Everyone has heard the horror stories of moving companies where they tell you one price load your furniture and before they unload they tell you a completely different price and demand it in cash. The main reason behind it is the contract. If you take a good look at it you will see that movers have the right to charge you under certain conditions without informing you. It is the consumer’s responsibility to be aware of the hidden charges a moving company may have and the only way to do this is by asking.
The following is a list that should help you:
Elevator Fee or Steps Fee – Certain moving companies will charge you to go up and down stairs or elevators. However, if you manage to secure the elevator for the duration of the move you may be able to avoid that fee. If the stairs were not talked about prior to the move you should almost expect an extra for them.
Bulky or Heavy Items – Certain large items will incur an extra charge for their relocation, for example, pool tables, pianos, hot tubs etc. The reason being is they may require extra guys, extra equipment, and have an extra amount of risk associated with them. You should walk around your home and look to see if there are any items that will require more than 2 people to move and disclose them before hand to the moving company.
Extra stops – If you require an extra stop during pickup or an extra stop during drop off you can most certainly expect an extra charge.
Long Carry Fee – There are instances where the truck cannot park next to the loading or unloading spot. For instance, if the road is too narrow for the truck to turn on the street or if you have cars blocking the front of your house which will require the men to walk the items from a further distance. Before the move day, be sure to reserve spots in front of the house and let them know of any narrow streets where a smaller truck would be easier to navigate.
Canceling the move – There is usually a deadline to cancel your move before it incurs a cancellation fee. Not all companies have this fee therefore I would consult with your moving company to see understand their procedure in case a closing falls through.
As you can see, understanding your written estimate well and being informed about what your quote includes is crucial to knowing your moving budget well. The hidden costs of moving companies can be avoided and / or controlled when you know about them. Some of them cannot be avoided when the circumstances are like so but when you do know in advance about them, you can plan more precisely your moving budget. I always say no one can know your furniture or home better than you therefore tell the moving company as much as you can beforehand.