What You Need to Know Before Moving
The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) was recently featured in an episode of ABC’s “20/20,” where AMSA president and CEO, Linda Bauer Darr, shared some of her moving wisdom. With springtime and the peak moving season quickly approaching, a new report on ABC-TV’s “20/20” about moving fraud unfortunately demonstrates that consumers must remain vigilant to avoid being ripped off. As a certified ProMover, the E.E. Ward Moving & Storage professionals want to alert consumers to risks involved when seeking a moving company and the importance of working with a certified moving company.
AMSA is a non-profit trade association that has been representing and improving the moving and storage industry since 1936. They have achieved this through effective advocacy and by building a respected, quality ProMover brand. AMSA’s ProMover moving company membership includes more than 4,000 professional movers who move household goods.
Here are some excerpted tips from AMSA for avoiding rogue movers:
1) Hire a mover with an established track record, not the one that just pops up first on your Google search.
As consumers are buying more moving services online, the rogues have figured out a way to scam the system. The rogues are investing all their money in the technology it takes for them to have priority placement in the online environment, whether it’s search engine optimization or some other set of tools they’re using. But, ultimately, they are using their dollars for those marketing purposes, and they’re not necessarily using those dollars to invest in things like safe drivers and maintaining their vehicles. Those are the costs of compliance that professional movers take on in their everyday business.
2) Get that estimate in person.
It’s important that the mover is invited into the home and is able to evaluate everything that needs to be moved. Is there a playground set that needs to be moved? Is there special equipment or a plasma TV that needs to be disassembled and taken off the wall that’s going to have to be packed in special crating? Those kinds of things add to the cost. If that kind of an estimate is provided online or over the phone, chances are the movers aren’t really going to be able to give you a sound estimate if they haven’t been in the house and had a chance to eyeball it.
3) Make sure your estimate is binding. Then, by law, a mover can’t charge more than 10 percent beyond the estimate.
If a mover shows up at your house and you have a binding estimate, you should expect to pay the price that was listed in the binding estimate unless there are special unforeseen circumstances. For example, with something that requires extra shuttle services or things that were unanticipated in the move initially, the mover can charge 10 percent beyond that binding estimate. But anything beyond that 10 percent would have to be negotiated.
4) Know who you’re dealing with: movers vs. brokers
It’s important that when you choose your mover, you understand who you’re dealing with. Is the company that you’re working with the actual mover? Are they the people who are going to load your goods and move them, or are they front men for a series of companies that do that? There are a lot of middle men involved in the business, and when you have middle men involved, there’s often an additional charge. There’s also another layer of distance between you and the ultimate service provider, so that can get a little bit tricky. I would recommend that you go directly to the mover. Make sure that you know who you’re doing business with.
5) Weigh that sucker.
In order to make sure that you are being charged correctly and in accordance with how much the load actually weighs, you should ask for the receipt that the mover receives at the weigh station that says exactly how much that load weighs.
6) Be clear when you want stuff delivered, but be flexible, too.
If you’re within a 24-hour window of the goods being delivered to your destination, it’s very important that you arrange to be flexible. You don’t know for sure when that truck is going to pull into town. I think you need to clear your schedule and make sure that you’re available to the mover. You don’t want a mover to be waiting with a loaded truck on a city street or in your community. You’re upsetting your neighbors, and you’re wasting his time and probably yours.
7) One burly dude alone cannot move your stuff.
If a mover shows up at the destination by himself and he is the only person available to unload that truck, that’s not a good sign. As a consumer, would call the company immediately and ask for reinforcements. That’s a big job, and you don’t want to leave it to one individual person.
Your friends at E.E. Ward Moving & Storage are available to discuss your moving plans, personally assess your inventory, and help you prepare for the move. Your can request a free quote through our website. Our mission is to provide our customers with an unmatched sense of comfort and security when relocating and storing their possessions.