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How to Pick a Mover


Choosing a Moving Company


by: MyMovingQuote Editorial Staff
01 Dec 2010


Check for the DOT license number. All movers are required to be licensed however interstate movers are required to meet two additional criteria,


We will give you one less thing to worry about. The following information can help you find the right moving company for you.


Most licensed moving companies are listed in the classified telephone directories, newspapers and other local advertising.  When consulting written advertisements, avoid contacting movers who do not show their license number, which is issued by the (DOT). and for interstate move the (ICC) Such carriers are probably not licensed or insured against loss or damage.  You may want to ask friends who have recently moved if they can recommend a moving company.  Additionally, some realtors may advise you based upon their customers’ experiences.


Be sure to obtain the complete and correct moving company name, (ICC) number (DOT license number), address and telephone number of the carrier you select to move your belongings. Keep the carrier informed as to how and where you may be reached at all times until the shipment is delivered.


You should request a written estimate from two or more movers so you can compare prices.  Written estimates are binding on the.  All written estimates must be based on a visual inspection of goods and must show total estimated charges.  A verbal rate quotation (how much it will cost per 100 pounds, or per hour) is not an estimate.  Remember, verbal estimates are not binding.  To avoid problems in the long run, get any total cost estimates in writing!


In describing your wishes, be as consistent as possible with each mover you talk to; this will make it easier to compare estimates.  Be sure to tell the prospective movers about all of the goods you want moved, any special services you require and conditions affecting pick-up and delivery (e.g., stairs, narrow road).  It is especially important to tell the movers everything about your new home that may affect your move.  This ensures a more accurate estimate of cost, and reduces the chance of misunderstandings or unexpected charges on moving day.


  Types of estimates


Binding - Is a guaranteed estimate price, within a small percentage of changes that is based on a complete list of items to be moved and the type of service performed.


Non-binding - hourly rate - This is not guaranteed estimate cost, These rates are based on inventory list, Remember, verbal estimates are not binding.


A carrier’s rates for long-distance moves are based on Miles, which are miles accounting for driving conditions.  If the move is over 100 constructive miles, it is considered a long-distance move and must be charged on a weight and mileage basis.  If your move is 100 constructive miles or less, it is considered a local move and is usually charged by the hour.  On local moves that can be completed in a few hours, some carriers may not consider it feasible to visually inspect and give you a written estimate, but will quote you the hourly rate.  You should consider contacting other carriers to get a written estimate of the total cost.


  When you decide - Don't make price the deciding factor


Low-ball bids could mask less reliable moving practices. Use several factors in addition to price: references, performance reports, reported complaints. Get the final bid in writing (on which you may be asked to sign), but never sign off on a final bill until the move is complete.


In certain circumstances, some carriers may have minimum charges.  For example, on hourly moves, a carrier may charge a minimum of four hours even if your move takes only two or three.  Similarly, on distance moves, a carrier may charge for a minimum weight of 5,000 pounds.  So, even if the total weight of your shipment is 3,000 pounds, you may be charged for 5,000 pounds.


Carriers normally will charge for packing and unpacking services provided.  On distance-rated shipments, there may be an additional charge for elevators, and flights of stairs past the first floor (except in a single family home).  If it is impossible for the carrier to park so that the tailgate of his vehicle is within 75 feet of the front door, a “long carry” charge may apply. 


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