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Old 02-04-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
71 posts, read 460,700 times
Reputation: 134

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The first thing you should do is ask someone you trust for a referral. If someone you trust, like a family member, or your Realtor, feels confident in their ability to refer you to a mover, they must have had a pretty good experience themselves. That is always a good place to start, but keep in mind, a mover is only as good as his last move. You still need to protect you and your family’s best interest. Here are a few tips.
  • Homework. Starting with a mover you were referred to, get at least two other names. Do a little background check on them first. Start with the better business bureau in your area. Do a Google search on the local agents’ company name. Disregard searches with the carriers’ name. Names like United, Mayflower, Allied, etc don’t own any trucks and are the franchise name. It is the local company (aka agent) who you should check on. Last time I checked, not one move was performed good or bad because of the color of the truck.
  • In-Home Surveys. Only use a mover that is willing to provide an in-home survey. Most good movers will provide in-home surveys, free of obligation at no charge. If you get in-home surveys, it eliminates most issues you hear regarding moving scams. If you have read my previous blog that refers to some common problems involving internet movers, you would know what I am alluding to.
  • Written Estimates. Get at least three estimates! Not just any estimate either. Get your mover to provide a written, guaranteed, not-to-exceed price on the spot after the survey. Most of your reputable movers can do this rather easily.
  • Standards of Performance. Find out from your potential mover what their standards of performance are and how they track them. If you get a blank stare, be afraid. You need to know what their expectations are going to be for your move so you can set yours appropriately.
  • Standards of Employment. You should only use a mover that uses full-time employees. Do not settle for part-time help, day labor, or temp service help. Their men should be background-checked, and drug tested. After all, they are going to be in your home handling all of your belongings. Sooner or later, you have to hand over every thing you own to a perfect stranger. Make sure you don’t settle on cheap labor.
  • Guaranteed Dates. Make sure the loading date is a guaranteed pick-up date that is firm. Most times you will have a closing the very next day. Find out what their plan is if the truck scheduled to pick up your things is delayed. Make sure they guarantee the pick up. Also make certain you get a guaranteed range of days they will deliver. This is typically called a “delivery spread”. Find out what their policy is if they are late…by even one day. Most good companies will give you a flat per diem.
  • Additional Services. It is the law that anytime someone gives you a guaranteed price, they give you an additional services price list. This is a menu of prices for services that could potentially raise the price of your move….after the truck is loaded. If the scope of work changes after the truck is loaded, it is fair to assume the price will go up. For example, if the truck attempts to unload in an area that is inaccessible, for whatever reason, and the mover has to get another smaller truck to “shuttle” your furniture from the big truck to the smaller truck, it is reasonable to think that would cost them more money. It is the law they provide the cost for any additional service, prior to you needing it, in writing.

Last edited by Scott Luther; 02-04-2009 at 06:01 PM.. Reason: formatting
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:16 PM
 
7,103 posts, read 9,681,583 times
Reputation: 2563
Default 3rd party billing dispute

You left out ...pay by American Express and file a complaint with them if something goes wrong. Amex will stop payment until resolved. Be prepared to give Amex substantiation for your claim.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,468,158 times
Reputation: 2637
Default Choose high-quality moving company

You left out: contract with one of the five leaders of the industry in the U.S. and pretty much all of your concerns are solved, since those five industry leaders have decades of reputation to protect:
--- Allied, Atlas, Mayflower, North American and United Van Lines.
I have moved several times usingly ONLY an indistry leader, and the moves have been excellent and completely satisfactory.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
71 posts, read 460,700 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by allforcats View Post
You left out: contract with one of the five leaders of the industry in the U.S. and pretty much all of your concerns are solved, since those five industry leaders have decades of reputation to protect:
--- Allied, Atlas, Mayflower, North American and United Van Lines.
I have moved several times usingly ONLY an indistry leader, and the moves have been excellent and completely satisfactory.
I could have used those carrier names. Those are the top five names in the industry by far. There is 85% of the market share within those five names. My point is not to aim someone in the direction of any one carrier (again, its the agent, not the carrier, that makes the difference in the level of service) but how they can protect themselves against a bad move...even if they use a less than familiar name.
For full disclosure, I have worked for four of those names during the last 26 years. I don't want to suggest to get a good move you have to move with one of those carriers. The likelihood is higher....its just not necessary.
For example, if I was back in Boston, I would tell you there is a United agent that is much better than the Mayflower, Allied, or Atlas agent...but that is not the case in Charlotte, NC. Its all about the agent...not the carrier!

