All too often in the moving industry you hear of scams, careless work, or fraudulent business practices. Some problems that arise with moves, especially long distance moves include shipments delivered days, weeks, even months after the agreed-upon delivery date, or movers holding the customer’s items on the truck until they are paid up-front in cash. Or worse, all too often we hear of customers who find that the movers left behind a handful of furniture items or delivered precious items in a damaged or dirtied condition. These horrors add to the stress of moving and should be avoided by careful selection of and communication with your mover.
(Photo Credit: NBCDFW)
It’s important to know who runs the business (is the work subcontracted to another firm?), where it is located (does it have a physical office address?) and know the reputation of those handling your personal belongings.
The first step is to carefully select a company. Do not rely on the lowest price you are quoted or internet ads. Ask family and friends who they’ve moved with and how it went or go to customer review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List to see what previous customers have to say about it. Be sure that the company is licensed as a mover. There is a difference between a license to do business and a license to do moving and a reputable mover should have both! One way to verify the legitimacy of a business is to work with a company that has a brick-and-mortar office. If you simply hire someone online without looking into where the company operates and preferably meeting a representative of the company face-to-face, than you could be getting yourself into a lot of trouble. Stop by the company’s office to gauge their professionalism and customer service.
Before contracting any labor, get the details of the move in writing. Get at least three estimates from movers that have come out and done a physical survey of the items being moved. Generally, for moves of less than 100 miles, you’ll be charged hourly rates. For longer-distance and out-of-state moves, you’ll be charged by weight and mileage. Do not rule out movers simply based on price. You want to be wary of movers with extremely low prices compared to the rest that seem too good to be true. Also before crossing any off your list, find out what is included in the price and why it is different from the other prices you’ve been quoted. For long distance moves you ideally want to get a flat rate price or “not to exceed” price so that there are no surprises.
In case of damage
Sometimes, unfortunately, things go wrong and an item is lost or damaged. There are specific things you can do to protect yourself before any damages occur. First, make sure to note the condition of items before and after a move and bring any nicks, or scratches to the attention of the mover. If something is damaged during the move, bring it to the mover’s attention immediately to open a damage claim with the company. Under California and federal law, all moving companies are liable for basic repayment, if they damage an item during a move. It is 60 cents per pound, per item. The coverage is included in your moving cost. But in most cases this just isn’t enough. If you have a ten pound item that costs $100 to even a $1,000 which is damaged… your reimbursement will only be $6. You will want to check your homeowners’ insurance to see if damages relating to a move are covered. If not, you may want to purchase additional coverage. Movers can offer “full replacement value” or “actual cash value” coverage against potential loss or damage. Ask your moving company what valuation options they offer.
There are a few general cautions or “red flags” to be aware of when moving. Avoid companies that only provide online or phone estimates without doing and in-person survey of the items being moved. Avoid companies that do not have a local address and both a business and moving license. If a mover shows up in a rental truck or unmarked vehicle, think twice before giving the go-ahead on the move… a licensed mover will have their own moving truck so a rental truck or personal vehicle may be a red flag that the mover is not licensed as a mover. Be cautious about companies that want a large deposit or only accept payment up front. Finally, licensed movers are required to provide you with a copy of the state or federal booklet on the consumer’s rights and responsibilities, if you are not given one, this is a problem.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Sacramento employs a staff of over 40 Full-Time Movers and Drivers, with a fleet of 10 trucks. We have performed home and business moving services in and around the Greater Sacramento area for almost 10 years. Our award winning services include full service moving and packing services and we also sells boxes and packing supplies.