OAM Consumer Assistance
If you're thinking of moving in the near future, call your mover well in advance. This is especially important if you're planning to move during the busy summer months when children are out of school. In timing your move, try to give the moving company a choice of days. If possible, avoid the first and last days of the month, when everyone else wants to move, too. Also keep in mind that your possessions exclusively, will most likely, not fill a moving truck. If you are moving long distance, your mover will need to coordinate your move with others going to the same general location.
RESEARCH AND ASK QUESTIONS!
Be sure you are dealing with a reputable, reliable company. Ask friends and neighbors, or contact the Better Business Bureau for comments and experiences regarding the moving company you are considering. (Keep in mind that the BBB is a membership organization, and their references are reflective of the support a particular mover may give them. Do not rely only on a BBB referral, but use it as one part of your homework.)
Your state regulatory agency (in Ohio, that's the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ) or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can confirm if the mover you are considering is licensed or has complaints. You'll also want to check with the movers' association in your state - which is the Ohio Association of Movers!
GET AN ESTIMATE - OR TWO - OR THREE!
Your mover will be glad to explain the transportation rate and the charges for packing, wardrobe service, extra pick-up or delivery, storage, additional value protection and other services. But remember, an estimate is a "guess-timate." It's based on average sizes and weights to help you anticipate your approximate expense. The estimate may be over or under the actual charges at destination.
Get more than one estimate - and keep in mind if one of the estimates is much lower than the others - something is not right - beware!
SHOW THE ESTIMATOR EVERYTHING THAT WILL BE MOVED!
Be sure to tell your mover everything you intend to move. For your estimate to be accurate, show the estimator the contents of every room, closet, attic, cellar or garage so he can accurately gauge your requirements. Surprising him on moving day can only lead to confusion and possibly delay. The mover won't just "throw in" the extra "stuff" at no charge - extra stuff takes up weight and space - and must be accounted for!
TELL THE WORLD YOU ARE MOVING - AND TO WHERE!
Save time by using the official notification forms which your mover will often be able to supply to you to notify utility companies, banks, government agencies, publications, social and professional organizations. Remember to give your new address and phone number to friends and family members.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE MOVING AND THE CONDITION IT IS IN!
Be sure the specific description and accurate condition of each item is entered on the inventory, is known by you and the movers. And realistically, a sofa that has given service to a family for eight years cannot possibly be in "mint" condition. Items that are marred and gouged should be indicated as such. Identify highly valued and treasured items so they may be given appropriate care.
YOUR MOVER CANNOT MOVE SOME THINGS!
Your mover cannot move everything. Flammables, paint, aerosol spray cans and anything that could create a fire or explosion cannot be moved by your mover. The inside of moving vans can get very warm in the summer months and/or in warmer climates. Don't pack anything that may cause a fire. You may wish to consider safely disposing of these hazardous materials prior to the move.
ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS - AND PAY ATTENTION!
Be on hand at the time of packing, pick-up and delivery to protect your interests. Carefully inspect all your possessions upon their arrival. When you sign the delivery receipt, you accept and acknowledge that your possessions are in apparent good condition, except as you indicate in writing on the delivery receipt.
MAKE APPROPRIATE ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR SPECIAL ITEMS!
Disconnecting and connecting of appliances, television antenna, air-conditioning units and other items requiring special servicing and installation should be arranged with your appliance dealer. Some movers will perform certain of these services, or they can make arrangements for you with an independent service provider.
IF THERE IS A PROBLEM...
Sometimes, despite the utmost care, loss or damage may occur. Your goods will be partially protected 60 cents per pound per article at no extra cost. You may, for a modest charge, place increased valuation on your goods, or purchase protection insurance. Discuss with your mover in advance your specific protection requirements and your options. Set aside jewelry, documents, money, medicines, and especially valuable small items to carry with you. Your bill of lading contract will specify that the mover is not responsible for these items. Do not pack them on the truck. Movers want you to be happy - they want to prevent damage and losses as much as you do!
GET A RECEIPT AND COPIES OF EVERYTHING YOU SIGN!
Be sure you receive from your mover upon delivery a correct bill of lading, complete with all rates and charges. This is your official receipt. This amount is what you will be expected to pay, in cash or certified check, for your shipment. The necessity for cash or certified check or money order is regulated by tariff on file with the Department of Transportation - not something that your mover controls!