moved, provides information about their company and an estimate for services.

COST PER CUBIC METER: A rate given on the estimated space that the property will fill on a truck / container.COST PER 100 LBS.: A rate given on the estimated weight of the property being transported.

COST PER CUBIC FOOT: A rate given on the estimated space the property will fill on a truck / container.

COST PER HOUR: A rate given per hour based on the number of men and size of truck that will be charged on the time taken to carry out the move.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT): The federal agency which, through the Surface Transportation Board within the DOT, governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

ESTIMATE, BINDING: An agreement made in advance with the moving company. It provides that the total cost of the move will be based upon the quantities (specific item list) and services shown on the estimate.

ESTIMATE, NON-BINDING: What the moving company believes the cost will be, based upon the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of the shipment, the services provided, and the tariff provisions in effect.

GUARANTEED PICKUP AND DELIVERY SERVICE: An additional level of service featuring guaranteed dates of service. The moving company will provide reimbursement for any delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.

HIGH VALUE ARTICLE: Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed to the moving company to ensure they are protected accordingly.

INTRASTATE: Intrastate transportation of household goods is the movement of property from an origin to a destination within the same state. For example, when a shipper moves from Dallas, Texas, to Austin, Texas. Moving companies performing services as an intrastate mover must be licensed with that individual state’s regulatory body. Generally, the regulatory agencies governing intrastate moving companies are the States’ Public Utilities Commission (PUC) or Department of Transportation (State DOT).

INTERNATIONAL: International transportation of household goods is the movement of property from an origin in one country to a destination in another country. For example, when a shipper moves from the United States to England. For Unites States based companies, international moves are regulated by the Federal Maritime Commission. (www.fmc.gov).

INTERSTATE: Interstate transportation of household goods is the movement of property from an origin in one state to a destination in another state. For example, when a shipper moves from San Francisco, California to Phoenix, Arizona. Interstate moving companies transporting household goods are regulated and licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (FMCSA) More information about the regulatory and licensing requirements may be found at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

INVENTORY: The detailed descriptive list of the household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

LINE HAUL CHARGES: The charges for the vehicle transportation portion of the move. These charges, if separately stated, apply in addition to the special/additional service charges.

LONG CARRY: A charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and your residence. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

OPERATING AUTHORITY: The certification issued by a state or federal governmental department authorizing a mover or carrier to move household goods between designated geographical areas.

ORDER FOR SERVICE: The document authorizing the motor carrier to transport the household goods. An order for services is not a contract.

ORDER (BILL OF LADING) NUMBER: The number used to identify and track the shipment.

PBO (packed by owner): Occurs when articles are packed by the shipper, for moving.

PEAK SEASON RATES: Higher line haul charges that are applicable during the summer months.

SHIPPER: The customer or customer’s agent or representative who engaged the carrier to perform interstate domestic moving services.

SHUTTLE SERVICE: The use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences not accessible to the mover’s normal line haul vehicles.

SPECIAL/ADDITIONAL SERVICES: These are services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, or piano stair carries that the shipper request to be performed (or that are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

STAIRS FLIGHT CHARGE: A charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line haul charges.

STORAGE IN TRANSIT (SIT): Temporary warehouse storage of the shipment pending further transportation. For example, if the shipper’s new home isn’t quite ready to occupy they might request SIT.

STORAGE VAULTS: Large wooden container, in which the property is loaded into, sealed and then stacked away.

TARIFF: An issuance (in whole or in part) containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications, or other provisions. The Surface Transportation Board requires that a tariff contain three specific items. First, an accurate description of the services the mover offers to the public. Second, the specific applicable rates (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) and service terms for services offered to the public. Third, the mover’s tariff must be arranged in a way that allows you to determine the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to your shipment.

VALUATION: The degree of worth of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than is provided for in its base transportation charges.

WAREHOUSE HANDLING: An additional charge applicable each time storage-in-transit service is provided.

WEIGHT TICKET/CERTIFICATE: The truck is weighed before and after the shipment is loaded. Each time the truck is weighed, the driver gets a dated weight ticket listing the weight and where the truck was weighed. A copy of the weight ticket should be with the freight bill.




