Moving Tips – Pre-planning is Key

With so many details to consider prior and after a move, it isn’t surprising that moving can seem chaotic and difficult. On the All Reasons Moving blog you will find a lot of helpful tips on managing a move to keep your sanity, keep track of your belongings and prepare yourself like a pro for the entire process. Below are four tips that will help even more.

We always appreciate hearing from our clients who have had a successful moving experience, or where they could have had a smoother go of it. Please let us know your moving experiences (good and bad) and tips so that we can provide better service and information to our community.
BEFORE the Move Tips.

Our BEST Tip Ever: Hire a GOOD moving company. When you hire a reputable moving company, your cares and concerns are considerably reduced. When you trust your movers, peace of mind soars. There are several ways to find a mover but the biggest things is to make sure they are licensed and insured.

        Resources to help you choose a mover:

Make a Moving File: From moving contracts to confirmation that the energy has been turned off, you will accumulate tons of paperwork related to the move. Put all files related to the buying and selling of your home, the move, the new home, contacts and useful information in one portable file box that you keep handy at all time. Consider keeping a measuring tape, calculator, business card holder, stamps, stationery and envelopes, and a file for current bills and correspondence in this box as well.

Necessity Box: Always pack a box with essentials. Things you know or think you may need in your new home the first night. Flashlight, toilet paper, light bulbs, tools, toothbrush & paste, paper towels, plastic cups, bottled water, soap and whatever else you know you can’t live without and don’t forget about what your pets may need like food and a water dish.

 

Moving is a stressful time but a bit of pre-planning can help take the stress out of your move.

Passage of AB 2118 Protects Consumers & Professional Moving Companies

We always try to provide up to date news relating to consumer protection when it comes to using moving companies. Sadly, there are still those who will take advantage of the unsuspecting consumer during an emotional and stressful time such as moving. There are so called “moving companies” out there that lure customers with enticingly low prices, only to hold their goods hostage for more money before delivery? And they are so rampant that it finally took a new law, Assembly Bill (AB) 2118 to counteract all the consumer fraud.

Professional movers are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC — in California the CPUC). According to their website, “The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates …. We regulate utility services, stimulate innovation, and promote competitive markets, where possible. ”

AB 2118 was sponsored by Assembly Member Betsy Butler (D-Los Angeles), and was begun with the California Moving & Storage Association. They agreed that something more was needed to protect the consumers. Basically, this bill updates the Household Goods Carriers Act by improving ways illegally operating moving companies can be prosecuted. It ensures that unpermitted movers are held to the same stringent standards as legally permitted movers.

Additionally, AB 2118 codifies how household goods are defined, and creates a new section that specifically addresses infractions of license, membership and location falsification. How can you find out more? The PUC is directed through this bill to create a “Know Your Rights” website that all professional moving companies can link to, to help ensure that there customers are fully informed.

The best way to find a reputable mover is to do your research. Look for members of national and local moving associations like CMSA or AMSA and consumer business bureaus such as BBB. CMSA and AMSA have also started a program of certifying legal licensed movers with the distinction of ProMover. Check the CMSA web site for a list of California ProMovers to ensure your move is in good hands. AND the biggest thing is NEVER be tempted by a cheap price.

Call All Reasons Moving at 408-240-0244 for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for your moving needs.

Only Hire Legal Moving Company – Don’t get Ripped off!

California ProMoverWould you hire an unlicensed contractor to build your dream house? Would you let an unlicensed dentist work on your mouth? Would you invite someone into your home you don’t know, that doesn’t have a license, no insurance. Someone that is going to remove everything you own and drive away?

How often do you invite people you don’t know into your home? How many years have you worked to buy everything you own? What would it cost you if you had to replace it ALL? If you are not careful you could loose everything you own in one day! How much did you pay for your couch? I tell people all the time “do not cheap out when choosing a mover”.

I spend a lot of time talking about “how to choose a mover” and why not to hire an unlicensed moving company. We hear stories every day about consumers getting ripped off. Companies demanding more money at destination than the original agreed upon amount. Damage to belongings, items missing and worse case scenario the unlicensed mover that loads everything up and takes off never to be seen again.

The way they lure you in is by quoting cheap prices. If the price seems unrealistic this should be your first warning. Legitimate companies have overhead and if the prices seem to low you can be guaranteed that company is not paying workers comp, general liability or cargo insurance.

Don’t fall victim to one of these Rogue Movers. We have to stop these ruthless heartless thieves. The best way to stop them is to STOP USING THEM and report companies to the PUC that you discover are operating without a license.