Last edited by Scott Luther; 02-04-2009 at 10:16 PM.. Reason: formatting
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
71 posts, read 460,700 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by allforcats View Post
You left out: contract with one of the five leaders of the industry in the U.S. and pretty much all of your concerns are solved, since those five industry leaders have decades of reputation to protect:
--- Allied, Atlas, Mayflower, North American and United Van Lines.
I have moved several times usingly ONLY an indistry leader, and the moves have been excellent and completely satisfactory.
I didn't leave that out. Trust me, even if you pay with AMEX, the law is the law. If you don't take all of the steps I have outlined, you can be taken advantage of by a less than reputable mover. Because even AMEX has to abide by what the DOT and the FHMCC has to say. With credit card transactions, movers will charge the credit card the entire amount of the estimate on the day of loading. Usually an issue won't rear its ugly head until the time of delivery (sometimes a week or more after the loading date). By then, the moving company has its money.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:33 AM
 
717 posts, read 1,635,364 times
Reputation: 510
Actually did PODS on my last move...pain to load up but I swear the guy who loaded up my pod onto the truck was trying to "work" me. Said "Oh, your stuff is overweight and you run the risk of being charged penalties if the truck gets stopped at a weigh station". He showed me a hydraulic gauge as the pod was being lifted to prove his point. He then tells me "I probably shouldn't be putting this on the truck and I should have you open it up and lighten the load. But for you, I'll let it go". Sound like a palm greasing exchange to you? I did not pay, did not take anything out, and had no problems. So even self-moving has some things to be wary of.

OR, I moved using a U-Haul and because i deviated froom what they said was the most expeditious route (shortest) through DOWNTOWN LA traffic, they were charging me extra. Now, I did not know U-Haul had a "preferred" route when you rent long distance. Maybe they wre working me also.

The whole moving industry seems like a scam.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,948 posts, read 7,351,302 times
Reputation: 16272
Default Good Info

Scott - good information ! I've moved across state lines twice - both times was with my company so I wasn't concerned since they had a very big bite should anyone not fulfill their end of the agreement. I'll be moving again - hopefully this year - this time on my own and I am ner-r-r-r-vous! This info will help.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
71 posts, read 460,700 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caltep View Post
Actually did PODS on my last move...pain to load up but I swear the guy who loaded up my pod onto the truck was trying to "work" me. Said "Oh, your stuff is overweight and you run the risk of being charged penalties if the truck gets stopped at a weigh station". He showed me a hydraulic gauge as the pod was being lifted to prove his point. He then tells me "I probably shouldn't be putting this on the truck and I should have you open it up and lighten the load. But for you, I'll let it go". Sound like a palm greasing exchange to you? I did not pay, did not take anything out, and had no problems. So even self-moving has some things to be wary of.

OR, I moved using a U-Haul and because i deviated froom what they said was the most expeditious route (shortest) through DOWNTOWN LA traffic, they were charging me extra. Now, I did not know U-Haul had a "preferred" route when you rent long distance. Maybe they wre working me also.

The whole moving industry seems like a scam.
PODS and U-Haul are both getting into trouble with the Federal Highway Commission and the DOT. Currently neither of these industries are being regulated by anyone. There is a lot of potential for issues....we'll see.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
71 posts, read 460,700 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN2CO View Post
Scott - good information ! I've moved across state lines twice - both times was with my company so I wasn't concerned since they had a very big bite should anyone not fulfill their end of the agreement. I'll be moving again - hopefully this year - this time on my own and I am ner-r-r-r-vous! This info will help.
MN2CO,
I am glad that you find it useful. That is my goal here to be helpful. If you need, when you are ready, I can refer you to three quality, good movers in Minnesota. Just contact me privately to do so.
Good Luck with your move.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,948 posts, read 7,351,302 times
Reputation: 16272
Thanks - I definitely will!!
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