June 8, 2015 |

Low Ball Moving Estimates

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How to prevent “low-balling” and abuse of revised written estimates?

Low-balling an estimate is a serious crime. Interstate brokers and moving companies have a responsibility to protect their customers against this type of criminal fraud. As part of this responsibility management should set company-wide standards to ensure the accuracy of estimates, and monitor estimators to safeguard against “low-balling.”

The revised written estimate is a tool authorized by FMCSA regulation to be used in situations where the consumer shipper has made last minute additions to the property being transported or if they order last minute services – such as packing or storage. The revised written estimate cancels the original estimate and creates a new higher estimate accounting for the additional property to be transported or services ordered by the consumer shipper.

Under FMCSA regulations an estimate, whether binding or non-binding, may be increased or decreased in price any time prior to the work beginning. In accordance with 49 CFR § 375.403(a)(6)(ii) and/or 49 CFR § 375.405(b)(7)(ii): If prior to or on the day of the scheduled move the consumer shipper increases the items to be moved, or orders extra services, or makes a change to the initial estimate the moving company and consumer shipper may agree to sign a revised written estimate increasing the price of the move to account for the additional property or services.

A revised written estimate must be authorized and signed by the consumer shipper PRIOR TO LOADING OR OTHERWISE BEGINNING THE JOB.

A revised written estimate which has been reviewed, authorized, and signed by the consumer shipper prior to the start of moving services will serve as the only active estimate for which charges will be calculated. In effect, the revised written estimate cancels the original estimate and acts as the new governing estimate.

A revised written estimate is an important and legitimate tool to be used when the consumer shipper makes an unplanned last minute addition to the services ordered. However, some dishonest brokers or motor carriers have abused this process by purposefully “low-balling” the original estimate in anticipation of using a revised written estimate to increase the charges for services at the last minute.

When confronted with the fraudulent use of a revised written estimate, consumer shippers may have little choice but to agree to the inflated price because they are forced into a position where they cannot reasonably find another moving company at the last minute. The consumer would have presumably made travel arrangements, or gave notice to vacate their home, or scheduled the start of a new job, etc. — in good faith reliance on the accuracy of the original estimate. An interstate broker or moving company “low-balling” and purposefully abusing a revised written estimate in this manner is guilty of criminal fraud and extortion.

Interstate brokers and moving companies have a responsibility to protect their customers against this type of fraud. As part of this responsibility management should set company-wide standards to ensure the accuracy of estimates, and monitor estimators to safeguard against “low-balling.” To help safeguard against “low-balling” and revised written estimate abuse interstate brokers and movers could do the following:

Safeguard against “low-balling” and abuse of a revised written estimate by:

1. Provide consumer shippers with honest estimates based on a detailed and an accurate item list and services to be performed. It is the responsibility of the estimator to provide an accurate estimate.

2. Prior to the moving day inform the consumer shipper of the possibility and rates for all additional charges and optional services.

3. Prior to the moving day make certain the consumer shipper understands that the price is not guaranteed if additional items are moved or additional services ordered.

4. Verify the accuracy of the original estimate by contacting the consumer shipper several days prior to the move to confirm the services ordered and find out if any changes have been made to the number of items to be moved or services requested and inform the consumer of any changes to the price.

5. Regularly monitor the percentage of total moves where the original estimate increased on the day of the move. If original estimates are honest and accurate then the percentage of estimate increases on the day of the move should be relatively low.

6. If there is a legitimate reason to revise an estimate, make certain to use a revised written estimate form that contains a warning to the consumer shipper not to sign blank documents.

7. Establish company-wide policy that prevents interline agent carriers to issue a revised written estimate without prior company authorization. By requiring company authorization, management can confirm with the customer that the need for a revised written estimate is legitimate, in compliance with the governing regulations, and that it was approved it in good faith prior to servicing beginning.

Note: In addition to the above general requirements, an interstate moving company must continue to follow all provisions of federal law governing interstate moves. Federal laws regulating moving companies are designed to help protect consumers and create an even playing field for moving companies. By following the law, moving companies can avoid government fines, lawsuits, and provide better service to their customers.




October 22, 2015 |

Common Reason For Price Increase

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Perhaps the biggest complaint consumers have about moving companies is that the final price of the move exceeded the original estimate. As explained above charges for moving services are based on many factors which could be unknown before the services have been completed.

