Moving To Los Angeles
Binding Estimate. A binding estimate means that you are obligated to pay the price set forth in the binding estimate even if the shipment weighs more than or less than the estimated amount. All binding estimates cover only the goods and services listed on the estimate. If you add items or request additional services, the mover may revise the original estimate before your shipment is loaded or, if you request additional services not included in your estimate after your shipment is in transit, your mover will bill you for these added services 30 days after your shipment is delivered. In addition, all movers reserve the right to charge for services necessary to accomplish delivery, even if those services are not requested by the shipper. For example, additional charges will apply if you are not prepared to accept delivery and the shipment is placed in storage or if a smaller (shuttle) truck must be used to accomplish delivery because your new home is located on a narrow street. Again, your mover will bill you for these services 30 days after your shipment is delivered, if they were not included in your estimate.

Not-to-Exceed Estimate. Another type of estimate used by many movers is the not-to-exceed estimate. This type of estimate is called various things by various movers, such as Guaranteed Price or Price Protection, but the end result is the same—an estimate based on a binding estimate or on actual cost, whichever is lower. Like a binding estimate, a not-to-exceed estimate must be provided to you in writing and is binding on the carrier. Not-to-exceed estimates differ in that the binding estimate amount becomes the maximum amount that you will be obligated to pay for the services listed on the estimate. This maximum amount alternates with the tariff charges applicable based on the actual weight of the shipment, with the customer paying the lesser of the two amounts. When you accept a not-to-exceed estimate, the move is performed at actual weight based on the tariff rate levels, with the binding estimate representing the maximum charge that you will have to pay.

AMSA advises getting more than one estimate and watch out for lowball movers. If a mover you are considering tells you that he can move you for an unrealistically low price, be careful. It could mean he suddenly will remember some extra charges once your shipment has been loaded on the truck, the doors have been padlocked, and he is ready to drive away with all of your worldly possessions. Or, if a mover you are considering refuses to provide you with an in-home estimate and tells you he can provide an accurate estimate over the phone without ever seeing your home and your furniture, choose another mover. Remember, it’s not just the price; it’s the total value of a professional move.

PLANNING FOR MOVING DAY
According to AMSA, the summer months are the busiest time of the year for movers. In addition, the beginning and end of each month traditionally are busier than mid-month, regardless of the season. If you are planning to move during one of those times, plan well in advance so your mover’s schedule will fit yours. Get started by contacting the movers on your list. Inform them of your destination and the timing of your move. Ask movers to provide you with a written estimate and have them explain the services listed in the estimate in detail. Carefully compare each estimate to see which company best suits your needs and budget.

PREPARING YOUR FAMILY FOR A MOVE
While your moving company probably has supplied you with a preparation kit of good ideas for packing and moving, perhaps the most important aspect of moving is preparing your family for what’s ahead. Moving can be stressful, so it’s important to involve family members in the process and be there to calm their concerns. Moving experts suggest these winning strategies to help family members.
  • Provide enough adjustment time: Everyone likes adequate warning about major upcoming events. Give your family time to adjust to the idea of moving and understand what to expect before, during and after your move. The more structure you can provide to them, the easier the move will be.
  • Maintain a positive attitude: Setting a positive example and showing enthusiasm about the move will rub off on your family. Remind the family about what they can look forward to and the benefits that lie ahead.
  • Children need special TLC: Anticipate that your children will be nervous and upset about an upcoming move. Spend time with them to learn what causes the most concern and be prepared to respond with answers that provide comfort. It’s not unusual for children to be upset about leaving their friends and the community. Let them know they can still be in touch with friends by phone, e-mail and social-network sites. If applicable, share your own personal moving stories and what you experienced.
  • Involve your children: One way to help ease your children’s concerns about what’s ahead is to include them in the move. Providing them with a sense of control can ease the transition. They can help sort their belongings before the move to determine what can be tossed and what stays. If you’re planning a garage sale, let them participate. When it’s time to prepare for the movers, let your children help with the packing.

PACKING
Proper packing by a trained packer using specially designed cartons and materials is crucial to a good move. Schedule packing with the mover a day or two before the moving van is loaded. If you are packing yourself, it is never too soon to start. While packing yourself can save money, movers usually will not accept liability for damage to items packed by owners.

   
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