So you’re planning to move within the state of Washington and want to hire a moving company. Here are the Top 5 things you should know before making your final choice:
- Residential Moving is Regulated in Washington State. What does that mean? It means there are rules that moving companies should follow and tell you about. It also means that moving companies are required to file with and be approved by the State of Washington and submit proof of insurance on an annual basis. It means that moving companies need to charge within the “legal band allowed” for their services. It means that the moving company has a license number that has been assigned to them by the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (Movher’s is HG-63829). If you contact a company and they can’t tell you their license number, then that should be a red flag. Residential moving is regulated whenever a customer’s goods are loaded onto a moving company’s truck. If you call a moving company and just want them to load a truck or vehicle you have, or even a portable storage unit (i.e., PODS), then that type of moving is NOT regulated so a moving company can charge you whatever they want and they are not required to give you a written estimate. Which leads me to #2.
- Get a Moving Estimate in Writing. Also known as a “written estimate.” This should preferably be done in your home that you are moving out of; if you live far away from the moving company, you can have the estimate done via FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangout, etc. But it’s always best to have it done in person, in your home. And they are ALWAYS free. Estimates do not require you to utilize that moving company’s services, either, but if you decide to move forward with that company, then the estimate serves as the basis for your upcoming move and you need to make sure you inform your estimator of any substantial changes in the scope of the job before your actual move. A moving company can give you two types of estimates: non-binding and binding. A binding estimate means a flat price. You know exactly what you’re going to pay and it will not change. A non-binding estimate means it can change; it can be lower or it can be higher. But in the State of Washington, moving companies cannot charge any higher than an additional 25 percent above their original estimate unless the scope of the job has significantly changed from the time of the estimate. So let’s say an estimator came to your house and you told them that you would move all of the boxes, lamps and artwork. The day of your move arrives, the movers walk in and what do you know? All the boxes, lamps and artwork are all there and you want the movers to move them. That’s a change in the scope of the job and the mover will have you sign another estimate, typically called a “Supplemental Estimate,” which will allow them to charge you for the additional work that was not part of your original estimate. So do everyone a favor and keep your estimator informed of any changes in your job.
- Understand “Loss and Damage Protection” Options Before It’s Too Late. “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” Someone should write a song with those lyrics. The same holds true for your “stuff.” Things tend not to be that big of a deal until they’re broken. That’s why you really need to take a few minutes to understand the options you have in protecting your household goods while they’re being handled by your moving company. It’s also good to know what wouldn’t be covered regardless of what level of Protection you selected: furniture made of pressboard or particle board, for instance, is not covered because of its inferior composition (think IKEA). You also shouldn’t have your moving company take items of extraordinary value (that means items worth in excess of $100 per pound), jewelry, coin/stamp collections, your pets (yes, that’s true), houseplants and items requiring temperature control (want the mover to take your freezer full of that 1/2 beef…not a good idea). None of those items are covered, no matter what. Don’t want the movers to box up your $1,000 flat-screen TV even though you chose the Basic Level of Valuation Protection? Then you’re saying you’d be happy to receive 60 cents per pound of what that TV weighs as compensation when and if it’s damaged. So a 50-lb. TV will get you a $30 check from the moving company. When moving in Washington State, you get to choose between three options: the Basic Level (it’s free), Replacement with a $300 Deductible (it costs more), and Replacement with No Deductible (it costs more). Here is how moving companies determine the value of your shipment (again, thank you to Washington UTC for determining this): on average, every pound of household goods is worth $5, and when an estimator comes to your home to provide you with a written estimate, they are also taking an inventory of your goods, which enables them to come up with an estimated weight. Then, they can multiply this estimated weight by $5 to come up with a “shipment value” of your goods. So let’s say that your estimated weight was 5,000 pounds. That means the value of all of your goods is worth $25,000 to the moving company. Think it’s worth less than that? Doesn’t matter – the moving company will go with the highest value. Think it’s worth more? Tell your estimator so he/she can adjust the total shipment value. The Basic Level of Valuation Protection costs nothing extra to you, but provides the least amount of coverage at 60 cents per pound, so if the truck crashed and burned and you had 5,000 pounds of goods on it, you would receive a check in the amount of $3,000 for all of your goods, regardless of the brand names that made up that shipment. If you chose the Replacement Value with the $300 Deductible, that’s going to cost you more in addition to your moving costs. In this example of a 5,000-lb. shipment, this level of protection would cost you around $500. In this scenario, if something is damaged or destroyed, you would pay the first $300 towards the repairs/replacement, and the moving company would pay the rest. The final option, the one with no deductible, costs a bit more, so you’d be paying around $640 on top of your moving costs, but the moving company is 100% responsible for repairing/replacing any damage that occurs to your goods while in the hands of your moving company.