In some cases it can be difficult to estimate the exact weight of all the property in a house, or if there will be special services required at the delivery destination.

A professional moving company should be able to give a reasonably accurate estimate. However, all estimates are based upon the information provided by the consumer. In some cases a consumer may not know if the extra services, such as stairs or long carry, will be required to complete delivery at the destination. There are many legitimate reasons the final changes for a move could end up higher than the original estimate given.

Consumers need to be made aware in advance of the prices for extra services and be prepared to pay more money than originally anticipated if those services are required. Consider the following list of common reasons the final cost of a move would increase above the estimate.

✓ After originally anticipating doing their own packing, the consumer runs out of time before the pick-up date and needs the mover to perform last minute packing services.

✓ The estimator miscalculates the weight of certain items of furniture and ends up issuing an inaccurate estimate.

✓ A well intentioned conscientious consumer may request a moving estimate a month or two before their actual move date. Since the estimate was requested well in advance, the consumer did not have all their boxes packed when the estimator inquires “how many boxes will you be shipping?” It is difficult to accurately estimate the number of boxes which will be used to pack clothes, dishes, books, pantry items, garage items, and an entire household of miscellaneous items – when nothing has been packed.

✓ In the process of downsizing a customer may request an estimate based upon a specific list of items to be moved with the anticipation that they will sell, donate, or discard some of their current property. If the customer fails to sell, donate, or discard the property the size and cost of the move is increased.

✓ Under the stress of planning a cross country move the consumer may simply forget to inform the estimator of seldom used items located in an attic, storage shed, or basement.

✓ In some cases a consumer may fail to inform the estimator of certain items to be moved in hope that they can lock in a lower price – not realizing that the final price would be based upon the weight of all the items moved (disclosed in advance or not) and services performed.

✓ The customer may not be familiar with the specific characteristics of the destination home resulting in extra unanticipated charges – i.e.

Shuttle charge: The use of a smaller truck to provide service to homes not accessible to the mover’s normal 18 wheeler because of limited space or roadway restrictions. For example, delivery into downtown San Francisco.

Long Carry charge: A charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and the customer’s home. For example, a 100 yard walkway from the street to the front door of the home.

Stairs: A charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs. For example, delivery to the 5th floor of an apartment building with no functioning elevator.

Unanticipated storage: Temporary warehouse storage of the shipment pending further transportation. For example, if the consumer’s new home isn’t quite ready to occupy.

Rigging, hoisting, and lowering: Setting up a rope and pulley system to raise large bulky items through an upper floor window when the item will not fit though the front door. For example, an oversized couch, armoire or piano up to a second floor of an old Victorian home.




April 8, 2015 |

Arbitration Program

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As with any industry, disputes can arise between a customer and a company. The moving industry is no different. Disputes between a moving company and a consumer shipper can arise for many reasons. The most common disputes a consumer shipper can have with a moving company will involve issues of overcharges for services, failure to deliver on time, or damages and missing items.

Consumer / shippers have several options in trying to resolve the disputes with a moving company. The best method for resolving the dispute is direct discussion with moving company customer service department. A legitimate moving company will have a customer service department which can address and help resolve disputes. In most cases, any issues or disputes can be resolved as a matter of customer service. However, when an issue cannot be resolved through the normal customer service methods, a consumer may wish to look to other means to address the issues.When considering alternative approaches to address and resolve a dispute, a consumer shipper may consider filing a lawsuit, complaining to a consumer watch organization or to a government regulatory agency. Although potentially effective in the long run, those methods may take a great deal of time and could potentially be expensive.

In the interstate moving industry, the FMCSA requires that each moving company have in place a neutral arbitration program to help resolve disputes. Neutral arbitration can serve as a cost effective and quick alternative to traditional litigation. Additionally, neutral arbitration is more informal than court litigation and a consumer shipper may be able to navigate the arbitration process without hiring an attorney.

WHAT IS ARBITRATION?

Interstate moving companies must have in place a neutral arbitration program, administered through an independent arbitration service provider. The program must be designed to give neither the moving company nor the consumer shipper any special advantage. Arbitration may provide a faster and more cost-effective method of obtaining a final and binding resolution of a dispute that cannot be resolved through direct or assisted negotiations.

