May is Moving Month, Here are Some Excellent Tips
Toms River, NJ – May 1, 2014 – Before you hire a mover do some research to avoid problems. Don’t rely on prices quoted on the Internet or phone because they are subject to change on moving day! All Moving companies are required to be licensed, but regulations vary; if you are moving within NJ (intrastate), movers must be licensed with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs. If your moving out of NJ, they must have a ‘DOT’ and ‘MC’ number, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Check the ‘Consumer Resources/ Links section at www.njmovers.com to find the correct government website to verify license information, regulations and your rights and responsibilities.
Get three estimates: Check references for movers with family, friends or at the BBB (www.bbb.org). Check that they are licensed before you contact them, then call for an appointment. Don’t accept a mover that doesn’t come to your home; low prices quoted over the phone or on the Internet can be changed on moving day. Have a written list of items to be moved and show each estimator all items to be moved and not to be moved. Show them all items that you expect the mover to pack and what you will pack; request a separate price to pack large items that you may be unable to pack like large pictures, mirrors, lamps, TV’s or electronic items. Remember, if price sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Be aware of what can change the price: A mover is allowed to change the price if ANY circumstances change that was not included in the original price, but he must give you the new price and ask you to sign a ‘change order’ BEFORE they start. Additional charges can be expected if problems arise during your move, especially if known problems are not included in writing such as: (a) You did not request packing of boxes or did not get all your packing completed as shown to the estimator. (b) Your shipment is delivered into a building with flights of stairs or elevator, and not written on the estimate (c) Access to your residence is more that 75 feet from the mover’s truck to your front door or, if a large truck can’t get within a reasonable distance, shuttle charges for a smaller truck may be required. (d) You have added or changed the items to be moved, changed dates or destination. (e) Delays beyond the mover’s control; such as weather, waiting time, rearranging furniture or restacking in a storage space, basement, attic or garage. (f) Storage and redelivery costs.
What coverage is included for damages? Movers are only responsible for damages up to $.60 per pound per article; that means if your large screen TV weighs 100 pounds, it is covered for $60.00. You should consider purchasing insurance or increased valuation through the mover, your homeowner’s policy or other insurer before the move begins. Movers do not assume any responsibility for: (a) Money, jewelry or collections. (b) mechanical or electronic items or loss of data. (c) Items previously broken or repaired. (d) Loss or damage to items packed in cartons by you and loss or damaged items not documented on delivery. Items that are packed and unpacked by the mover are only covered up to $.60 per lb unless you purchase additional coverage.
Other important items: Do not pack or move items that may cause damage to your shipment, such as matches, flammables, propane, aerosols or liquids like bleach; this could void all insurance. Don’t sign a blank ‘change order’. Be sure to keep a copy of everything you sign until the move is finished. You are about to give everything you own to people that you do not know; its wise to do research!
The New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association (NJWMA) is a non-profit trade association established to provide education and training for movers and to assist consumers about regulations for moving or to find movers. All members of the NJWMA are licensed and agree to uphold our Code of Ethics. Find more information, and verify licenses at ‘Consumer Resources/ Links’ section on the web www.njmovers.com
BBB Serving New Jersey is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help consumers find and recommend businesses and brands they can trust. BBB sets and upholds standards for ethical business behavior. Contact BBB at 609-588-0509
Things you should know before hiring a moving company
Once they have your things on their truck, you must pay the charges before they unload. Moving is more complicated then it appears and can be very stressful; realize you will be giving everything you own to people that you do not know, so you must be careful before you hire a mover. Hiring a licensed mover is very important; however you will avoid needless aggravation and stress by selecting the right company, one that comes to your home and prepares an honest estimate, not just a low price.
Select the right Mover: Get references from friends, family or co-workers that you trust, and then verify how long the companies have been established. Request the mover come to your home to perform a visual survey and quote a price; it’s free. Don’t accept prices on-line or over the phone, they will be inaccurate. Visit the mover’s facility if possible. Each mover should give you the legally required brochures which are different if you are moving local or long distance. You can verify if their license is current at our website listed below, go to ‘LINKS’.
