FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving

Pricing and Paperwork

Not if it’s a non-binding estimate. Make sure all estimates are in writing. The estimate must clearly state whether it is non-binding or binding. If it’s a binding agreement, they’re legally obligated to follow the estimate. Remember, a mover is under no requirement to make an estimate to the shipper, so be sure to ask for a written estimate.

Non-binding estimate: A non-binding estimate is one that can change, although these estimates should be reasonably accurate and provide you with a general idea of the moving cost. Typically, a mover will schedule an onsite visit and check out the goods for the estimate. If you add items or request additional services, the mover may void the estimate or revise it. The non-binding estimate must be in writing and state that it is non-binding. 110% rule: If the final cost exceeds the non-binding estimated amount, the mover must deliver the goods upon payment of the estimated amount plus 10% of that amount. The mover must then defer the balance due on the charges for 30 days. A binding estimate is a set price estimate. It is a legal agreement between you and the mover that the cost to move the goods will not exceed the price agreed upon. You still may add services, and the cost for those services is due at delivery. Binding agreements must be in writing.

At the time of the estimate and/or prior to the execution of the order for service, the mover must supply the following:

A copy of its written non-binding or binding estimate

A copy of the Department Of Transportation (DOT) certificate, Contact information for the mover for inquires and complaints

When the order for service has been executed, the mover must supply a copy of the order for service after it has been signed and dated by you and the mover.  At loading time at the time of pick-up, the mover must supply a copy of the bill of lading/freight bill (and scale weight tickets when freight bill has been paid). At unloading time at the time of delivery, the mover must supply a copy of the completed bill of lading/freight bill (and scale weight tickets when freight bill has been paid).

This is the document authorizing the mover to ship your goods. It isn’t a contract. It notes the estimated charge of the move and other special services asked for (like packing and storage) as well as pickup and delivery dates or spread dates.

The bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover. It should be given to you before the mover loads your goods. Like any contract, it’s your responsibility to read it before you sign it. Go over any discrepancies with your mover and don’t sign the bill of lading until you’re satisfied with it. The bill of lading is an important document, so don’t lose it. Have it available until your shipment is delivered, all charges are paid, and any claims are settled.

Coverage and Insurance

Movers are required to meet something called “reasonable dispatch” requirements. This means the transportation must happen—within reason—during the scheduled dates, as shown on the order of service and bill of lading. Some things beyond a mover’s control, like weather, may be acceptable reasons for delay.

Not necessarily. You may file an inconvenience or delay claim with the mover, however. Include receipts for lodging and food expenses for all days past the last day of the pick-up and/or delivery spread dates. However, the mover is not obligated to compensate the shipper, so court action or arbitration may be required.  If the mover refuses to pay or otherwise disallows any part of the claim, you can pursue a civil action within a two-year time frame of the dispute.

Movers generally provide three types of protection for your goods in case they are lost or damaged. Limited liability: This is the basic coverage required by law and doesn’t cost you anything. Under limited liability, the mover is responsible for 60 cents per pound per item for an interstate move. Added valuation: This type allows you to collect the amount based on the current replacement value of the item, minus depreciation. The amount you pay for this coverage depends on how much you declare your goods are worth.  Full value: This insurance costs the most and covers the actual cost of an item’s replacement or repair, without any deduction for depreciation. Before purchasing coverage from the moving company, check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it will cover your goods during a move and compare plans.

You have nine months from the date of delivery to file a claim.

You will have to seek recourse through court or arbitration. If you choose court over arbitration, the suit must be brought within two years of the dispute.

The mover usually has a tariff provision that allows it to repack boxes or cartons if they feel they have been improperly packed—or if they will cause harm to the rest of the shipment. The mover is also liable for any loss or damage caused during transit unless the sole cause for the loss or damage was due to any of these common law defenses:

An act of nature

An act of—or omission by—the shipper

An act of public enemy

An act of public authority

Inherent vice

Improper packing falls under an act or omission. Since the sole cause for the damage must be the act of the shipper, any contributory damage by the mover would void the common law defense—and the mover would be responsible.  In other words, pack carefully.

