PRICING AND PAPERWORK
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 will
increase. Ask your professional estimator
if unplanned events are charged COD to you. Unplanned events can include
delivery obstructions such as the truck being unable to get close to the house
because of power lines or low hanging branches, elevator or excessive flights of
stairs. It is important that you understand this in advance, as you will be
asked to pay the difference, often at time of delivery.
What is a non-binding estimate?
A non-binding estimate charges you according to the actual weight of your
shipment and the actual cost of the services that are performed. You will
still go though the estimating process to determine what your shipment may cost.
To verify the weight of your shipment, the driver will weigh his trailer
prior to loading your shipment. Once your shipment is on board, the drive will
weigh his trailer again. All other charges will be calculated at your origin
address. If there are any additional charges that are incurred during the
delivery process, the driver will provide you with the additional cost. This
is a rare event, but it may occur.
How is the cost of my shipment calculated?
If you are moving to a new state,
the charges are based on the weight of your shipment and mileage. These are
referred to as the transportation charges. There
are a variety of different charges that could appear on your estimate, so be
sure to ask your estimator to explain each item charge for you. Some of the
additional charges that may appear include packing, crating,
valuation or coverage, bulky article charge for oversized items and extra labor.
Again, be certain you understand these charges so that you can accurately
compare the estimates you receive.
How should I pay and what are the payment methods?
provisions require that all charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at
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 the estimator
and/or the customer service representative assigned to your shipment. In
the event that your employer is paying for the move, the employer may pre-arrange
to be billed via invoice. Whatever works for you is great. Just
be sure to have this all worked out prior to packing and loading. If the
method of payment is not established prior to load day, it can
cause you problems on delivery day.
What is an order for service?
All movers are required to prepare
an Order for Service before they transport your shipment. The order for
service provides you with written confirmation of the services that you requested
to be performed in conjunction with your shipment. It lists the agreed upon
dates for the pickup and delivery of your shipment and the amount of valuation
that you requested, along with any special services that you ordered and a
place and telephone number where the mover can contact you during the move.
The order for service also shows the charges that 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 in case the actual charges exceed the
non-binding estimate, the maximum amount that you are required to pay at
the time of delivery to obtain possession of your shipment (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 that you will be required to pay at delivery, based in the binding
estimate and the terms of payment. You and your mover must sign the order
Bill of Lading
Every mover is required to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment it
transports. The bill of lading is the receipt for your goods and the contract
with your mover for their transportation. 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
bill of lading before you sign it. The bill of lading identifies the mover
and specifies when the transportation is to be performed. It also specifies
the terms and conditions for payment of the total charges and the maximum
amount required to be paid at the time of delivery if you are moving under a
non-binding estimate. Information regarding the valuation of your shipment and
the amount the mover will be liable for in the event of loss or damage is
The driver will usually inventory your shipment as he or she loads it
(but it's 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 cant
and wont 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. This
means Carrier Packed container. These are two important listings.
You will also notice that in the middle column on the inventory form a
line that has many letters and numbers associated with a specific item but
it may make no sense to you. This is where the driver uses inventory code
to make note of the condition of that particular piece. To understand this
code, look at the top of the inventory sheet for the legend that explains what
that code means. SC scratched, C - chipped, 3 right side
if piece and 8 for the top of the piece. This is a simplified way for the
driver to make note of any irregularity or existing damage.
Remember, this inventory is for you to keep track of what is loaded and
the condition of each item. 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 is the document that will be scrutinized when the claims process is
initiated so it is important to have the damage clearly noted.
This inventory should be also used at destination when your shipment is
delivered. Use the inventory to verify the articles that are delivered and
again note an exception to the condition of the items as they are brought
into your home. Point out the damage to the driver.
What often occurs is that a piece of furniture has been in your home for
many years and you grow accustomed to looking at it in a certain place and
in a certain light. When you bring that same piece into your new home, you
may notice damage that may have been there for a long time. The driver will
have noted the scratch or chip at your origin residence. If you are not sure
if it was existing damage or new damage, ask your driver to explain the
condition of the piece as he noted on the inventory during the loading process.
This is the quickest way to clear up what is new damage and what was there all
Most drivers are very careful about the way they handle your items and the
inventory is their safeguard against felonious damage claims. Use this inventory
as a positive tool to make sure that you are protected just as the driver will
use it to protect him or her.