What to Look for in a Proper Moving Estimate

Getting a moving estimate in Winnipeg (or any Canadian city) is something to be taken seriously. It shouldn’t be left to the last minute.  Thinking that “all movers are the same” is a big mistake.  Today it is far too easy for a person/company to claim to be a mover when in fact they do not have the expertise to call themselves one. In fact, in the case of what are called “rogue movers” these people do not even have moving trucks, crews and warehouses. Everyone knows how important to get an accurate moving estimate yet a moving estimate from a rogue mover is worth “nothing” since it won’t be adhered to by the company giving it.

Getting a personal recommendation from family, friends, co-workers or your realtor is an excellent way to ensure that you get a proper moving estimate. Failing that another good place to start your research is the Canadian Association of Movers (www.mover.net).  While you are there go to the “consumer Alert” section and there you will find proof of the kind of things that can happen to consumers when they fall prey to rogue movers.

On the other hand, professional companies like Premiere Van Lines who are active members of CAM are required to meet extremely strict standards and a code of ethics at all times. Less reputable companies can cause a myriad of problems for consumers on the move. The most common of these include:

  • Actual charges that exceed estimates by double or more and goods held until you pay
  • Scheduled deliveries that are missed by days, weeks even months
  • Goods off-loaded to non-warehouse locations that are dirty, disorganized or otherwise poor locations
  • Claims for damages not honoured
  • Goods missing from shipments

Contrast these kinds of situations with getting a proper moving estimate from a professional moving company. This starts with getting a personal, home visit from a certified, experienced moving consultant who will meet with the homeowner to discuss the upcoming move. The consultant will do a thorough review of what exactly must be moved so that an accurate estimate of the number of hours required for a local move or the scaled weight for a long-distance move are calculated. These factors are critical to determining the transportation cost of the move. In addition, the consultant will provide service options for packing, unpacking, other accessorial services and cargo coverage etc.

Companies like Premiere Van Lines take great pride in always providing comprehensive, accurate estimates to families considering them for their move. An estimate should clearly outline exactly what the mover will perform and the specific costs for each service. A proper moving estimate should:

  • Be in writing and broken down into specific areas
  • Note the number of hours and men required for a local move as well as any travel time charged and the cost per hour
  • Include the total weight of the shipment for a long distance move and the appropriate tariff charge for transportation calculated at a cost per hundred pounds as well as charges for city, accessorial, fuel or other transportation related charges
  • The number and types of cartons being packed by moving company and the specific cost per carton for packing/unpacking
  • If the consumer decides to purchase “full replacement cargo protection” the cost of the premium based on the total dollars declared should be included
  • A detailed breakdown of costs for any accessorial services I.e. housecleaning, auto transport by rail or car carrier etc.

In addition, a professional moving estimate should be accompanied by a written confirmation letter that details the dates for service including packing, loading and delivery schedule. Any guarantees regarding weight or charges should also be included in this letter. Be very cautious of companies who only send a brief email with a bottom dollar cost without any breakdown of charges. Remember, these types of companies are unlikely to stand behind their estimate.

Having comprehensive written documentation is critical should a consumer have any problems with their move. It also provides the moving family with peace of mind as it relates to final cost. If you get an estimate from a reputable moving company like Premiere Van Lines you know that your shipment will never be held ransom as can happen with rogue movers.

For more information contact your Winnipeg office at 204-925-7795 or your local Premiere Van Lines at 1-877-671-6683.