When choosing a moving company to transport your household, you should consider the types of quotes each company will give you. Before picking the type of quote you want to receive, though, you will want to know the different types and how they will affect the final price of your move.
Nonbinding moving quotes
The first type of moving quote is called a nonbinding quote. After evaluating your goods, the mover will provide you with the quoted cost of the move. Though they will give you the best quote possible, the mover won’t be able to tell you the actual cost of the move until everything is weighed on your moving day. Once your
shipment is weighed, your movers will adjust the price.
Depending on whether the shipment is more or less than what was quoted, the cost will either increase or decrease. Though it would be nice if the shipment turns out to be less than the initial quote, be prepared for the chance that the cost will rise if the quote was too low.
Binding moving quotes
While nonbinding quotes have a level of uncertainty, if you receive a binding quote, you will know exactly what you’ll be paying. With a binding quote, the mover will assess your goods and give you an quote for the move. The quote is concrete and will not change according to the actual weight of the shipment.
The good thing about binding quotes is that the cost of your move will not increase, even if the actual weight is high above what was quoted. However, if the weight of your shipment is below the quote, you still have to pay the agreed-upon price. While this may be a gamble, binding quotes are helpful because they allow you to know in advance what you will pay.
Binding not-to-exceed moving quotes
Binding not-to-exceed quotes are the best option for you, so make sure you ask your potential moving company if they provide these quotes. With a binding-not-to-exceed quote, the cost of your move will never go above the quoted price. At the same time, if the total weight of the shipment is actually lower than what is quoted, the price will be lowered. Since the price will be adjusted only if it’s lower, binding not-to-exceed quotes are your best option.
Again, many of the complaints I hear about movers are in fact, the direct fault of the customer. By not understanding your rights and the rights of the mover, is a recipe for disaster. A perfect example would be the moving of articles with extraordinary value, i.e., jewelry. If you are having the mover haul expensive jewelry, you MUST provide the mover IN WRITING, about the article BEFORE anything takes place! If nothing is ever said, you CANNOT advise the mover three weeks after the move is completed, that you had a $10,000.00 diamond ring in the dresser that is now missing! Sorry, claim denied! I have seen this scam several times by savvy customers. Remember, the mover has rights too. To prevent such horror stories as this, you simply have to follow the rights and laws that apply to you as a consumer.
Claims can and do get satisfied, but usually not without a long and sometimes expensive process. The first step is to check out your mover BEFORE signing any papers. You should call the FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at 1-888-368-7238 and ask them about the complaint history of your moving company. They are open from 10am to 6pm EST Monday thru Friday and it’s worth the call.
Another great advocate for the moving consumer is the American Moving & Storage Association. They even provide mediation assistance to try and resolve any problems you may have with the mover, before any attorney’s get involved.
Another problem that arises at times concerns the transporting of automobiles. Household Goods movers move furniture! Not hard to figure out. For years, they also move vehicles. I have moved thousands of cars, trucks and boats in my life, but many movers are getting away from hauling vehicles due to the simplicity of damages occurring. A better alternative is to contact a professional “car hauler.” Let the movers haul the furniture, and the car hauler haul the car. Keep the expertise with the correct provider. In addition, since movers go by weight and mileage, the auto hauler is usually much cheaper since it is a set price.
Now that you know about the three types of moving quotes, remember to ask any potential mover which types they will offer. This way, you can be sure you are getting the best deal possible.