IS ARBITRATION MANDATORY?

Federal law governing interstate shipments of household goods under 49 CFR § 375.211 provides that an interstate moving company must have a program in place to provide shippers with an arbitration alternative to litigation. Arbitration is optional and not required under federal law. A moving company cannot require that a consumer shipper proceed through arbitration prior to litigation. Arbitration is available for all claims involving property loss, property damage, and disputes over charges for services.Moving companies must provide written notice of arbitration to shippers. A moving company must provide each potential consumer shipper with a written summary of the arbitration program prior to the order for service being issued. The written summary of the moving company’s arbitration program must include the following:

(1) Summary of the arbitration process
(2) The associated cost for each party involved in the arbitration
(3) The legal effects of an arbitration

The arbitrator selected by the parties must render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the written notification of the dispute by the parties. In regard to the applicable costs associated with the arbitration, a moving company cannot require that a consumer shipper be responsible for more than 50% of the cost. If the arbitration alternative is chosen, then any decision made by the arbitrator may be binding if the dispute is for an amount less than $10,000. Additionally, an arbitration decision may not be appealed in a court of law.

HOW DOES THE ARBITRATION PROCESS BEGIN?

To initiate the arbitration process a consumer shipper simply has to inform the moving company of their intent to arbitrate. It is advised that a demand for arbitration be sent via certified mail to the moving company. Once the moving company has received the written demand for arbitration, they are required to send the proper forms and information from the neutral arbitration service they use. If a moving company fails to comply with the demand for arbitration, they can be sanctioned by the FMCSA with civil penalties.




August 8, 2015 |

Check Your FMCSA Score

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The FMCSA’s online SMS website provides an assessment of a motor carrier’s on-road performance and investigation results within the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Assessments cover 24 months of activity and results are updated monthly. A yellow warning symbol, indicates that motor carrier exceeds the FMCSA intervention threshold based upon roadside data and/or has been cited with one or more serious violations within the past 12 months during an investigation. As a result, a motor carrier may be prioritized for an intervention action and roadside inspection.

How to check your SMS Score?

STEP 1: Go to the FMCSA SMS website: https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/Default.aspx
STEP 2: Enter your US DOT number.

The FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) calculates a measure for each Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement category. The measure is then used to assign a ranking, or percentile, for each motor carrier that has information that could be compared against other similar carriers.

The SMS score percentile is computed on a 0-100 scale, with 100 indicating the worst performance and 0 indicating the best performance. The higher your SMS score is the worst your safety performance is. The carrier in the group with the highest measure will be at the 100th percentile, while the carrier with the lowest measure in the group will be at the 0 percentile.

WARNING: If your SMS profile has one or more yellow warning symbols than you are at risk to be investigated by the FMCSA. Safety investigations and a poor safety track record may result in civil fines, out-of-service orders, and insurance cancellations.

September 8, 2015 |

Long Distance Moving Options

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Option 1 – Full service all inclusive moving from a nationally known major van line:

The top of the line service in the moving industry is a full service all inclusive move performed by a nationally known major van line. Generally, the major van lines perform quality services with the highest degree of professionalism and will charge a premium for their services.

They will send a representative to your home to provide an estimate, send a team of movers in matching uniforms to do all the packing in your home, transport your goods in shiny new trucks, provide full insurance coverage for any loss or damages, and deliver quickly on a guaranteed date. The nationally known major van line is a good choice for consumers who don’t want to lift a finger during their move, receive white glove services, and don’t mind paying a premium price.

Option 2 – Regional independent moving company and/or moving broker offering á la carte services at discounted pricing:

A great alternative to hiring a nationally known major van line is to use the services of a moving broker working with a network smaller independent regional moving companies.

Many of the regional independent moving companies in the broker’s network offer á la carte moving services. Typically moving brokers provide written estimates based upon a specific list of á la carte moving services and items to be moved. Consumers can choose to save money by selecting the service options they want. For example a consumer may wish to choose to perform their own packing, or select the longer ground delivery window instead of an expedited or guaranteed delivery service option. Services are generally offered at a lower cost since the consumer may choose to do some of the work themselves, the broker searches its network for a moving company who has availability on that date, and the property would be consolidated with other shipments on the same truck for transport.

