Not understanding why an in-person moving quote is vital to a successful move is one of the leading reasons that people have bad moving experiences. Once a move is definite, the tendency is to jump in with both feet and start knocking things off of the to do list as quickly as possible. The problem with this strategy is that fast does not always equal accurate.
While a home or business owner may think it will take less time to get a moving quote over the phone or online, it does not account for the margin of error that can occur. Unfortunately, these methods often lead to inaccurate estimates in terms of how many boxes or pieces of furniture will need to be packed and transported, and that can lead to some very unexpected sticker shock when it comes time to pay the bill.
Why an In-person Moving Quote Is Vital
The reason why an in-person moving quote is vital is because it better protects the customer in a number of ways, including:
- Increased accuracy. Part of the reason it can be so difficult to get an accurate moving quote over the phone or online is because the company representative on the other end cannot physically see the space being packed up to know if the box and furniture estimate seems on point. Many companies simply rely on the customer telling them how many boxes they think they will have for moving day. The problem is that any boxes or items outside of that quote will be in addition to the original quote and could possibly be calculated at a much higher price.
- Decreased chances of being scammed. At first glance it can be hard to tell the difference between a fly by night operation and an established, professional moving company. Although it is not a guarantee, the odds may lean slightly in favor of the customer if the company has to come out in person and do some actual legwork before they ever get paid.
- Better feel for the space. Some moving companies may add on charges if they will be moving items up and down staircases or through tight spaces and around sharp corners. When the representative is in-person at the home, they can evaluate if there will be any price add-ons for environmental challenges such as stairs or parking.
- Higher degree of confidence in a company’s capability. When a company representative arrives at your home or business to give an in-person quote, it allows you to see how prepared they are and the expertise with which they move from room to room making calculations. A reputable company will likely send someone out with forms and inventory sheets to put together a more accurate quote. Note the way the person treats the home. Are they careful not to bring in any dirt or debris from outside when entering the home? Are they professional and respectful at all times? These are important considerations.
- Insider packing tips. Movers know moving and everything that goes into it. As they go room by room of your home or business to estimate the number of boxes potentially needed, they may offer some helpful tips. For example, if you have a case full of collectible figurines, they might warn you to wrap them well in bubble wrap and not to overload the box. If you have a one-of-a-kind painting that is precious, they may offer you suggestions on customized crating options to ensure its protection and safety during the move.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Get an In-Person Moving Quote
Moving quote horror stories for those given online or over the phone are a dime a dozen. A quick Google search might surprise you with how many horror stories are out there. It is simply not worth it to get a moving quote any other way than in-person.
Consider the following scenario. Derek chats online with a moving company that has a great website and looks reputable. To determine a moving quote for him, they ask him how many square feet his house is, how many rooms it has, and if it is more than one story. From there they may ask him how many pieces of furniture and how many boxes he estimates he will have to move. Then the company emails him a contract to sign and return that should specify the numbers he gave them.
Fast forward to moving day. The movers arrive at Derek’s house. Now that Derek is done packing, he realizes that he underestimated the number of boxes he would have by at least twenty-five. But, at the price the moving company already offered per box, he knows it will still be affordable.
When the movers start loading up the moving truck and do inventory, they make a note that there are twenty-five extra boxes and several extra pieces of furniture that were not included in the original quote. They then calculate a different moving day price for the extra items and add it to the bill.
Unfortunately, because of the extra items that were not accounted for in the original quote, Derek’s belongings do not all fit in the moving truck and will require an extra vehicle for transport – if they can find one that is available.
At this point, Derek is now going to have to pay for an additional moving vehicle because of the original inaccurate estimate and will also have to pay a different and more exorbitant price for the additional boxes he had not planned on having.
All the savings Derek thought he would be getting with his coupon and online quote are completely gone and then some after adding in the more costly moving day prices and the cost of another moving truck. Even worse, if another moving truck is not available, the move may have to be postponed.
Perhaps the most disheartening thing about this situation is that these miscalculations could have been avoided by enlisting the help of a reputable moving company that provided moving quotes in person. This illustration is a perfect example of why an in-person moving quote is vital.
What Should Be Included In your In-person Moving Quote
When you do get an in-person moving quote, look for some of the following line items to be included:
- Estimated number of boxes to be loaded on the moving truck. While the number the professional estimates may not be exact, it should be more accurate than an over the phone or online quote.
- Estimated number of unboxed furniture items to be loaded on the truck. An expert will check some of the larger items to see if they break down for moving purposes or if they will require the same area they currently occupy.
- Combined estimated weight of the boxes and furniture being loaded. This is done as interstate moves may require a moving van to abide by certain guidelines for truck weight.
- The distance (mileage) for the move including the original and destination address and the preferred route. Knowing how many miles the route is expected to be will factor in to estimating the number of stops needed to refuel.
- Flight charges. This term refers to stairs and/or elevators. If a mover has to go up one or more flights of stairs, they may add this charge to your bill. The term may appear on your bill even if you have no stairs, and in this case, just make sure the amount listed next to it is zero.
- Additional services. If you opt to have the company provide services such as packing, unpacking, storage, or customized crates, they should be detailed and listed clearly on the quote.
- Coverage. Most companies provide a small amount of insurance coverage. While it is better than nothing even for a company that has a low damage rate percentage, most people choose to supplement this coverage.
The golden rule of moving quotes is to ensure that everything that has been promised verbally actually appears on the quote itself. Without this, the company cannot be held accountable for not keeping a promise that they never made on paper to begin with.
Understand why an in-person moving quote is vital before you start searching for estimates. Taking the time to do the groundwork for an in depth and accurate quote can save you from headaches and substantial unexpected expenses in the long run. Make the most of your next move by getting an in-person moving quote for a reputable Houston moving company.