“Hey, I think we can save a few bucks by hiring Two-Dopes-and-a-Dolly Moving Company!” “Sure, buddy. Jus’ sign here and we’ll take care of everything! Right, Louie?” “Daughter, if you ever marry a mover, we’ll disown you!” Contrary to popular opinion, most professional movers are really nice folks with spouses and 2.4 children. They’re a lot like you and me—or maybe just me. Anyway, this section of my website offers smart moving tips on hiring a professional moving service, choosing alternate moving services, what you need to know about moving service contracts, and what to do if you get into a bad one. So, get ready to be moved!
- Finding a Pro Mover
Official Warning Signs of Dumb Movers: “Where’s this place you want to move, again?” “Yea, I think we can move ya for, uh, two thousand bucks…or thereabouts.” “Nah, we don’t need to sign no papers. And we only take cash. Up front.” “We’ll load the truck starting at midnight ’cause we have to get the truck back by dawn.” “Experience? Sure, we moved my Aunt Ethel’s stuff when Uncle Charlie went into the pen.” There are some real Dumb Movers out there—folks who have a truck they can borrow and 60 minutes’ experience moving furniture (or maybe they were on 60 Minutes!). But they’re pretty easy to spot. And there are some really great professional movers who have the knowledge, experience, equipment, and attitude to do a good job for you. They’re pretty easy to spot, too—if you know what to look for. And that’s what this section’s all about: finding and hiring a qualified mover who won’t move you to tears.
- Moving Service Options
“Do I have any options here—or should I just hand over my wallet to the movers and let them notify me when it’s empty?!” Even if you’ve decided to hire someone to move you, you have lots of options left. And each option can help you make a smarter move—and maybe save some money. It covers some of the à la carte moving options on your moving menu in more depth. You don’t have to sign up for the one-size-fits-all move. You have options, covered in this section.
- Moving Paperwork
Hiring a moving company will require a magnifying glass to read all the fine print. That fine print will read something like this: The party of the first part agrees to be moved without obvious recourse by the party of the second part. Should the party of the first part complain in any way when asked to sign and pay, the party of the second part has full legal right to hold all belongings owned by the party of the first part until said party pays through the nose or other orifice. If the party of the first part can actually read and understand this paragraph, written by the party of the second part’s attorney, said attorney is not doing his/her/its job. The moving process involves a bunch of laws and documents. These include estimates, bills of lading, orders of service, and other contracts. How can you get through this maze of paperwork without losing both your household goods and your mind? Actually, most of the papers you sign make sense. And most are pretty fair documents. You won’t have to run to your attorney’s office with every scrap of paper the mover hands you for signature. But you should know what each one is and what you’re getting yourself into. The function of this section is to help you understand the legal side of moving and all the paperwork it requires.
- Moving Disputes
“They broke my antique vase and won’t pay for it!” “The truck was a week late and we had to stay in a motel until it finally arrived!” “The bill was twice the estimate!” “They packed the cream cheese in with my stereo!” Most moves go smoothly, with no problems, because most moving companies have years of experience and want to have many years more. They handle things professionally—most of the time. Actually, most moving disputes are with Gypsy Jim and His Fly-By-Night Moving Service or other less-than-professional movers. These companies are more likely to lose or damage stuff. This section offers proven tips on avoiding as well as winning disputes with your mover. I hope this is one section you won’t need to use!