New York To Washington DC Moving Companies
If you are looking for a moving company to support your relocation from New York to Washington, D.C., you are preparing for a significant and exciting life change. While both cities are internationally famous, they are different in size, temperament, and architecture, among other things. Some people say that Washington runs the government, but NYC runs the world. As you plan your move, make sure at the top of your checklist is finding the best mover for the job!
How do I find the best company for my move from N.Y. to D.C.?
The distance from New York City to Washington is just over 200 miles, but this is an interstate relocation. As such, the moving companies you will be considering are subject to the regulations developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees interstate commerce. The most crucial of those rules is that the moving company maintains an active license with FMCSA. You can check on the license status of any mover you are considering by going to the website and searching the database. You will also find information about licensed movers’ safety records and customer complaints and claims histories.
Suppose you receive some recommendations from friends or colleagues of moving companies they have used in the past. That is a great starting point. Go to the FMCSA site and verify that the mover is licensed for interstate work and check on their safety and customer service record. While you are on the site, find the publication titled Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. FMCSA created the resource, which offers a variety of helpful information about moving. In fact, your moving company will provide you with a copy before you sign a contract, but reading it in advance will help you in making the right choice of vendor.
If the local mover checks out there, next go to BBB.org and look the company up there. That’s the Better Business Bureau site, an unbiased repository of information about companies in all kinds of businesses. The BBB recently released a report about shady operators in the moving industry, and it collects positive and negative reviews from consumers about their experiences. Next, ask your top three favorites for estimates.
Why do I need multiple estimates for my move to D.C.?
Moving experts and consumer advocates recommend obtaining at least three estimates before you decide on a moving company. Movers are required to send a representative to your home to conduct an in-person survey of the household goods before they complete the estimate. This process results in a better, more accurate estimate of the price of the move. It also gives the consumer a chance to meet someone from the company and form an opinion about their trustworthiness.
If the company you are considering is reluctant to do the in-person survey, they might not be an honest mover, and you should keep looking. Some companies will suggest that they can do just as good a job of estimating based on your verbal or online description, but don’t fall for it. If they don’t want to take the extra step of making the in-person visit, choose a different company. A virtual walk-through is an acceptable substitute if you are hesitant to open your home to strangers. However, most companies have adapted to the necessary precautions for in-person visits.
When the mover’s agent walks through your residence, they will be taking notes to create an inventory, which is a list of everything you want to move. The mover will use this inventory to estimate a weight for the shipment, which is the largest determinant of price in an interstate move. Your cost will depend on how much furniture you have, how heavy it is, how much non-furniture belongings you have, and what services you need or request.
Non-transportation services include packing, which is the most significant, and other things like storage, crating, bulky items, and extra labor charges for various conditions. All of these services and fees should be explained by the mover and included in the mover’s tariff, which will be attached to the written estimate given to you with the price quote.
What if the estimates are quite different?
One reason for obtaining several estimates is so that you can compare them. Also, there are different types of estimates. You can’t easily compare a binding estimate with a nonbinding estimate, so double check to be sure you know what you are reviewing and ask questions of the movers. A binding estimate is a guaranteed price, but a nonbinding estimate is not. If you accept a nonbinding estimate based on a weight assessment that turns out to be low, the move’s final cost may be higher than if you had taken a different, binding estimate that offered a higher price. If the movers have significant disparities in their weight calculations, the one with a low forecast could be overlooking something or could be shady. That doesn’t mean you should never accept the lowest bid, but it does bear further examination. If there is a discrepancy between the weight forecasts provided by the different movers, ask for more details, and verify that none are overlooking something important that should be included.
What happens if the weight estimate is wrong?
The final price depends on the type of estimate, the inventory’s accuracy, any added services, and the final weight. The movers will weigh the shipment after they load the truck. You can ask for a reweigh if you think it is wrong, and you can also ask to be present to observe the weighing process. Alternatively, you can ask for the weight tickets as evidence.
If you have a binding estimate and the weight is higher than the forecast, then you pay the estimated amount if:
- you didn’t add anything to the shipment that isn’t on the inventory
- you didn’t request or need any additional services (services required could include “impracticable operations,” which are conditions at the destination that make delivery impossible without extra labor and may not be foreseeable)
If you have a nonbinding estimate and the weight is higher than the forecast, the mover can only require that you pay 110% of the rate quoted in order to receive the delivery. So, if the estimate was $5,000, the maximum you can be required to pay on delivery day is $5,500 (plus charges for impracticable operations.) If there are still additional monies due, the mover can bill you later but must deliver the shipment as agreed.
How do I make a final choice of moving company?
Once you have taken the time to get several estimates and compare the quotes, you have probably narrowed the selection down to one or two candidates. Check their availability, and then ask both companies for names and phone numbers of some recent customers. A good mover will be able to put you in contact with several clients they have recently assisted, and you can talk to them about their experience. Use the information you gather from those conversations to make the final decision.