People, moving into Houston or those moving out, typically talk to more than one moving company and get a quote for the move. This may seem straightforward, but there can be different types of moving quotes that make the process more than a bit confusing.
The purpose of the quote is to allow the customer to understand the cost of the move. However, different types of quotes may be binding or non-binding, and verbal quotes, such as those given over the phone, are not legally binding unless there is also a written estimate provided.
Basic Types of Quotes
Typically, local moves are quoted by the hour, and long distance moves are quoted on a formula that includes the weight on the truck, distance, and other factors.
Binding estimates are those that lock in the mover as to the maximum amount that can be charged for the move. This is only true if nothing is added to the truck, if the inventory listing was complete, and if there are no undisclosed issues, such as an elevator or stairs at the destination location.
Binding not to exceed estimates are similar to the binding estimates in that if nothing changes, the maximum amount the mover can charge is the listed estimate total. However, should the weight of the load on the truck be less than the estimated amount, the customer pays the lower of the two amounts.
A non-binding estimate is really a best guess as to the weight on the truck. This means that the consumer may pay significantly higher than the estimated price, and with unscrupulous movers, this is often used as a way to provide low moving quotes that the company knows they never have to honor.
Always take the time to compare moving quotes and to look carefully at the terms and the conditions in the contract. Ask questions before signing any documents from a Houston mover, and never sign any contracts that do not have all services requested stipulated in writing.
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