- Make Sure Your Moving Company Insures Its Vehicles – and Its Employees. Your move is going great. All of your goods are loaded onto the moving company’s truck and they’re on their way to your new home. Unfortunately, they’re involved in an accident. Do you know if they carry cargo insurance in additional to regular liability insurance? What about the people who are actually moving you? Are they insured through the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries? What happens if they are injured on your property? Could you potentially be held liable for any injuries? Make sure that the moving company you hire carries motor liability and cargo insurance, and is current on the taxes it owes to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
- Be Prepared. People dislike moving for a reason: it’s hard work. Don’t start one of the most stressful events in your life 24 hours before the movers show up. Break it into small, manageable pieces: start boxing items you know you won’t need several weeks ahead of time.
After all, if it’s summertime, you aren’t going to need those wool pants, heavy coats, mittens and scarves, are you? If you have children, give them their own boxes and have them start packing their own rooms. Come up with a labeling system that’s going to make sense to you when the movers are moving your boxes into your new home. Don’t want to pack? Then get an estimate for packing in addition to moving! What about artwork and other items on your walls – how will you transport those? If you have the capability to move these pieces yourself, then by all means do so. If the movers need to move the artwork, be prepared to pay for art/mirror boxes. Same for lamps. Same for flat-screen TVs. Even though most of us think about how difficult it will be to move the dressers, the sectional, the china cabinet and so on, those are actually some of the easiest pieces to move for people who do it all the time. What ends up taking a disproportionate amount of time – and your money – is when there are a lot of “miscellaneous” items like table and floor lamps, oversized vases, knick knacks, artwork, computers and other electronics that are not properly packed for safe transport. When movers arrive thinking you are “ready to move” and then find out that, well, you’re really not, it makes the job, and the day, longer than it really needs to be. So do everyone a favor and be realistic in what you can get done yourself and what you will need help from by your moving company.
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
Spokane, WA – Movher is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.
“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award have demonstrated the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros have provided top-notch service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
“Thanks go to our customers who believe in us, who trust us with their most valuable possessions and share their Movher experience with others,” said founder and owner, Sabrina Jones. “To win this award for the sixth year in a road is a true testament to the commitment we have with our customers and with our employees.”
Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.
Movher is an independent, fully-licensed Spokane-based company that offers professional moving, packing, storage and cleaning services within a 500-mile radius. Founded in 2010, Movher’s mission is to “lighten our customers’ load with superior service, integrity, commitment and trust.”
Contact: Sabrina Jones, Owner
3311 E Ferry, Spokane WA 99202
19 Feb 2018
First of all, moving is a busier industry than you likely think it is. We get calls from people who want us to move them the same day they call, or maybe the next day or the upcoming weekend. Depending on our schedule, we may be able to make one of those work, but one thing you should always require of your moving company before agreeing to have them move you professionally is a written estimate.
Written estimates protect you as a consumer (I am referring to moves within Washington state and those crossing state lines; moves in Idaho are not regulated, so a written estimate is not required). When you contact a moving company, find out if moving is regulated in your state. That means that moving companies must be licensed with the state and follow state-mandated rules, such as carrying a specific amount of liability and cargo insurance, as well as labor and industries insurance. Another requirement is to provide all customers with a written estimate, which are always free and do not require you to utilize the services of that moving company.