Now to make things even worse it isn’t just unlicensed movers that are the problem. The PUC shuts down moving companies for violations every day. Their license gets revoked but they either keep working anyway OR re-open under a different name. While you are on the PUC web site checking license numbers look to see how long they’ve been in business. You should pick a company that has been around for a while.

What does it mean to hire an unlicensed moving company? Aren’t all moving companies the same?

  • All Moving Companies are NOT the same.
  • If you hire an unlicensed mover and your items get damaged you will not be able to recover anything for your loss
  • Items could be stolen and again you cannot recover
  • They lure you in with a cheap rate then charge for “extra’s”. In the end the move costs more than if you’d have gone with the higher hourly rate mover.
  • These companies are typically only around for a few months then they shut down, change their name and re-open. Usually in the few months they were open they accumulated bad reviews on-line but they don’t care they change name and consumers have no idea.
  • These companies hire day labor. Inexperienced people off the street to work with them. No background check means ex-cons and criminals in a lot of cases.

Tips on how not to get ripped off:

  • Research companies well in advance of your moving date. Schedule a time to have a representative from the moving company come out to your home. A legitimate company will provide you with a written not to exceed price. If they aren’t willing to give you a written estimate don’t use them (time permitting of course).
  • Never book a company based on an on-line quote. The web can be a great resource and good place to start but just because a company looks legitimate and has a pretty web site does not mean they are a company at all.
  • You want to deal directly with the moving company you are booking.
  • Do not book through a Broker which is what most of these on-line companies are, they sell the job to anyone willing to pay them.
  • Check the license number on the PUC web site. Make sure the license is valid and the name matches what they gave you. If the name on the license s not the same as their web site or estimate paperwork contact the PUC immediately. The license number must match the name they are using. If the name doesn’t match it could be a Rogue Company using someone else’s number.
  • Make sure they have insurance on file with the PUC. As a consumer you can also ask for a copy of their certificates the name of the company is at the top. It’s also okay to call the company and verify the certificate is indeed authentic.
  • What year were they established if it was within a few months or even a year it could very well be one of these companies that got shut down changed their name and is back to rip people off again. In this economy there aren’t a lot of moving companies opening up and you want experience anyway. There are plenty of legal licensed experienced companies out there.
  • Go on-line and enter the moving company name check reviews on BBB, yelp and other review sites it may surprise you what you find. Do they have a web site? Do they have a physical address?
  • Ask friends who they’ve used and if they were happy. BUT always check license numbers and reviews even if you got a referral. Just because your friend used someone doesn’t mean they checked.  I hear of people referring unlicensed movers all the time.
  • Choose a moving company that is a California ProMover. This could save you lots of time. These companies are certified and have been pre screened for consumer protection. These companies that are Certified ProMovers are all licensed, insured and have excellent reputations in the industry.
  • Sites such as movers.com do not have trucks of their own. They are brokers that take your name and information and sell them to companies willing to pay. Always book directly with the moving company not through a broker.

Bottom Line: 

  • Do your research.
  • NEVER book solely on Price!
  • Do not book a mover just from the web
  • Only use a company that is well established legal and licensed.

Common Mistakes When Planning a Home Move

MovingIn our blog archive hold lots of articles on how to plan and execute a seamless, low stress home move. All moving is somewhat stressful, but our advice affords the most pleasant and seamless home move possible. Moving your home can actually be a great experience! We still find, however, that people continue to make these top three mistakes when moving. Your home move can go smoothly if you plan ahead whether you are using a Professional Moving Company or not.

