MOVERS PROTECT YOURSELF-Details and Documentation Can Help Avoid Confusion When Giving a Moving Quote
One of the biggest areas that moving customers complain about is “the move cost more than it was quoted” and one of the biggest areas of frustration for moving companies (and movers) is “the customer changed the amount of service needed and doesn’t want to pay for it”. These are situations that probably can’t be eliminated completely but there are the 2 “D’s” that can help, details and documentation.
First, we’ll cover details. Moving companies, don’t assume anything, write it down. One thing you can do on an on-site estimate is use the right side of a cube sheet for items to be moved and the left side for items that are not going to be moved. Make a copy for the customer and illustrate the columns for “to be moved” and “not to be moved”. This type of detail will help in the case of a dispute. With most quotes, only one person is present so more detail can help, anyone who is not present understand the services required and charges due. Removing assumptions and gray areas are key. Note things right on the face of the estimate like “only 20 boxes to be moved, shipper to handle the rest” “ only large items to be moved”, “ no garage or outside items”, “ all items to be removed from attic and crawl space and placed in garage”, even “ all boxes to be packed by shipper prior to movers arrival”. Basically, anything that could affect the move should be noted. The more detail the better because too many times a shipper can fall back on. “ I told the estimator about it”, and it becomes a he said/she said situation.
If the dynamics of the move (and price) change, it’s a good idea to have the driver or crew leader update the quote and have the customer initial any and all changes to confirm acceptance. Remember the more detail the less problems.
Much of what we just covered is both details and documentation but another area of documentation is our trusty email. Phone quotes, time restrictions, services, pricing, payment methods and terms, etc., should always be emailed along with the quote to the shipper with a mandatory confirmation and acceptance email required. I’ve seen many situations where a driver who can produce an email confirmation from a shipper can diffuse a possible confrontation. It takes a little more time to follow the 2 “D”s but it makes for a more peaceful moving experience for shipper, moving company, and movers too.