Written estimates are typically scheduled in the home you will be moving from, and you do not have to have everything packed for a moving estimator to give you a reliable estimate. What you do need to do is be consistent and realistic with what you will want the moving company to move for you: Just the furniture? Both the furniture and the boxes? Are you going to move anything on your own, such as clothing, lamps, artwork, flat-screen TVs? Do you have any specialty items or access problems at your current home or where you’ll be moving to? Figure out what your game plan is and follow through with that.
It’s a good idea to get 2-3 estimates so you have others to compare prices with; but remember that a lower price does not always mean a better moving experience. Look at online reviews, ask to speak with previous customers, ask your friends on social media, and see how you were treated when you initially contacted the company and how the estimator made you feel. All of these things should be a good indicator of which company should do the best job for you.
Make sure you understand your moving contract. All too many times we hear stories of how someone’s china broke into a million pieces or the walls of their brand new home were scuffed or dented. Will the moving company you hired take care of the damages? Which level of Valuation Protection did you choose for your move? Is damage to your home covered by the moving company you hired? These are all questions you should ask your moving estimator and make sure you understand before making your final choice. Because most people don’t care about things like this until something precious to them is damaged or, worse yet, beyond repair. As the saying goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Planning for your move is a safe bet.
12 Jan 2018
It’s early January of 2018 and I’m already WAY ahead of my competition.
In the way of financial forecasting, I mean.
That’s right. I’ve already done what only about two percent of closely held businesses do at any time of the year: make a plan.
According to Dave Duryee, author of the 60 Minute CFO, and my business advisor for the past several years, most business leaders/entrepreneurs, founders, CFOs, whatever you want to call them, don’t plan for the following reasons:
1. Lack of knowledge on how to do it (after all, what type of entrepreneur wants to admit she doesn’t know how to do something?!)
2. Don’t have time.
3. Fear of being held accountable.
4. Uncertainty about the future.
With Dave’s help, I’ve established new strategic goals for my company that will be achievable in 2018 and we’ve created a realistic financial plan that me and my leadership team will review monthly and make adjustments as necessary throughout the year in an effort to stay on track.
So if you’re not in this two percent, what’s holding you back? Don’t be satisfied with being in the other 98 percent. Venture into the unchartered, sometimes choppy waters of financial planning and soon you’ll find much smoother sailing, headed in the right direction.
01 Apr 2015
For the first Movher Muscle entry I had to do it on the man who has been this company’s anchor almost since its start date. That mover is Justyn Cozza, our fearless, and heavily tatted leader. When I first met Justyn I was intimidated. Here was this hulking man, covered in tattoos, who looked liked he’d seen his fair share of back ally bar brawls, but after a flawed driving maneuver and his ample descriptions of being a self-proclaimed sissy, I knew I was going to like working with this guy.
Justyn’s background is as diverse and intriguing as the artwork that has taken up residency on his skin. Born in Scotland (yes, that Scotland) Justyn moved to Anchorage, Alaska at a young age where he spent his childhood years. It wasn’t until later in his life that he moved to Spokane, Washington, graduating from Mead High School in 2007. Justyn wasted no time entering higher education, beginning his college career the summer after he finished high school at a little college called Gonzaga University. Maybe you’ve heard of it? While attending Gonzaga he dabbled in many different disciplines, focusing mainly on health and fitness, but ultimately obtaining a bachelor of education in physical education.
It was also during his tenure as a Zag that he was introduced to Jerry Almanza, the operations supervisor of Movher. Almost five years ago Justyn was offered a job at Movher, and after a couple months and a bartending job, he would accept a position with the company that would come to rely on him for so much. He is a jack-of-all-trades within Movher, starting out as a basic mover, working his way up to driver, then to where he is now as the crew supervisor and fellow estimator along side company owner, Sabrina Jones.
Justyn plans on remaining with Movher to see the company through to its full potential, as well as his own. It’s not an easy gig, but honestly, I can think of no one better suited for the job than him. He is the man, the myth, the legend; with no regrets or apologies, only a staggering fear of spiders. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Justyn Cozza.