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Ways to Avoid Extra Service Fees with Your Move

July 14, 2014 | Atlas Vanlines

Looking to go new places this year? Don't break the bank or stress yourself in the process. From three types of moving estimates to possible extra costs, Atlas experts share a few ways to avoid unnecessary services fees and moving costs:

Weigh the estimate: Many movers provide online, phone and in-home estimates. An in-home estimate is almost always the most accurate. By allowing a surveyor to visit your home, not only will it allow for a more accurate measure of the amount and types of items included in your move, it can also be a helpful resource in preparation for your move. While you might forget to mention the storage area or the swing set, the surveyor is trained to look for items that might cause your estimate to increase. Many companies offer estimating services free of charge.

Consider types of estimate options: Many companies offer options for estimates; binding, non-binding and the Assured Price Protection program. If you elect a binding estimate, regardless of the actual weight of your shipment, the surplus won't be charged to you if the move occurs within sixty days and no additional services are added. With Atlas' Assured Price Protection program, if the binding estimate was too robust, the difference will be calculated and you will pay the lower fee. A non-binding estimate, on the other hand, gives you a good idea of what the price of your move will be, but the actual payment is based on actual weight determined after loading.

Know the "extra services: In addition to hauling your household goods, movers offer many extra services. Examples of services that might incur additional charges are customs services, full-service and custom packing, debris removal, crating, disassembly and reassembly charges for safe transport, rigging and waiting time. Shuttle service, bulky articles and storage-in-transit can also rack up additional charges. Shuttle service might be required if the shipment is not accessible to the carrier, but it's important to know what's necessary and what isn't when it comes to reviewing your estimated costs. Examples of bulky articles include automobiles, pianos and utility sheds. Storage-in-transit refers to the storage of your household goods before they reach destination. A reputable moving company will not perform a service without permission or consent.
Review and approve estimates: An important factor is to review estimates closely for any red flags, small print or extra charges before signing off. Know what was promised in your estimate and what the service agreement entails to avoid unwanted or unknown additions to your bill.