I continue to read horror stories from consumers about their bad experiences with moving companies. The refrain is always the same: the big, bad, moving company overcharged me, damaged my goods and will not pay up. Well, I have appraised moving damage claims for over 25 years, and I can tell you that the problem is not just the moving companies. Consumers invite problems, because they do not understand the moving process or the terminology. Consumers put more research into buying a new television than they put into being sure that everything they own is moved safely and affordably.
Typically, there are Seven Fatal Mistakes that consumers make when they relocate. A Fatal Mistake occurs when the consumer fails to take action to protect their own interest. These Seven Fatal Mistakes can be avoided. If consumer know where the hazards in the road are, they can be prepared for them when they come.
The purpose of this article is to point out the Seven Fatal Mistakes so that consumers can avoid them. At the conclusion, I will suggest a solution to the problems presented.
Fatal Mistake Number One is that consumers have no idea of the value of their belongings. Households are charged according to the weight of their shipment, the value of the shipment, the distance shipped, and what extra services are required. If you do not know what your household goods are worth and what they weigh, how will you know if you are being charged correctly?
Fatal Mistake Number Two is that consumers found their movers on the internet instead of asking for referrals. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that only about a third of all internet moving brokers meet federal registration requirements. That means that two out of three moving companies are operating outside the rules. Yet, most people start their search for a mover online. Yes, there are many reputable companies to be found online. But, find your mover the old fashioned way: ask for referrals.
Fatal Mistake Number Three is that consumers do not research the company they hire. The moving industry is filled with rogue movers who will hijack your goods and hold them for ransom. There are many fly by night operators who simply change their name when the claims and fines pile up. There are companies with terrible safety records and lapses in insurance.
Fatal Mistake Number Four is waiting until the last minute to book your move. You should book your move at least eight weeks in advance, six weeks at a minimum.
Fatal Mistake Number Five is that consumers did not get everything in writing. The rule for a moving contract is this: if it is not in writing, it did not happen. Know what you are signing and what paperwork is needed. Any changes to the original service order must be in writing.
Fatal Mistake Number Six has been an issue on every damage claim I have ever appraised. Do not mess up on this one: check the movers inventory exception sheet thoroughly before signing it. The inventory exception sheet is written in code, so make sure the codes are explained to you before you sign it.
Fatal Mistake Number Seven is signing the delivery receipt before the truck is unloaded. Signing the delivery receipt is an admission that all your goods were received in good condition. You do not know that until the truck has been unloaded and everything has been inspected.
At the beginning of this article, I promised you a solution to these issues. Here it is: get a copy of the free fifty page book How To Protect Yourself From Moving Scams And Frauds. You can download your free copy at http://www.scribd.com/doc/21994228/How-To-Protect-Yourself-From-Moving-Scams-And-Frauds
Good luck with your move.
Originally posted 2009-11-25 20:21:00.