Pickup and Delivery

Make sure the mover gives you a specific date or spread of dates on your order for service and bill of lading. Do not allow the information regarding these dates or spread dates to remain blank. This may delay your shipment. Make sure your order for service dates are transferred to your bill of lading unless you have made arrangements for another date or spread of days. At pick-up: Be sure to receive a bill of landing (not just the inventory sheet) showing the name of the mover responsible for transporting your goods, along with the mover’s address, telephone number and “MC” number. At delivery: You are responsible for accepting delivery of your goods from the first date to the last date of the delivery spread dates. Don’t depend on dates given to you by the driver. Refer to your order for service or bill of lading.

Be present until your furniture is loaded. Look at the mover’s description of your furniture on the inventory and ensure the mover denotes items that are chipped, marred, dented, scratched, etc. Make certain the items’ conditions are listed on both the driver’s copy and your copy of the inventory sheet—but more importantly on the driver’s copy.

Make certain all goods to be moved are listed on the inventory sheet.

It isn’t unusual for the driver to ask for, or expect payment of, transportation charges before the truck is unloaded—or before the van doors are opened. If a shipment is delivered on more than one truck, the mover can choose whether to collect charges for each portion of the shipment as delivered—or all at once. At pickup, it is the driver’s responsibility to list the condition of your shipment on the inventory sheet. This is the time to agree or disagree with the mover’s description of the condition of your items.  At delivery, it is your responsibility to list the condition of your shipment. If there are items missing or damaged, make an indication on the driver’s copy and your copy of the inventory sheet. Put an “X” on the boxes (at pickup) that contain breakables so that at destination you can note the condition of the boxes.

Move Day and Payments

Be flexible during the week you are moving, to ensure a hassle-free process and to secure a truck and driver to load your shipment.

Your relocation coordinator will contact you at least 24 hours prior to load day to make you aware of what time they will arrive. If any changes have occurred, please make your coordinator aware of these changes at this time, such as local construction, unpacked items, etc.

Prepare your home for the move crew by moving things off the porch, clearing walkways, taking doors off hinges, removing throw rugs and similar things to make the pathways clear and navigable.

The best time to organize your move depends of course on the first place on your own needs. When it comes to moving cost, if you want to save on expenses you should avoid the peak times for moving when most people relocate. These are the summer in general, holidays, weekends, and beginning/ end of the month. This is the time when the movers are busier and they may place higher price for hiring. Always be informed on the movers’ tariffs for the day when you want to move so that you won’t get to pay more than you have expected.

The best time to organize your move depends of course on the first place on your own needs. When it comes to moving cost, if you want to save on expenses you should avoid the peak times for moving when most people relocate. These are the summer in general, holidays, weekends, and beginning/ end of the month. This is the time when the movers are busier and they may place higher price for hiring. Always be informed on the movers’ tariffs for the day when you want to move so that you won’t get to pay more than you have expected.

Claims are always unpleasant – no one wants to have to deal with the problem, but damage sometimes does occur when moving, and claims are an inevitable result. The best advice is to read and understand the claims-settlement procedure prior to moving—it is important that you understand your coverage and how to proceed through the claims process. Claims adjusters are people with a difficult job—it is better to approach them with kindness than anger. Please understand your moving coverage and be certain to have the proper documentation in the form of an inventory with the damage noted.

If you have chosen to pack your own belongings and have hired us just to move you, there is a chance that some items still need to be packed. Usually a lampshade, glass shelves or a lamp stand. Most drivers carry a small assortment of boxes and materials to pack the contents of your home. These boxes are not free. However, if you want to pack your belongings before the move, you can order some packing materials here. We do not recommend getting boxes from your local liquor/grocery store. These boxes are often flimsy and many times carry insects because foodstuffs surround them. Also, it costs more in labour to move them because the movers need to make more trips back and forth to the truck. Always use double corrugated boxes, not single. The stronger your boxes, the better chance your goods have surviving any mishaps, should they occur.

Costs are based on the weight of your shipment and the mileage we cover in transit, which are referred to as transportation charges. Various other fees may appear on you estimate, such as packing and crating, value coverage, oversized items, and additional labor. We will gladly go over each charge with you so that you fully understand the total cost.