Business relocation packages come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Invariably, when an employee is offered a relocation package, the employer agrees to pay for all or a portion of the moving costs. Sometimes, the employer makes all arrangements. Other times, it’s up to the relocating employee to make arrangements on their own – including obtaining a moving estimate to submit for reimbursement.
Whittle Down a List
The employee’s first step in obtaining a moving estimate is to gather a list of potential movers. This is important, as not all moving companies are alike and many people have fallen victim to “rogue movers” that use deceptive practices to boost the cost of household goods delivery. Your company may have a selection of approved movers, ask first before receiving in-home estimates.
Lots of information about moving companies – including reviews about their services – can be found online, but sometimes it’s best to pick up the local phone book and talk to someone directly. Visiting the Better Business Bureau is another good way for relocating employees to create a short list of the moving companies with the best reputations. Since all legitimate moving companies are required to have a Department of Transportation (DOT) number, check the names of all potential moving companies at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website to ensure they’re registered with the government.
Get Estimates for Services
Next, it’s time to contact the short list of moving companies to get a cost estimate. Best practices dictate that the most accurate estimates are the ones that are received in person. Movers that offer estimates over the phone should be avoided, as one of the keys to determining overall cost of household goods delivery is to have someone perform an in-home visit to physically see the size and scope of the move. This helps to avoid receiving inaccurate quotes that could rise substantially on delivery. Interstate move costs are determined by weight, so it’s essential that a representative of the moving company comes to the employee’s place of residence to determine an accurate quote. Quotes should always be obtained in writing and never verbally. There are three types of estimates:
- Not-To-Exceed estimates state that the amount quoted will be the amount charged, even if actual weight is more than initially thought. If weight of household goods is less than originally estimated, the moving company will charge a lower amount.
- Non-Binding estimates mean that the final cost isn’t determined until the shipment is actually weighed.
- Binding estimates set a definitive price for the move, even if actual weight is found to be lesser or greater. Please note that if the scope of services changes before the move, the estimate is no longer valid. This is a legitimate type of estimate, but it’s important to understand that there is some risk involved.
Make the Decision
Choosing the mover that offers the best price for the best level of services can depend on a company’s relocation policy. In some cases, the company may ask to review the estimates provided so that they can make the decision – in other cases, it’s up to the employee to choose which moving company will be contracted to carry out the household goods delivery. Whatever the case, it’s important to look at all of the details before arriving at a decision.
Picking the right moving company can mean the difference between a smooth relocation and a rocky one. Getting an accurate quote for services is the first step to ensuring the best possible experience when relocating.