Using the services of a regional independent moving company from a moving broker’s network can result in great cost savings. However, consumers need to be aware that prices are quoted based upon a specific list of services. Any deviation or additions to the services ordered can result in price increases – sometimes dramatic price increases. For example, a price quote could be issued based upon moving 150 specified items with no packing services included. If however, on the day the mover arrives for the pick-up the customer adds 30 additional boxes to be moved and also needs the movers to finish some of the packing the price will increase. Consumers hiring a regional independent moving company from a broker’s network can save a great deal of money, but should have a very clear understanding of what services are and are not included in the price. Any extra service or additional items to be moved that were not included on the moving quote will increase the final price.

Option 3 – Self pack and load – they drive container service:

Consumers wishing to do all the packing and loading themselves can hire a “container” service company. Generally, companies offering “container” services will drop off a large container at your home. It is up to you to perform all the packing and loading of the container yourself. Once you have completed the packing and loading the company will pick up the container and deliver it to your new home where you will unload and unpack.Container services are good alternatives for people who do not need any assistance with packing or loading of their property. Container service companies charge based upon the size of the container rented, the distance the container is transported, and the days you keep the container in your possession.

Consumers need to be aware that container services may not offer insurance coverage for any damage or breakage of the property moved since it is self-packed. Additionally, container moving services for long distance moves are not regulated by the government and therefore a consumer is not protected by the moving industry consumer protection laws – such as requirements for licensing, cargo insurance coverage, and price increase limits.

Option 4 – Complete do it yourself rent-a-truck moving:

The least expensive option in moving is a do it yourself move. Consumers choosing this option will rent a truck from a rental company and do all the packing, loading, and driving themselves. Keeping in mind that moving is excruciatingly hard work, this is a good option if you have friends and family who can help and you don’t mind taking on all the responsibility and stress for completing the move.

Costs associated with a self-service rent a truck move includes the costs of the rental truck, per mile charge, fuel charge, packing supplies, your time in driving, and in some cases pizza and beer for your “volunteers.”​​




February 8, 2015 |

Consumer Protection Information

Comments Off on Consumer Protection Information




However, as with any industry, there is always a chance of service failures, damaged or missing items, overcharges, and falling prey to unscrupulous and unlicensed individuals masquerading as licensed professional movers. The best way for a consumer shipper to prevent fraud, protect their property, and enforce their rights is to be an informed consumer who researches and hires a reputable professional moving company.

This section is designed to help consumers research and hire a professional long distance interstate mover. Review the information in this section, do your homework before hiring a mover, and then you can benefit from services and experience of a reputable and reliable professional moving company.

“HOW CONSUMERS CAN AVOID HIDDEN CHARGES FROM MOVING COMPANIES.”

Avoid unexpected hidden charges from a long distance moving company by understanding the secrets of how movers calculate their prices.

Long distance interstate moving is stressful and unpleasant even under the best of circumstances. Moving is an expensive undertaking and generally you will receive the level of service you pay for. If you hire a nationally known company you will pay top dollar but will typically receive top of the line service. On the other hand if you have friends who are willing to work for free, are capable and not afraid of exhausting work, then you could rent a truck, pack your own property, have help with the loading and driving, and save thousands of dollars.

For people who do not want to spend top dollar on a nationally known moving company and can’t or don’t want to do a self-move there are good alternatives. To save money and avoid the hard work consumers can hire a smaller independent moving company, use a broker service, or hire a “you load – they drive” container service. These options are great alternatives to expensive top of the line movers or complete do it yourself move. However, consumers using these cost saving services need to have realistic expectations of what is and is not included in the price.

Between the stress of packing, planning, and dealing with the challenges of being uprooted, the last thing consumers need are unexpected hidden charges increasing the cost of the move. To help avoid unexpected charges, a consumer should first understand the types of moving company options available and the cost associated for each.

Generally, there are four categories of long distance moving options. Each category has pros and cons, includes different services, and ranges widely in costs. To help manage the final cost of the move a consumer must understand what is included in the service they are purchasing and how charges are calculated.




January 8, 2015 |
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