Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't Move before you Read ! Remarkable Movers

Don't Move before you Read ! Tips & More Moving Suggestions By 1-800-311-9850New York Movers 1-800-311-9850 or 718-627-9292 Read This First!Moving companies consistently make the list of top 10 industries consumers complain about to NYC's Better Business Bureau, and even industry experts admit that 3 in 10 moves result in a claim against the mover. Given these forbidding statistics, how can you avoid trouble when you move? The key is to do as much research as possible before you move, and to be persistent in your complaint if anything does go wrong. Choosing a Moving CompanyThere are hundreds of moving companies in New York City: just listing them in the Yellow Pages takes up almost 50 pages. Choosing one of them is largely a matter of price and reliability. How are prices determined? Some companies give estimates over the phone based on the number of rooms, your description of the items, the ease of the move (including the elevators or lack thereof), and the destination. Other companies will send a representative to look over your things before they will commit to a figure. In either case, you should clarify the circumstances which will make the actual cost higher than the estimated price. Call as many companies as you can to get a feel for the going rate. Our feeling is that with all the scamsters attracted to the moving business, going with the lowest bidder is not the best way to go. In fact, one of our best moves was also our most expensive. Based on the glowing recommendation of a friend, we went with Lucky Movers (800-311-9850), although they were a bit more expensive than the other outfits we got bids from. In the end, though, they were worth every penny. They arrived with a team of about a dozen off-duty police officers and firefighters who had our entire apartment packed and on its way in about two hours. They moved us to our new location and had everything in its place before lunchtime. In transit, they misplaced one of the bolts that held our large entertainment center together. They told us about the problem -- and then headed out the door to the hardware store to buy a replacement at their own cost. Incidentally, this was our only move (out of about half a dozen) during which nothing was broken.Check Them OutIf you are working with local movers, call the State Department of Transportation (DOT) at 718-482-4810 to verify that the company you are thinking of hiring has a New York license. According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, many of the companies consumers complain about are not licensed and have advertised false addresses, making it much more difficult to resolve problems. You should also check out the company's history of complaints with the DOT, the Consumer Affairs office (use the city's 311 service), and with the Better Business Bureau (at 212-533-6200). Finally, consider paying a pre-move visit to the moving company. George Bennett of the American Movers Conference, a trade association for moving companies, notes that if you find that the trucks and blankets they use are in horrible condition, it's not far-fetched to assume that your beloved possessions could end up in tatters also. If you are moving across state lines and using a national van line, the DOT may also be able to confirm that a van line has the appropriate license and insurance for interstate moves. Since most van lines use local agents who actually handle the on-site work, you may also want to call the American Moving and Storage Association at (703) 683-7410 to verify the agent's relationship with the van line. To Insure or Not to InsureMost homeowner's or renter's insurance policies do not cover the moving process, so any losses you incur are almost completely uncovered since movers accept very little liability for lost or damaged goods. Generally, their liability is only 60 cents per pound not very much if they break a priceless antique vase. What to do? Most movers offer an insurance policy for an additional charge. If you take it, we recommend that you go for a policy offering full replacement cost. PackingWho should deal with all the boxes, bubble wrap and tape? While it costs more to have the moving company pack, (supposedly) they have expertise in packing, and the items in your boxes are only covered for damage under the mover's insurance policy if the mover does the packing (more on this later). Generally, though, most people prefer to pack things themselves. Doing so allows you to create detailed inventories for each box. These can be helpful once you arrive at your new home and really, really need a glass, a plate (or some toilet paper!). Movers, on the other hand, pack things where they find them. So if you leave a sweater in the kitchen on moving day, you are likely to find it with the pots and pans and not with the rest of your clothes. Whether or not you pack yourself, the mover should make a list of all the items to be moved, noting existing scratches and other damage. Review this list carefully before you sign it. Make sure that every box and stick of furniture is accounted for and that the condition of each item is described accurately. Hidden ChargesBeware the cost of packing supplies! Most moving companies will happily provide you with supplies such as tape and boxes, usually with a significant mark-up over their cost. Even if you pack yourself, the movers will use tape to wrap blankets around furniture -- and trust us - - they will use plenty of it! Make sure you agree in advance on what supplies will cost you, since even these small charges can add up to a hefty fee. Filing a ComplaintYou've finally reached your new home, only to discover that something is missing or the contents of a box are severely damaged. If the company's representatives are still on-site, discuss the situation with them, and, if necessary, phone their supervisors. If it cannot be resolved right away, make a notation of the problem on the invoice when you sign it. Remember that the contents of boxes may not be insured if you packed them. But if you can prove that there is damage to the box itself, indicating that it was mishandled, you may be reimbursed for your loss. Make sure you hold on to the damaged box, since the insurer may want to witness the actual damage. If the mover will not resolve your complaint, you will need to take further action. Call the DOT at (718) 482-4810. You may also want to inform the Better Business Bureau, the Department of Consumer Affairs and other agencies of the company's actions. In each complaint, be sure to include documentation, such as the detailed moving list, which supports your case. Consider paying your mover with a credit card (most companies accept them) rather than in cash or by check, since it will make withholding payment easier. As with other consumer problems, you should alert your credit card company of the dispute if you plan to withhold payment. Moving YourselfGiven all the hassles and expense involved in hiring professional movers, some people prefer to take matters into their own hands. If you are considering this option, check out the related article called Moving: A Guide to Doing It Yourself. Send for More InformationWant to learn more? You can receive a free copy of the brochure entitled Consumer Guide to Moving and Storage by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Consumer Affairs Moving & Storage GuideDepartment of Consumer Affairs42 BroadwayNew York, NY 10004New York Movers Movers 1-800-311-9850 or 718-627-9292 York Movers Movers 1-800-311-9850 or 718-627-9292 York Movers Movers 1-800-311-9850 or 718-627-9292 York Movers Movers 1-800-311-9850 or 718-627-9292
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