If you are looking for a moving company for your relocation from Washington, D.C to the Atlanta area, get ready for a big change in your life. The Peachtree State is going to be fun. Atlanta offers southern hospitality, excellent sports teams, academic opportunities, proximity to both the mountains and lakes, and so much more. It’s less than 700 miles from D.C., but it’s a different world.
Finding the best moving company for your interstate move takes some work, but that effort will pay off with a stress-free relocation. Most moving companies are hard-working, reputable companies, but there are some shady operators you need to avoid in any industry. The first step to ensuring that you pick a good firm is to choose a licensed provider. Moving companies that operate long-distance need to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, which is part of the Department of Transportation. It regulates all interstate commerce, with the primary goal of decreasing injuries and fatalities, but with a secondary mission of protecting consumers from fraud.
So many people were taken in by moving company scams that FMCSA published some resources to help people know what to look for. The first thing to do is to check the FMCSA website to validate that the company you are considering is properly licensed and has a DOT motor carrier number. While you are there, look at the company’s safety history and record of consumer complaints. Then, access the publication titled Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. This document explains the moving company jargon and what the movers are obligated to do.
Federal regulations require the moving company to send a representative to your residence to do a survey of the items you want to move, so be suspicious of a moving company that offers to provide you with an over-the-phone or online quote for their services. It’s difficult for them to get a realistic understanding of what you are moving without looking at, even if you describe it. One style of furniture might weigh much more or less than another kind, and that’s hard to know without looking at it. Also, people collect “stuff” differently. While one person might have a garage and a spare room overflowing with boxes, another person might be meticulous about decluttering and have much less to move. That visual survey of the shipment is essential for an accurate estimate of the weight, which is the basis of the cost.
Experts recommend that you get at least three estimates so that you can compare them. This process also gives you a chance to interact with the companies and decide if you feel comfortable trusting them with your belongings. Remember, the company you choose is going to load up your personal items into a truck and take off down the highway, out of your sight and control. You must be able to trust that they will show up to your new home in Atlanta with your possessions intact and on time.
Estimates for interstate moves will be nonbinding, binding, or binding not to exceed. A nonbinding estimate is not a guaranteed price. Suppose the mover forecasts the weight of your goods at 5,000 pounds and quotes your move at $4,000. When loaded and weighed, if the shipment is actually 6,000 pounds, the mover may charge you $4,800, or some other price. If the weight is 4,000 pounds, the price should be lower than $4,000. Ask the mover what the cost would be if the weight is higher or lower than predicted.
If you have a binding estimate, that is a firm price, no matter if the shipment’s weight is higher or lower than the mover estimated. The only things that can increase the cost of a move with this type of estimate are asking for additional services or unforeseen circumstances at the destination that result in higher labor charges. For example, if you decide to request that the movers do the packing for you, they will add the bill for that service. The unforeseen charges at the destination are called impracticable operations. These situations are not common, but examples include stairs that were not previously disclosed or parking issues that result in a shuttle being needed to complete the truck’s unloading.
Finally, a binding not to exceed estimate means that the price can decrease if the shipment’s weight is lower than anticipated but can’t go up if the weight is higher. The estimate that the mover provides will specify what type it is, and what charges will be applied for other services. The list of costs and fees is called a mover’s tariff and is an essential attachment to the rate quote.
Suppose you have reached an agreement with a moving company to transport your goods to Atlanta based on a quote the company provided to you. On the day that the move is to begin, the company representative acts suspiciously. In that case, you may want to reconsider using that mover. It is a bad sign if the mover tries to raise the price on the day of the move. This action is an indication that you are dealing with a “rogue operator,” which is an unscrupulous company. What they are trying to do is illegal, and you should not fall for it. Tell the workers to stop until you reach an agreement with the company and are moving forward according to the signed contract.
Most moving companies are honest and want to offer good service for a fair price. By following these tips, you can find the right one for your move and have a successful relocation.