Binding Estimate Myth
Dedicated To Ending “Moving Nightmares”
Step One: Understand
One thing everyone is afraid of is becoming one of the many negative moving reviews they read about online and see on the news stations. This is a very scary things for many people looking for a moving company because they do not know who to trust. A main issue with getting a quote a lot of times is not knowing the proper questions to ask. A moving company may be following their contract 100% to the T; yet you not understanding the TYPE of contract you signed up for may create a lot of confusion come move day.
Dedicated Van Lines only provides ONE type of estimate: Binding Not to Exceed.
Binding Estimate Myth:
Now, there is a MYTH with the word “binding” …Never does it mean guaranteed. A good way of thinking of a binding estimate is the accuracy of the price is dependent upon the accuracy of the list of items moving. (From an estimator/companies stand point, it’s impossible to account for the space of items that you do not know exist)
The word “binding” in a moving estimate refers to A) The rate per cubic foot charged (which is tricky and I will touch on this later), and B) The GUARANTEE for ALL items LISTED and ALL SERVICES LISTED on your original quote will be performed for quoted price.
This IS NOT COMPANY POLICY, all companies are regulated by the Department Of Transportation for a long distance move to calculate the price of the job one of two ways,
- Weight (out dated system created in 1928 by United Van Lines)
- Volume aka Cubic feet. (has a bad rap due to it being misunderstood as well as the outdated companies discrediting it via the sites owned by the companies who do not quote this way)
Now, lets touch on Cubic Feet. It has an awful reputation in our industry due to its misunderstanding. Many clients ask “well, what if they load the truck loose? Wont I be charged more?” The answer is simply, No. As stated earlier, all items listed on a binding estimate will move for the price listed regardless of the overall end volume. The ONLY time our company can and will charge for more cubic feet, is if there are extra items not listed on the original inventory, therefore taking up more space that was not originally accounted for.
This type of quote gives you, the customer, the most control over your move. A lot of people say to me, “Ryan, I don’t know how many cubic feet I have, I’m not a mover”…That’s true, nor do I expect you to even try to begin to fathom how to calculate the total cubic feet. We simply do an itemized walk through of the non-boxable items in the home, as well as an overestimated total of boxes that we will be moving. We have the ability of altering the list as many times as you would like with no penalty up until the day prior to your pickup. There is never any penalty to overestimate, because just like the price would increase if items are added; the price will also DECREASE if less items are shipped on move day. You can either call us prior to your pickup and adjust your item count, or on pickup, the driver will complete his itemized inventory prior to loading and make any needed corrections.
Many times, customers request an IN-HOME estimate, because they are under the impression that if the mover sees the items, it guarantees anything anymore than them providing the list of items. I will tell you, it does not. Quite the opposite. In my professional opinion, having had done hundreds of thousands of over the phone inventories. As well as having them double checked by in homes. 95% of the time, my inventory is more accurate then the in home. That is also due to my extensive history in furniture sales as well as having done over the phone inventories with our clients since I was 18 years old.
Contrary to popular belief, in home estimates are LESS binding then an over the phone quote. Here is why: Many companies that offer or insist on in homes are major van lines (United, Mayflower, Bekins, Wheaton, Graeble, Allied, North American, etc etc). These companies work on a certain “tariff” or “set of rules” that a company publishes as their “rule book for pricing.” ALL major van lines work on a weight and distance-based tariff. Meaning, all the in home estimates, and ALL estimates from these companies are actually non-binding regardless of them saying “binding” on the top. In the fine print, it says “the estimate is binding to services rendered, any changes will call for a revised estimate and reweight of the shipment”. That means, if you have 50 boxes instead of 48, they will say the old estimate is no good; and rely on the final weight to determine your price. Now, lets say the original estimate was for 7000 pounds (1000 cu ft) and the weight after the truck was loaded came out to 8200 pounds, you NOW are responsible for the extra 1200 pounds that were miscalculated (since you know it wasn’t the two boxes that made the change; but rather the miscalculated total of the other items listed).
In the same scenario, but with a TRUE binding estimate like we provide; the 2 extra boxes will be identified as X cubic feet (for example, 2 medium boxes would be six cubic feet), your rate would then be adjusted for 6 extra cubic feet at the same rate PER cubic foot you were charged upfront.
Many companies DO NOT offer the same Rate per Cubic Foot OR Rate Per Pound if you have Less OR More items on the pickup day. I have seen companies charge up to 3 times the original rate per cubic foot for any overages, and only give a fraction of a credit back of the original rate the client was charged. Dedicated Van Lines offers a BINDING rate per cubic foot on ALL orders. If you were charged $200 to move a sofa, if you don’t move the sofa, the same $200 will be deducted from the total.
Being a family owned and operated company; we pay very close attention to detail. Having an outstanding reputation is a blessing and a curse. Many clients look to us for reassurance on making sure their move goes perfectly, which is an absolute blessing and the reason we have been operating for as long as we have. The other side of it, is that we need clients to please take the time to UNDERSTAND your quote. Take the time to call us back with any changes or items we may have missed on the first few calls. There is never a penalty to OVERestimate. At the time of booking, it is just a “worst case scenario” if you follow our guidelines and instructions. Having a direct move coordinator is like having an assistant on your move. Utilize your personal coordinator for any questions or concerns you may be facing.
Remember, more important than anything; moving isn’t fun. The most stressful situations seem to come up when moving; and the important thing is to have a Dedicated team and crew behind you that has the experience needed to complete any task that could be viewed as a roadblock.