Moving Resources — Common Moving Questions Answered
When is the best time to move?
Take all factors into consideration when deciding on the best time for you to move. Keep in mind, however, that the summer months (mid-May to mid-September) and the first week/last week of each month (regardless of the season) are particularly busy for moving companies (like flying at Thanksgiving) and may require more flexibility and advanced scheduling.
How do I determine which moving companies to contact?
Ask your neighbors, friends, co-workers and family if they can make recommendations. Investigate each of the movers you select with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure they drug screen and background check all employees, and they provide proof of insurance along with their business license.
When should I contact moving companies for estimates?
Try to provide moving companies with as much notice as possible, especially if you are moving during the industry’s “peak season” (mid-May to mid-September) or during the first or last week of the month, regardless of the season. Cord Moving and Storage strongly recommends making arrangements four to six weeks before your desired moving date. This will increase your likelihood of securing the pickup and delivery dates you desire. Add even more time to make a decision if you are obligated by your employer to submit estimates for approval. Try to determine which mover you will use four weeks from your actual load date. Call your mover to confirm your booking and schedule your packing, loading and delivery dates. Timeframe can be shortened in the “off-peak season”.
What happens when a relocation consultant comes to my home?
The relocation consultant will arrive at your home to perform a visual survey of the items you plan to move. Once completed, the consultant will calculate the weight, packing cost and any other charges related to your move. The relocation consultant must be able to clearly see what is being moved in order to provide you with an accurate estimate. Don’t be alarmed if he or she goes through your cabinets, closets, looks under the beds or on top of the cabinets. Crawl spaces, attics and cluttered closets can be deceiving, so organize your home before the relocation consultant arrives. If you know of items that are out of view or will be eliminated, be certain to point them out to your relocation consultant.
Pricing & Paperwork Questions
What is a “Binding Estimate”?
A binding estimate is a contract that specifies, in advance, the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional services are requested or required at either origin or destination, the total cost may increase.
What is a “Non-Binding Estimate”?
A Non-Binding Estimate is what Cord believes the total cost will be for the move. The estimate will indicate that your final charges will be based upon actual weight of your shipment, the services provided and the tariff provisions in effect.
How are transportation charges calculated?
If you are moving less than 50 miles, transportation charges are based on an hourly rate. If you are moving 50 or more miles, the charges are based on the weight of your shipment and mileage. A variety of additional charges may appear on your estimate, so be sure to ask your relocation consultant to explain each charge to you. Additional charges might include packing, crating, valuation or coverage, extra labor or a bulky article charge for oversized items. Be certain you understand these charges so you can accurately compare your estimates.
How should I pay, and what are the payment methods?
Tariff provisions require that all charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at the destination. Payments can be made using cash, certified check or money order. Other payment options, such as a credit card, can be arranged with your professional moving service provider. Discuss these options with your relocation consultant and/or the customer service representative. In the event your employer is paying for the move, the employer may pre-arrange to be billed through an invoice. No matter what payment option you choose, to avoid problems on delivery day, be sure to have it established prior to packing and loading.
What is an Order for Service?
All movers are required to prepare an Order for Service before transporting your shipment. This document provides you with written confirmation of the moving services you requested, the agreed-upon pickup and delivery dates of your shipment, the amount of valuation you requested, and a telephone number where you can be reached during the move.
The Order for Service also shows the charges you will be assessed for your move. If you are moving under a non-binding estimate, the Order for Service will indicate the amount of the estimated non-binding charges, the method of payment for the charges, and the maximum amount you are required to pay at the time of delivery to obtain possession of your shipment. In the event the actual charges exceed the non-binding estimate, you will have 30 days following delivery to pay the balance of the charges due. If you are moving under a binding estimate, the Order for Service will show the charges you will be required to pay at delivery, based on the binding estimate and the terms of payment. Both you and your mover must sign the Order for Service.
What is a Bill of Lading?
Every mover is required to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment transported. The bill of lading is the receipt for your goods and the contract with your mover for their transportation services. It specifies the terms and conditions for payment of the total charges, the maximum amount required to be paid at the time of delivery if you are moving under a non-binding estimate, the valuation of your shipment, and the amount the mover will be liable for in the event of loss or damage. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of the bill of lading. It is your responsibility to read and understand the information on the document before you sign it.
What is an inventory?
The driver will usually inventory your shipment as it is loaded (but this is not required by law). When completed, the inventory provides a detailed, descriptive listing of your household goods and the condition of each item when received by the mover.
Be sure that everything listed on the inventory is correct. This is not always the easiest task, as you will find things written on the inventory like PBO, which means “packed by owner”. The contents of this carton can’t and won’t be listed because the driver is not able to see inside each and every box. You will also find CP on a line item in the inventory. CP means “carrier packed”. In the middle column of the inventory form, inventory codes are used to make note of any irregularities or existing damage to particular pieces. The code legend is listed on the top of the inventory sheet.
If damage occurs on a particular piece during the loading process, get the inventory tag number on that item and make a note in the far-right hand column on the line that corresponds with that piece. This document will be used if the claims process is initiated, so it is important to have any damage clearly noted.
Be certain to point out any damaged items to the driver. People often grow accustomed to looking at a piece of furniture in a certain place and in a certain light. Once this piece is placed in a new setting, damage that may have been there for a long time may be more noticeable. If you are unsure whether the damage is a result of the move, ask your driver to explain the condition of the piece as noted on the inventory during the loading process. This is the quickest way to clear up whether it is new or existing damage.
