The simple answer is to call Square Cow Movers. But if you want to be totally thorough, we’ve got some questions to ask. Here’s what you should pose:
• How should I pay you for moving my posessions? Can I send you a little at a time – like over a 20 year period?
To the last question, no. For the first part, you probably don’t want to trust anyone who will only accept cash. That’s sort of like saying to a friend, “Hey buddy, I’m going to Vegas this weekend. If you give me fifty bucks, I’ll bet it on black at the roulette table and give you the winnings.” Anyway, you want to know the amount that’s due when your stuff arrives. Will the final charge be deducted from the deposit? Payment by check is O.K., but using a credit card is better.
• How about insurance?
Generally the cost of insurance is based on the weight of your total package. We’re talking about how much your possessions tip the scale. There’s always the option of contacting a 3rd party and using their services.
• Who’s responsible if something gets broken during the move?
If you packed the stuff yourself and did a lousy job of it, it will be between you and the insurance carrier. If the mover does the boxing, make sure you get it in writing who takes the lead.
• Are you a broker or does the mover sign your paychecks?
Brokers are extremely helpful in scoping-out the bits and pieces you’re relocating. Just remember that a broker can’t give you an estimate written in stone. And they’re hands-off when it comes to damage or loss of your precious $37-million Badminton Cabinet that was commissioned by the 3rd Duke of Beaufort.
• Are my possessions going to need to be transferred to another truck during the move?
If you’re relocating to the middle of China, it’s a fairly sure bet that more than one truck will be employed. Even if you’re just moving from Austin or Houston to Alert, Nunavut in Canada, good chance there will be some reshifting. This is a weak point when it comes to damages. Be sure that your mover and insurance covers such an event.
• Is the quote you’re giving me binding?
If you’re getting a guesstimate over the phone, from a broker or online it’s probably not binding. Once the mover actually sees what you’ve got, you’ll have a better chance at getting a “not to exceed” quote.
• What about extra charges?
Take a look at some of the matters that could require you to peel-off a little more green:
- Fuel costs
- Appliance charges
- Flight fees
- Storage rental
- Long distance carrying costs
- Weird things with weird shapes – like a giant Albert Hall-style mighty and majestic pipe organ
By asking good questions and getting the answers in writing you’ll eliminate a barge-load of stress when the big day arrives. Add to the admonition “location, location, location” another three words; “research, research, hot dogs.” If you don’t like wieners, add another “research” as a substitute.