May 7, 2015 12:30 am
“Hiring a professional mover is a smart decision that saves time and effort while providing the best protection for your household goods,” says Scott Michael, president and CEO of the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). But how do you know you’re getting a fair, honest deal from your chosen moving company?
1. Do your research. Get at least three written, in-home estimates so you can make an informed decision. Show the mover everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement and including any sheds, garages and storage areas. Avoid any unusually high or low estimates. If someone says they can give you an estimate over the phone or by email, it’s possible they’re trying to scam you.
2. Know your rights. Reputable interstate movers must, by law, provide you with federal publications that explain the moving process, as well as your rights and responsibilities during and after the process. Interstate movers also must provide the cost of full-value protection insurance for your possessions in their estimates. If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be a warning sign. And if a company says it won’t return your items to you without more money than you agreed to pay, contact the Better Business Bureau or local law enforcement for help.
3. Get all agreements in writing. Read everything carefully and make sure you have it all in writing, along with copies of everything you sign, especially the most important document—the bill of lading, which is the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Never sign any blank forms.
4. Take your valuables with you. Cash, coins, jewelry, photographs and important papers should be taken with you or shipped separately. Use a shipping service with tracking numbers, such as FedEx or UPS.
5. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company can’t or won’t answer your questions, you might want to look for another mover.
Published with permission from RISMedia.