It happens all the time in the moving industry. You do a Google search and type in something like: “Cheap moving Company.” And the search pulls up something like this ad below.
While this ad above sounds enticing – don’t get too excited. Because a moving company can never quote a fixed rate job without asking the client for all the particulars of the job. There are too many variables and unanswered questions before a moving company specialist can offer an accurate estimate.
Low Ball Estimates are fools gold
The moving industry is abound with company’s that provide potential clients with lowball estimates, The reason they do this is to get you in the door — and then once you sign on – BAM!!! The price suddenly skyrockets the minute they begin their work.
What movers will say when the price suddenly goes up?
Once you learn that the price you were quoted is 40 percent higher and ask them why, they will respond by saying something like this:
“An estimate is an estimate.”
But now that you have signed a contract you have no choice but to continue the work at the higher price. Fortunately, if you are prepared before searching for a moving company, you can avoid this common form of price gouging.
Here’s what to what to look out for to avoid getting overcharged on your move.
- Don’t trust moving companies that provide moving estimates over the phone
- Be sure to ask them for a written record of the estimate. If you do not have one then it’s simply your word against theirs in the end — and they are the ones writing the invoice. Get a written estimate and save it for future reference.
- Never skim when reading the price quote. Read the fine print to see what the estimate actually covers and what is missing that will cost you in the end. Sometimes unethical companies deliberately leave out key expenses in the price estimate like gas, labor fees, or other unforeseen items.
And these Red Flags Too:
- Companies that breeze through the price quote process and ask limited questions about the job.
- If the moving company neglects to ask extensive details about your move. Questions such as what are the items to be moved, the distance, or whether there are stairs/elevators in place of move, it is impossible for a mover to provide you with an accurate cost estimate. And keep in mind overlooked items on a job always increase the cost of the job.
- The moving company refuse to conduct an on-site visit or at the very least a virtual tour of the house.
All of these nightmarish outcomes can be avoided by simply following these best practice measures:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals
- If you don’t feel confident in reading over estimates – find someone that has experience in this area. A family member, neighbor, or work associate that is more seasoned in comprehending price quotes can be a life saver.
- Check out the companies verified reviews from past customers on moving review sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google. Moving Companies that change prices in mid-stream or lowball estimates are magnets for bad reviews.
- Make sure to get at least three price quotes. Compare all three and if one of them is much lower than the others it is probably too good to be true.
- Study what is included in each price quote and if one of them omits some items than take them off your prospect list.
- Request a “Binding” estimate. So if a moving company charges a fixed rate for a cubic foot it should be included in the estimate.
- Get a signed quote, in writing
In summary, you do not have to be a moving expert to be charged fairly on your move. Just follow the above mentioned tips and you will find that your final bill is pretty close to the initial price quote.