Monday
Jul142014

Moving Quotes Are Not All The Same

Why Should you Get a Personalized ON SITE Moving Quote

As someone who has moved a few dozen times, between 13 different states and 4 countries, I am unfortunate to have gotten very familiar with the tactics and lack of honesty and scruples of how many moving companies operate.  Moving is a big enough hassle, don't let the moving company you decide to work with make it a complete disaster.

My last move was from North Carolina back to Florida. I threw my house on the real estate market thinking I would have a cushion of 6-12 months before I actually had to move. As we often find out, things don't always go as planned and I had a great offer after 2 weeks on the market with a pending close date of December 22nd. Convenient? Not at all. Did I want to strangle my real estate agent for talking me into listing before I was ready. You bet.

The first thing I did was contact a few moving companies. Granted, most of my moves were corporate relocations so I didn't have to actually speak to any moving companies other than to schedule pcking, pick up and delivery.

I immediately went to Google to begin my search for a company to move all of our belongings. My first mistake was to submit a form for quotes on an internet moving directory. That resulted in my phone ringing literally non stop starting 5 minutes after I hit submit and continued for almost a week. 

It wasn't that hard weeding out the non contenders. They either couldn't accomodate my move date or were unbelievably rude. Some left messages and when I returned their call they answered the phone as an individual rather than a REAL company and were more often than not, very rude.  Half of those barked at me as if they were doing me a favor just by speaking to me.

After finally speaking with 4 seemingly nice companies, all of them giving me a quote as I walked around my house describing and measuring my furniture and belongings. 3 Bedroom, 2 bathroom, double car garage. Pretty standard stuff.  Not one company offered to come to my house and give me a personal quote. At the time, I thought this must be a normal procedure in the moving industry.

My quotes ranged from $3200 to $4500 so I settled with the company that quoted me $3800 because the person I spoke to seemed pretty knowledgeable and asked me questions the other company hadn't. His name was Josh and I still cringe every time I think of him and our phone conversation. 

The day the movers were supposed to arrive at 8am, they didn't. They didn't call. I heard from them at 2pm that day, telling me they were on their way. 7pm, they still aren't there, they aren't answering my phone calls. They did show up eventually, at 9:30 that evening. I was less than happy and I let them know it. They said they just wanted to have a look around to see what the situation was and they would be back in the morning at 8am. They were there for 15 minutes, the crew leader was rude and nasty, not only to me but to my kids who were now awake becuase of their loud truck and voices.

Fast forward to the next morning when they did show up as promised. The moving crew leader, still as rude as ever.  He requested to sit and speak with me at the kitchen table. That is when he dropped the bomb. My move will now cost $5200 instead of $3800. I was flabbergasted. Apparently I had too much stuff for them to do it at the $3800 as they quoted me over the phone.  I even told them the night before that the bedroom set in the guest room would not be going as my neighbors really wanted it and I wouldn't need it in Florida.  My entire office set up would not be going either as I decided to donate it. My kids and I got rid of 1/3 of our belongings in preparation for this move. So with everything that was now NOT going to be moved but were part of the original quote, you can bet I was extremely mad and angry.

The moving company knew that my closing was the very next morning at 10am. Precisely why I scheduled the movers for 2 days ahead instead of the day before. The moving company knew I had no choice but to pay them the additional cost. I had to be out of the house.

Learn from my lesson. Do not settle for a phone quote. If the moving company is not willing to visit you at your house to take inventory of your belongings and present you with a FLAT RATE moving quote  please do yourself a favor and find a moving company that will.  

What I know now is the phone quotes are pretty much industry standard with dishonest moving companies who prey on people's circumstances.

How can you avoid the Phone Moving Quote Scam?

 

  • Find a reputable company that will visit you and give you a personalized Flat Rate Quote - do not settle for a phone quote.
  • Do not offer up any details about the closing date of your home etc. It is none of their business and just opens the door for them to try and take advantage of you.
  • Choose a moving company that will be there when they say they will, barring any natural disaster. 
  • Read the details of your quote. Watch out for any lingo that speaks about added charges. Freight, gas, weigh station fees etc. A FLAT RATE quote is just that. It actually means "This is what you pay, no hidden fees".
  • Watch out for directories that submit your quote for Moving Services to dozens of moving companies. Too often, those turn out to be a few guys with a pick up truck, no insurance, no license etc.

 

If you take the due diligence to find a professional moving company with a great reputation and personalized service, you can take a big chunk of stress out of your move.

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Reader Comments (1)

It sounds like you had quite the moving adventure; did you end up having to use the company that raised their price quote? I'm glad you included the advice at the end of your article. I'm currently looking for movers, but I want to make sure that I find a quality company. I've been asking around for recommendations, and I've been looking up reviews on my available choices. Once I've narrowed down my options, I plan to get written price quotes from each of them. Hopefully I can find some movers soon!

March 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney Galler

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