How can I be sure I have an accurate estimate? Show each estimator everything you want moved and have a written list of all the items to be moved and items that you expect the mover to pack. Ask the mover to include the price for packing large glass, pictures and mirrors that you can’t pack, as well as computers, TV’s and electronics; certain items may require custom crating in wood. If you are able to pack any of those items yourself before the move, you can request a revised estimate. Verify that your furniture will be wrapped in moving blankets for free. Movers charge for boxes, packing, tape, access, stairs and any extra stops. Moving does not include storage or delivery from storage unless it’s written on the estimate. Make sure each estimate has the same number of articles to be moved written on the mover’s survey. Unwritten delivery dates means ‘whenever it arrives’.
Can a mover change a written estimate? Yes, even if it’s binding! The mover is allowed to change the price on moving day if any circumstances change that are not written in the original price such as if you added items or additional packing. Prices include only the services listed in writing on your estimate and moving only the items listed on the mover’s survey. Additional charges may be incurred if delays arise during your move such as waiting time or rearranging furniture. Movers usually require cash or certified funds before unloading. Have additional money available to pay any extra charges.
What is included for loss or damage? All movers must include minimum coverage of $.60 per pound per article for no charge; it’s not insurance, it’s their legal liability. You should consider additional coverage. Some movers may offer increased valuation coverage or insurance at additional cost. Check your homeowner’s policy or additional insurance through your mover or other insurer. Items packed by owner are not covered by insurance or legal liability.
May is Mover Month – Public Service Announcement
You will find links to each government website at www.njmovers.com where you can check their license and the regulations that apply. If a mover tells you they only need a DOT number to do a local move within NJ, find another mover. The following information pertains to moving within NJ
Don’t become a victim; research the mover BEFORE you hire them to avoid scams. Prices quoted over the phone or Internet are probably their minimum rates. Make sure they have a license, but don’t expect a government agency to rescue you if you picked a bad mover (licensed or unlicensed); they will advise you to take the mover to court to try to get some money back, but you will be forced to pay the higher price in cash before they unload the truck;
Don’t accept a mover that doesn’t come to your home to give the estimate; use a local, established mover that gives you a written estimate in your home. Have a complete list of items to be moved and show the estimator everything to be moved, all items that you want the mover to pack and any special requests. Discuss your moving dates and if access to your new residence has stairs or elevators or if there is a long walking distance from where the mover’s truck can park to your front door.
Movers usually charge hourly rates because it is difficult to determine the actual amount of time needed to satisfactorily complete each move. Some movers may offer you a binding estimate, but realize that the mover is allowed to increase the price if any items or circumstances change that were not included in the original price. Be sure you agree with any increased price before they start loading the truck. The mover will ask you to sign a document to authorize additional charges; BE SURE IT CONTAINS THE AGREED INCREASED PRICE, and retain a copy. Additional charges should be expected if problems arise that were not included in your estimate. Here are some common reasons: (a) You did not get all your packing completed. (b) some items will not fit in the rooms you planned or around a turn or up flights of stairs. (c) You have added or changed the items to be moved, changed dates or destination. (e) Delays such as waiting time for closing or delivery delays, rearranging your furniture or stacking into a storage space, basement, attic or garage. (f) Storage and redelivery costs if you can’t move into a new home.
Movers are only responsible for Loss or damages up to $.60 per pound per article unless you purchase additional coverage through the mover, your homeowner’s policy or other insurer at additional cost. Movers do not assume any responsibility for many things such as loss or damage to items packed in cartons by you; please read your advisories.
Important! Do not pack or move restricted items that may cause damage to your shipment. This could void all insurance. Be sure you understand what you are signing and make sure you receive a copy of everything you sign; keep documents with you until the move is finished. Finding a good Mover is more important then just getting a low price; You are about to give everything you own to people that you do not know; do research!