Extra charges on moving day

You want to know what could change the price when the bill is presented. Here are the list of potential add-on charges.

Travel time is the cost of a mover getting to you and back to their office/yard. You will see this charge if your move is by the hour and it is in addition to your hourly moving charges. It is a normal and fair charge, but you shouldn’t hire a mover that is far away from you residence for a local move.  This consideration is not so important for an interstate move. Interstate movers  charges  by weight and mileage between residences (in the vast majority of cases) and their trucks may be in transit anywhere at any time.

Moving insurance , or moving liability coverage,  is an extra charge that may be worth the expense. Typically you are given free liability coverage with a licensed mover but its limited to 60 cents a pound on interstate moves. New Jersey moves are covered at $1 per pound. An example is a flat screen TV that weighs 20 lbs, if it breaks you’re covered for $12 interstate or $20 in NJ. If you opt for Full Value Protection instead it should cover broken or lost items

If you haven’t finished the packing of lamps, pictures, TV’s and such, you can expect to be charged for that service from the movers. Again, this is a fair charge to complete you move and keep everything safe. (the rates may not be fair, but requiring things be packed safely is)

Disassembly or reassembly of furniture is time consuming. On local moves it means more time spent on the move so more money. For interstate moves it is often an extra charge. Typically we are talking about IKEA type furniture and not normal disassembly like bed frames.

Bulky items that take extra time to move, need extra space in the truck, or need an outside company to handle it, are extra charges.

  • pianos may need extra equipment, time or expertise. Grands need careful disassembly /reassembly and staircases are an issue for any type of piano.
  • Safes often need a special dolly to handle the extra weight and movers. They might require Masonite to protect the floors.
  • Hot Tubs  use special dollies and extra movers.
  • Note : If a crane is needed to move any of these , an outside company is usually hired.
  • Cars can go on a moving van. The mover brings special ramps and tie-down’s to secure it on the truck. They often need to build a deck over the vehicle so they can load other items.  If this is going interstate you will pay for the weight of the car and an allowance for the space that can’t be used above it.
  • Shop equipment. Lathes, table saws, drill presses and the like can be very heavy and awkward. They also tend to gobble up space on a truck.

Elevators. If the elevator at your apartment building is out of service or unavailable, you may be charged an extra free for carrying everything on the stairs.

Long Carry fees typically happen when the crew can’t park the truck close to the residence. On a local move it means more time. An interstate mover may have a special charge for when this happens

Similar to packing charges is a “Change of order”  You added items or you changed the conditions of the move. For instance, you did not sell the living room set and now it goes, or the movers get to the new house and find it is an apartment with a tiny elevator instead the ranch home they expected. If the conditions expected do not match the actual conditions, then the mover can and will charge for the extra time they have on the job. Most often this happens when you don’t sell or purge the items you said you would when they performed the “moving survey” (definition: an itemized list of what is being moved, packing required and conditions expected).  In cities like NY it often means the moving truck didn’t have a reserved parking area and has a long walk from the building to the truck.

Some companies charge for tolls. This charge should be in their “tariff “(definition: the document they file with a state or federal agency on what and how they charge for a move) and this charge should be explained to you before you hire them.

Some will charge for the use of specialty moving equipment.

  • Normal use of a hand-truck or dolly is usually included and an extra charge.
  • Piano moving equipment , like piano boards, may or may not be included.
  • Moving bins, extra cartons, crates or hoisting are usually not included in your price.

Some moving companies charge by space used in the truck. If your items take up more space than expected or allotted for, you will pay for the extra space used. A good inventory and a great packing crew are really needed to prevent extra charges.

Some charge for blankets. This is legal if its in the their tariff, but I think it’s unfair. Does a carpenter charge for his hammer? A mover should have all the tools that make him/her a professional at no extra charge.

Some charge for tape. Beware of this charge! Its legal if its in their tariff but the charges can be outrageous. You may be thinking they might need a few rolls for open boxes, but some movers will use a roll of tape to secure a movers blanket/quilt to a chair. 100 rolls of tape can easily be used on a move if this is a profit center for the mover.

Move cancellation fee is a normal charge that you may not have anticipated. Once a mover books your mover and reserves a crew/truck for you,  they are refusing other work. If you cancel last minute, they still have to pay their crews and they have lost the opportunity to book other work. This fee usually kicks in when you cancel a week before moving day. Each mover has a different policy and it pays to know it before you give a deposit.

Unexpected Storage when you have a last minute problem with delivery. The mover may charge to hold it over night. If you can’t accept delivery for days, they then need to unload, store and reload for delivery. That is a much greater charge. If things are going awry with closings, contact your mover to see how they handle these situations.

Expedited service usually only applies to interstate moves. It is an extra charge but it’s in your moving quote before the move. Same thing with an extra stop charge.

Never legal are things like a mandatory tips (though tips are usually expected by the crew), lunch money or charging for gas for the trucks.

Things you might want to pay extra for are

  • Guaranteed pickup or delivery times. Does your closing happen at 11 am?  Does the apartment building offer you a strict elevator time allowance?
  • Non-smoking crews and trucks. Are you or a family member very sensitive to odors?  Crew will not smoke in your house but often do in or by the truck.
  • Supervisors – Do you have a high value move? Most moving crews can handle what ever comes up but sometimes you want an owner or a gray haired manager there.
  • Disposal fees apply when you want the mover to take you old/used boxes and packing supplies away. Some areas have limited trash or recycling pickup

Things you will pay extra for

  • Inexperienced crews: They will take more time and they are not as efficient as an experienced moving crew. The cheap hourly rate often correlates to the crews experience, training and knowledge.
  • Poor planning: If you have too many unknowns on moving day Avoid late closing times that mean the movers work into the night. Unreserved elevators, parking spaces, and lost keys for the new residence mean delays. Delays always cost money.
  • Messy and unorganized residences. If the movers are working around a mess it will take longer to move you. Delays always cost money

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