Being a principal city of Miami metropolitan area, Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It is located 28 miles (45 km) north of Miami. It is the Broward County’s county seat.
Here are a few things that you need to look for while choosing a good and affordable company:
Make a note of the recommendations
You need to ask your close friends, co-workers and local real estate agents for recommendations. You can look in the phone book for moving companies that have offices near your home. Ensure that you get an in-person estimate of how much your move will cost. Never trust any estimate that comes from someone who hasn’t looked in every one of your closets. Remember that big-name companies are always not the best-fit for you. Do not get estimates through websites that offer to “find you a mover.” Opt a mover on your own. Keep a safe distance from numerous scams that are associated with some of these sites. Do not use household-goods brokerage services that find a moving company for you. These are not controlled by the laws that movers must abide by in general.
Do a screening in the initial stage
First of all, make a proper list of recommended movers. Once done, you can go online to do a background check on every company. Either call or go to the website of the Better Business Bureau.
Ensure that you check the consumer-advocacy sites movingscam.com. Each of these sites has a blacklist of companies with a history of consumer complaints. Such sites also contain tips and general information about the moving industry. It is a smart step to search using the company name at Rip-off Report.
Get at least 3 companies shortlisted
Never for the very first company that you set your eyes on! Consider all of your available options. You can shortlist a few first and then compare the different deals and analyze for yourself. If you are going for an interstate move, ask if the company will give you a written binding estimate or, even better, a binding not-to-exceed estimate. Both types of estimates usually put a guaranteed cap on what you will pay for your move. Nonbinding estimates are generally legal.
Though interstate movers are pretty much allowed to charge you for binding estimates, most will offer them free of charge. For interstate moves, estimates are usually based on the weight of the items you are moving and the distance of the move. For intrastate moves, rules about estimates vary. Certain states need that movers give a written and signed binding estimate. Other states forbid them. For these movers, estimates are based on the amount of time the move will take in general.
Be clear in front of the estimator
The estimator of the specific professional moving services is soon going to pay a visit to your house. You need to make sure to be transparent to the estimator. He needs to have a clear idea about all the items that you wish to move. No matter if it is the closet, the backyard, the basement, the attic, makes sure to show him everything. Remember that if on your moving day the foreman believes you have more stuff than was calculated in your estimate, he might end up challenging the original estimate.
This typically occurs before everything is on the truck. Obviously, he cannot literally force you to pay a higher amount. But the bad news is that he might refuse to get your stuff moved for the original amount. You certainly feel vulnerable at that point with no other immediate option in hand. You need to make sure the estimator knows about any conditions at your new home that might complicate the move. Make sure that he checks the stairs, elevators, or a significant distance from the curb to the closest door.
Try to get as much information about the company possible once the estimator is at your home. You need to make sure that the company does not contract the job out to another mover. Find out how long the company has been in business. Make sure to have collected all of the following:
- The company’s full name and any other names under which it does business.
- The company’s address, phone numbers, and e-mail and website addresses.
- Names and contact information for the company’s references.
- USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) and MC (motor carrier) license numbers.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”
Federal law usually requires any interstate mover to provide you with this guide, which is the official rule book of the interstate moving industry. When it comes to in-state moves, movers are usually regulated by the state’s department of transportation or its public utilities or commerce commission. Certain states publish their own moving-guide pamphlets as well.
Look into the estimate
The estimate is usually signed by you and the moving company representative. It is essentially a combined document that serves as your order for service and bill of lading, too. Along with the inventory list created when your goods are loaded, this estimate is the basic documents any mover should provide you with. Keep in mind that the three words “written binding estimate” should appear at the top. The mover’s signature should be at the bottom.
In case of an interstate move, the estimate should clearly describe the type and quantity of goods you’re shipping, the distance to your new home, when your things will be picked up and delivered, and any additional services and supplies the moving company is providing. When it comes to an in-state move, for which you can’t get a binding estimate, you should still get a written estimate that sets out the hourly rates and any additional costs you may incur. If you are clearly doubtful about anything in the estimate, do not hesitate to call and ask the moving representative immediately. Also, make sure that the company sends you a revised written estimate if required.