HOW TO READ A MOVING CONTRACT?
Congratulations on your decision to hire professional movers for your upcoming relocation project! Your move will be easy and stress-free. But before your local or long-distance move, a licensed moving company will come up to you with a moving contract. Moving contracts help to ensure that both parties agree on what should be moved.
If such a thing not happening, we highly recommend stepping back and re-check your selected company’s legal status and reviews. Maybe your choice of moving partner must be reconsidered. All reputable professional moving companies provide their clients with a moving contract. Call the Movers has already prepared a quick reference guide for choosing the right moving company (read it here).
WHAT IS A MOVING CONTRACT?
A moving contract is an agreement you a signing with your selected relocation service provider. As any other contract, a moving contract is a legally binding document. It includes and outlines the terms and conditions of your upcoming move. This also can be simply called an order for service where you and the movers are agreeing to certain specifics.
Before you sign or pay any deposit it is important you read, understand, and agree on all parts. This can sound challenging and time-consuming, especially when moving is about soon to happen and many other things need to be handled…
Do not worry! In this blog post Call the Movers will review and discuss the most important parts of a moving contract, so you know what to look for and not miss out. Keep in mind, each moving contract can be slightly different because of many external factors such as location, and individual company policies, but it should always include the sections listed below.
MUST HAVE PARTS IN MOVING CONTRACT
Moving contracts can be very broad and detailed, but there are certain parts, better known as essential sections. Call the Movers are here to help you to read a moving contracts like a pro.
DESCRIPTION AND SCOPE OF SERVICES
In most cases, you will find description and scope of service section on top of your moving contract. Here, moving company should provide a list of all services they provide for you, as well as your initial and final destinations. For example, packing in location “A”, loading in location “A”, transporting belongings from location “A” to location “B”, and unloading in “B” location. You need to double-check if all your required services are included. Keep in mind, if you have special requirements such as a piano move, or an additional stop at the storage unit, these may be included in a section “Additional Services”.
As detailed as service description is, the less the risk of inconsistencies, misunderstandings and not meeting your moving expectations will be. A detailed description will help you check if the agreement fits your needs. Remember, the total moving price will directly depend on your required services. So, you need to be sure what are you paying for. If you find that description lacks something or the information is not correct, inform your moving company manager and ask to fix the moving contract.
Call the Movers advice: think of this section as a timeline of events that will take place during your move. Make sure that the scope of services completely matches every step of your move. If you disagree with given details, you cannot move on to the next moving contract section and sign it.
Payment section is a very important part of each legal document. Here you should find details on how to pay for moving services, when to pay and what are legal consequences if you will not pay. Remember, any questions regarding pricing have to be asked before you sign, not after.
Besides that, payment section should include your estimated rates. Keep in mind, moving estimates are non-binding. So, if you are seeing completely different rates than in your moving estimate, this is a red flag. Moving contracts should include concrete prices for the above-described services. Once you sign on the dotted line you are legally agreeing to pay the amount disclosed on the contract.
Call the Movers advice: pay close attention to this section. Payment section should include the price of the entire move, not the unrealistic bottom line “price”. Also, remember 110% rule. This is a federal rule that specifies the final amount you owe when the job is complete is not allowed to exceed more than 110% of the estimated price.
Policy section describes on what terms the moving company is supplying their services. Each moving company can have a different policy, but it still should be compliant with the law and not humiliate customer rights. For example, Call the Movers policy is all time accessible on our website policy section. So, our customer can upfront check and be on the same page with us.
What to look for in the policy section:
- Is the moving company requires a deposit payment?
- What are my rights and costs of cancelation or rescheduling?
- How the travel time is calculated?
- Does the prices for the morning, afternoon, and weekend vary?
In most cases, a professional moving company manager will present company policy during the initial call or meeting. But don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure. Also, do not forget to check the part on what you are responsible for.
This could include:
- Being on-site, while movers are working.
- Doing a final walkthrough inspection.
- Getting parking permits for a moving truck.
- Getting appliances or any electrical equipment disconnected prior to the move.
Call the Movers advice: each moving company seeks to satisfy its customers. Personalized moving needs can be discussed, but that should be done before signing moving contract.
Not all of the moving contracts may include this, but if your move includes any specific services, do not miss out on this. Additional services include everything that you will need to pay extra. This means more specific service-oriented needs such as:
- Disposing of outdated things at a local recycling facility.
- Careful handling of fragile items such as antique pianos, safes, pool tables, gym equipment.
- Moving plants, and aquariums.
- Additional packing materials.
- Hoisting services.
- The second vehicle to move your belongings into for especially tight neighbourhoods.
- Temporarily storage, and many more.
Call the Movers advice: discuss additional services before the final stage of your moving contract. Most professional moving companies such as Call the Movers will serve your needs. On the other hand, small moving companies sub-contract additional services, so moving estimate can get enormous.
TERM & CONFIDENTIALITY
Let’s be honest, those are the parts nobody likes to read. Therefore, term and confidentiality are required standard parts in a moving contract.
Terms section states how long the moving contract is valid. Generally, moving contracts are valid until the completion of the services dictated within them. Make sure, your moving contract includes this section for clarity reasons.
Confidentiality simply states that the moving company will not share any information about the client. This includes any records, documents, or notes related to your move.
Call the Movers advice: you always have a right to ask how your personal data is processed and stored after the moving term has passed.
DAMAGES & CLAIMS
Do not miss out damage and claim section! After reading this part you must be familiar with how to inspect your goods after their arrival at the final location. Also, you will learn how to submit a claim.
Generally, damage claims must be submitted in writing to the moving company’s claims department. You will also be asked to prove your claim by providing proof of your loss. This could be pictures taken on the day of your move before movers leave your premises. Keep in mind, all of the customers sign a bill of lading upon completion of a move. It includes sections overviewed above and should be held on to since it also serves as the receipt for your service. For insurance companies, this document is critical in order to compensation.
Call the Movers advice: do not assume you may deduct the money from the final bill to compensate yourself in the event of damage. You will be always requested to process a claim. Also, pay attention to the valuation. This is the declared value of what your belongings are worth. In the case of damages, your movers will not be responsible for more than the valuation amount.
We are happy – now the moving contract is much more than a bunch of papers given to you. You know what parts are essential and how to read them. Our final advice would be – moving contracts are for both sides: movers and customers. Be sure, to clarify all parts that seem vague to you, get all questions answered, and make sure you are fully satisfied before you sign the contract. If you have any questions, need advice on a moving contract, or want to plan your move together just give us a call!
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