Can I pack anything in the drawers of my dresser or desk?
All loose items must be packed in boxes to prevent loss or damage. It is recommended that you pack all items and leave the drawers empty.
Will the driver load all the boxes that I packed?
Yes, as long as the driver deems them safe for transport.
How should I pack my waterbed?
Waterbeds need to be drained completely. Fiber-filled waterbeds need to be professionally vacuum-drained in advance of your move date.
Can I pack and move my plants?
Most moving companies will not take your plants due to the stress and heat of being inside a moving trailer. Be sure to understand your state’s regulations prior to moving the plants in your own vehicle. Many states do not allow the entry of plants. Other states will admit plants under certain conditions. Some states have no regulations at all.
What should I do with my jewelry and other valuable items?
Items of extraordinary value, such as jewelry, money, antiques and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided that you notify your local moving representative of these items before packing and moving day. It is strongly recommended that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you or make other arrangements for their transport. In the moving industry, items worth more than $100 per pound are considered to be articles of “extraordinary” value. To be assured that a claim involving these articles is not limited to minimal liability, complete and sign your mover’s version of a high- value inventory form. Also be sure to sign the “Extraordinary (Unusual) Value Article Declaration” box on the bill of lading. Ask your relocation consultant to provide you with an explanation of their process regarding valuables to make sure you clearly understand the rules prior to load day.
How do I prepare my appliances for moving?
Appliances, such as washers, dryers and refrigerators, must be disconnected, and the washer must have a stabilizer installed. Your estimator can help you understand how to service these items. Most local moving companies have business relationships with local service providers that handle this type of service. Be sure you know whom your mover uses. You will need to let these people into your home to provide the service.
How will Cord Moving and Storage protect my upholstered furniture?
Cord uses a special material called stretchwrap. It is a heavy, clear plastic wrap that protects your furniture from dirt.
Valuation of Coverage Questions
Am I protected against loss or damage while my goods are in transit?
Yes. But how much protection and the cost of protection depends on the valuation coverage you select. This can be one of the most confusing aspects of moving, but it is important that you fully understand what is being provided to you.
Valuation is the liability of the moving company. It is not insurance. A homeowner’s insurance policy often covers moving. Check with your insurance provider to find out whether you are covered. The valuation option you choose determines the basis upon which a claim will be adjusted and the maximum liability of the carrier. The liability of a carrier for loss or damage is based on the carrier’s tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations that have certain limitations and exclusions.
Released Value Ð This is the most economical option as it is no cost to you. This option, however, provides only minimal protection and is not sufficient coverage for most shipments. Releasedvalue pays $.60 per pound per article if lost or damaged. This means a piece of furniture weighing 75 pounds would receive a settlement of $45. You will be asked to initial the bill of lading if you select this coverage. The only time this is applicable is if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers your goods for their entire value, and this would be supplemental coverage.
Full Extra-care Protection — This is your most comprehensive coverage. You may hear it referred to as “full replacement value” or “full value protection”. If you elect to purchase full extra-care protection, articles that are lost, damaged or destroyed will be repaired or replaced with like items, or a cash settlement will be made for the current market replacement value (regardless of the age of the lost or damaged item). Depreciation of a lost or damaged item is not a factor in determining replacement value when the shipment is moved under full extra-care protection. The cost of this level of protection may be subject to various deductible levels of liability that may reduce your cost. Ask your mover for the details of their specific plan.
Moving Day Questions
How do I prepare for moving day?
We may ask you to choose from several consecutive days during which your goods will be loaded. The number of days from which to choose is referred to as a load spread and depends on the size of your shipment and the time of the year your shipment is being loaded. By being flexible during the busy season (mid-May through mid-September) and allowing for extra days on your load spread, you will have a better chance of securing a truck and driver to load your shipment.
Your customer service representative and/or driver will contact you at least 24 hours prior to load day to let you know time of arrival. Be sure to share any changes that may affect loading day, such as construction on the street in front of your home. This may prevent a large moving truck from getting near your home. In the event that you have not finished packing, contact your mover as soon as possible so professional packers can complete the packing.
In order to prepare your home for the crew, move anything off the porch and walkways that might obstruct movement of your goods out of your home. Take doors off hinges if you know certain items will not fit through them. Remove from traffic areas all throw rugs that could cause the driver or crew to trip or slip.
Have water, Gatorade or soda on hand for the driver and crew, especially on a hot summer day. They will come prepared, but will be grateful for your thoughtfulness.
Our drivers will prepare your home with runners, door jam protectors and railing protectors, if applicable. This will help prevent little nicks that occur during the loading process.
How will I know where my shipment is once it leaves my home?
Our satellite tracking capabilities will allow you to track the whereabouts of your shipment via the internet. Ask your relocation consultant for details.
How will I know when my shipment is going to be delivered?
Your customer service representative can provide you with updates regarding the status of your shipment, and the driver will contact you 24 hours prior to delivery.
Be sure to provide your driver and customer service representative with your contact information. The phone number at your new home is only good if there is someone there to take the call. Be sure to let your moving company know if you can be reached at work, a hotel, a temporary residence or by email. If you cannot be reached, make arrangements with a friend or family member to serve as the liaison between you and the driver and provide the driver with their contact information.