How are charges based for local moves or for moves within my state?
Local (intrastate) moves are generally based on a per-hour cost for the personnel and the number of vehicles that the mover provides (up to a certain distance, with longer distances based on the weight of your shipment and the mileage it is transported) and the level of liability that the mover will cover in the event of loss or damage is generally less than would apply for an interstate move.
How do I get an estimate?
Once you have compiled a list of movers, inform them of the destination and timing of your move. Ask them about the types of services they offer. Also, ask them to explain their estimates in detail and to give you a copy. If any company refuses to give you a written estimate, you should eliminate them from consideration. Then carefully compare to see which mover best suits your needs and budget.
Should I have the mover come to my home or office to look at my goods?
You have the right to receive an estimate based on a physical (in-house) survey of your shipment. Under the regulations, your mover must base your estimate (either binding, non-binding, or not-to-exceed), on a physical survey of the household goods to be moved if the goods are located with a 50-mile radius of your mover’s (or his agent’s) place of business. You may elect to waive this requirement for a physical survey, but if you elect to do so, you must sign a written waiver of your rights.
Is it a good idea to get an estimate over the phone or via the Internet?
In all likelihood, you will find that an on-site estimate based on a physical survey of the items that you plan on moving will be more accurate than an estimate that you provide to your mover over the telephone or the Internet.
Will any other charges be added to the estimate?
Help the movers calculate the cost of your move by showing them every single item to be moved. Don’t forget to go into the attic, basement, garage, shed, and closets, and under beds. Reach a clear understanding of the amount of packing and other services needed. Anything omitted from the estimate but later included in the shipment will add to the cost of the move. Also, be sure to tell you mover about any conditions (narrow streets, steep hills, sharp turns, or other obstacles) that may prevent the use of his over-the-road tractor trailer at your origin or destination residence.
Will I have to pay a deposit to the mover before my move?
Professional movers generally don’t require a deposit before moving you, and if they do it is generally just a small “good faith” deposit. However, some scam movers or Internet brokers frequently require a large deposit. So, if a mover you are considering requires you to pay a big deposit to “hold your dates” or to ensure “prompt service”, you may want to choose another mover.
Should I tip the mover? How much should I tip the mover?
It’s always difficult to decide on whether and how much to tip the movers. There are no set rules, so it’s up to you to decide what you want to do based on the service that you received. Professional movers are expected to be careful to protect your belongings and the walls, floors, and doorways of your home. Still, movers, just like any other service provider, always appreciate recognition for a job well done. Another nice thing to do is to provide beverages (water, sports drinks, sodas, but nothing alcoholic) and food (breakfast rolls, sandwiches, pizza, cookies) throughout the day. You should also advise the crew which restroom you want them to use.
How do I place a value on my shipment?
All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods that they transport. However, there are different levels of liability that apply and you should be aware of the charges that apply and the amount of protection provided by each level.