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Understanding Estimates
Bill Of Lading: The Basics

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Moving Dictionary | Moving Help & Advice

Bill of Lading – a receipt given to a consumer by the mover, for all the goods picked up from the consumer by the moving company.

Binding Estimate – a contract which contains a calculation of the cost of a move made after the mover has made a physical survey which clearly describes the goods to be moved and the accessorial services to be performed and which binds the mover to the charges shown on the binding estimate form (this form of estimate is usually for flat-rate moves and should be agreed-upon before the day of the move).

Non-Binding Estimate – an approximation made by the public mover and/or warehouseman of the cost of the shipment and/or storage made after a physical survey.

Order for Service – the contract the consumer receives from a public mover and/or warehouseman at least 24 hours prior to the move with a non-binding estimate.

Short-notice Move – performing a move on the same day that a consumer requests services from a public mover and/or warehouseman.

Tariff – a schedule of the rates, charges, classification ratings, terms and conditions of the public mover and/or warehouseman.

Warehouse Receipt – a receipt given to a consumer by a warehouseman for all the consumer’s goods stored in the warehouseman’s facility.

What Many Moving Companies Won’t Tell You:

  • We will move your stuff, but may keep it hostage until you pay the full amount we want to charge you.
  • There’s no guarantee that your move won’t be outsourced to a third-party moving company (remember, standard moving contracts used in the industry stipulate in fine print that moves can be subcontracted to third-party movers.
  • We will give you a somewhat accurate quote only once the pickup is complete.
  • Any up-charging is fair game, such as shuttle fees, crating charges, stair carry charges, long-carry charges, special handling fees, storage fees, etc. See Moving Guardian Hidden Fees page.
  • Your schedule is less important than our schedule. We never stick to verbally-agreed-upon time frames.
  • Our insurance means nothing and ‘nothing’ is the protection you’ll get in case something is damaged or lost. Even though the Federal mandated law requires minimum insurance of $.60 per pound per article, you probably won’t see that money either. See Moving Guardian Common Moving Scams page under the Insurance Scams section.
  • We are not all licensed movers, and our company does not even exist as an official regulated entity. In addition, we sometimes operate under various different names.