Life is hectic enough even without the stress of planning a move, and because of this, many people believe that getting an online moving quote will save them some precious time. The appeal is obvious. Everything is faster and more convenient online, but the truth is if you want to start your move off right, an in-home quote is more efficient and more accurate.
The problem with online quotes is that they simply are untrustworthy. These estimates are not as in depth as in-home quotes, and as a result they are rarely accurate. Not to mention, it can be illegal if you are moving across state lines. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees all interstate moving in the U.S., and per regulation 375.303 for motor carriers, “You must conduct a physical survey of the household goods to be transported and provide the prospective individual shipper with a written estimate, based on the physical survey, of the charges for the transportation and all related services.” The moving company must also present a written estimate to the client and indicate whether it is a binding or non-binding estimate. “Binding” meaning both the customer and company are bound by a price that they agree upon in advance, while “non-binding” means the final charge may be different than the initial estimate. Moving companies may not charge a fee for non-binding estimates. According to the FMCSA, there are only two exceptions to the physical survey rule. The first is if the goods being moved are beyond a 50-mile radius of the moving agent who is preparing the move. The second is if the customer decides to waive the need for a physical survey. This waiver must be in writing and kept by the moving company for their records. These laws prevent companies from enticing customers with low estimates only to demand more money once the move is underway.
You eliminate these risks when you choose an in-home quote. With an in-home quote, a representative from the moving company visits your home and together you go through and analyze all of the goods and equipment to be moved, estimating their weight and volume to arrive at an estimate. This is why the in-home option is better. This process is precise. It has the attention to detail necessary to not only get an accurate quote but to also stay compliant with the law. So remember, when you are thinking of getting a moving estimate, always get an in-home quote. This appointment will take no longer than 30-45 minutes, which is time well spent if it means getting your move done right.