Going with a Cheaper Mover.
How it can cost you:
Kiley, the editor-in-chief of AOL Autos, isn’t a moving expert, but he has some moving experience to share. In 2004, he moved from Ann Arbor, Mich., to New Jersey with an established operator, Allied, and says it cost him a staggering $6,500. Understandably, when he ended up moving back to Michigan, he wanted something cheaper. He found a website where he was able to bid for movers’ business, and he did get a cheaper price at first. But it didn’t work out that way.
“When you go with an operator like Mayflower or Allied, you get an experienced person who comes to your house and evaluates your stuff for an estimate,” says Kiley, who is now a disciple of using an established, well-known moving company. “Going with a bidding system often means that the mover you choose will ask you to estimate. This is a problem because it’s hard to estimate how many boxes will come out of an eight-room or larger house.”
Kiley estimated incorrectly, and his mover showed up with a truck that was too small. Then when the mover went to the weigh station, Kiley was told what the actual bill would be, and it was far higher than the original quote.
“If you want to dispute it, you are confronted with the reality that they have all your stuff on their truck. Moreover, you probably have a real-estate closing hanging in the schedule,” says Kiley, who ended up paying his movers more than $13,000. He says one of the movers also stole an audio speaker that was screwed to the exterior of the house.
There are undoubtedly plenty of horror stories from customers who have used big movers, but Kiley’s story is nonetheless instructive. Going cheap, at least without doing your homework first, can often be the most expensive mistake you make.
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