  1. Hire the Wrong Moving Company. We cannot stress enough the importance of hiring a professional, vetted, reputable moving company. Whether you’re rushed, or it’s occurring during an emotionally difficult time, or you have plenty of time to plan none of that matters if you hire the wrong company your move can quickly become a nightmare. Hiring the right professional moving company will enable you to handle your move with grace and efficiency. They will be with you every step of the way, ensuring proper care and packing of your precious belongings, making your experience as pleasant as possible and giving you one less thing to worry about.  Solution: Get referrals from trusted friends, check out the BBB for recommendations. Hire the best, NOT the cheapest. Remember even if you get a referral from a friend to check the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) to make sure they are licensed. Just because it’s a referral doesn’t mean your friend ever checked. AND just because they had a good experience with an unlicensed moving company doesn’t mean you will be as lucky. One sure fire way is to check with the CMSA and pick a company that is a Certified California ProMover.
  2. Do Not Allow Enough Time to Clear Clutter Prior to Moving. The second most important thing you can do prior to a home move is go through your house, room by room, closet by closet, drawer by drawer, and get rid of useless clutter. People generally have no idea the vast amounts of “stuff” that accumulates during the course of even one year, let alone twenty or thirty. We are not making a judgment call here—of course you want to hold on to certain keepsakes. However, you will undoubtedly find items that have fulfilled their duty, and are due for the trash or Goodwill.  SOLUTION: Allow three to five full hours per room, to go through all spaces. A kitchen full of bottles and cans, or an office with files and boxes of pictures will take longer (mostly because we tend to get sucked into memoryville and pause over every piece of paper!). You may think the guest bedroom will take no time at all, as it’s rarely used, right? Don’t be fooled. Plan for at least a full three hours to go through closets, under beds, in dressers. Armed with a large trash bag and several sturdy boxes, separate trash from donation. If you’re done sooner, celebrate! Or start on the next room. Don’t want to do it yourself considering hiring an organizer someone like Amanda Kuzak, Kuzak’s Closet.
  3. Don’t Have Enough Supplies. You’ll be surprised how many boxes it takes to pack a closet, desk or kitchen. The tendency is to vastly underestimate, because you are looking at things that are put away nicely. Three to five wardrobe boxes are average for a closet, plus five large blanket boxes, and three medium boxes just for shoes. A standard dining room hutch will need five to 10 dish packs. You also need to have plenty of packing tape, and tape gun(s). Properly sealing boxes requires three passes of tape on the bottom of the box, plus one pass on the top to seal the top of the box. (Never weave flaps; always seal them with tape.)  SOLUTION: Overestimate your box and tape count; if you purchase boxes from a professional moving company they will buy back unused supplies.

Check out our previous blog: “Packing Moving Boxes: Time Saving Tips” to help you be organized.

All Reasons Moving has been helping people have happy home moves for over 20 years. Please call us for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate for your upcoming home move. Hiring a Professional Company to handle your move will mean you have one less thing to worry about when planning your next move.

Hiring a Moving Company & Insurance Requirements

Workers Compensation In California consumers may request to see evidence of workers’ compensation coverage before they engage a moving company. Consumers can be liable for any work-related injury occurring on their property to an employee of an uninsured employee of a moving company. In this situation they can find themselves with no coverage under their homeowner’s or renters liability policy.

“Persons moving in California need to make sure their movers have proper workers’ compensation insurance,” says Steve Weitekamp, President of the California Moving & Storage Association. Properly licensed moving companies with workers’ compensation coverage incur significant costs to insure their employees. This coverage protects not only the mover and their employees but also, just as important, the customer.

The California Public Utilities Commissions (CPUC), which regulates moving companies, requires as a condition of the licensure that they have on file a copy of that company’s Workers’ Compensation Certificate.

The California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA) strongly recommends verifying that the moving company you are considering is CPUC permitted and has all proper insurance these include Workers Compensation as well as Cargo and General Liability.

The Internet has many uninsured movers preying on consumers. Do not book your move with an on-line broker make sure the moving company you are considering is a “real” business. Do not allow your self to be victim and remember if the price seems too low there will be a catch somewhere along the line.

California ProMoverConsumers are urged to make an informed choice when selecting a moving/storage company. In an effort to help consumers make an informed choice the CMSA has started a program called ProMover. ProMover is the moving industry’s consumer protection and certification program designed to fight fraud by giving consumers a way to identify quality professional moving companies. Look for the ProMover Logo when shopping for a moving company.

For more information, call the CMSA consumer hotline at (800) 672-1415 or visit the website at www.thecmsa.org.

Moving Companies in the Bay Area – How do they Charge?

All Reasons Moving Trucks

All Reasons Moving Trucks

Moving Companies in the Bay Area are regulated and licensed by the PUC (Public Utilities Commission). The PUC requires moving companies to charge by the hour for moves under 100 miles. Moves over 100 miles are charged by weight of the shipment. The PUC also makes sure moving companies carry the proper insurance (General Liability, Cargo & Workers Comp). By visiting the PUC web site you can check to make sure their license is current.

When calling a moving company regarding Moving Services you will be given an hourly rate over the phone. The rate is based on how many men. It’s difficult to say exactly how long a move is going to take if the Moving Company hasn’t seen the house/apartment or office in person. There are averages that can be given over the phone based on square footage being moved 1200 square feet 3 men 6 to 8 hours).

In order to get a written Moving Company Quote the Moving Company must send a representative to do a visual inspection and write up an estimate based on number of hours they think the move will take. On the day of your move if the move takes less time you will be charged less. The only time you would be charged more is if you have changed or added something to the scope of work originally discussed.

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