So, you finally got official dates and are making the big move! The first thing you do is call a moving company to provide you with an estimate. You get a few quotes and decide to go with the lowest one because ‘Why not save some money? And so, you pay a deposit that’s discretely listed as non-refundable towards the bottom of the contract.
Moving day is on the way!
Your moving date arrives, but the unthinkable happens: the movers are nowhere to be found. Where are they? You immediately contact the company just to find out your move date
was not on one specific day but rather a stretch of days ranging from 2-4 days. You are unhappy with the situation but press on towards the goal.
Finally, a few days after the expected date, an entirely different moving company arrives and begins packing your belongings tight into a semitrailer loaded previously with other family’s furniture. The lead foreman then explains to you that you exceeded the estimated cubic square feet quoted over the phone. As a result, you owe the difference along with the actual moving cost fees.
Confused and irate, you call what you now know to be an entirely different company you booked with initially. They tell you that the initial quote given was based on their software that spits out a predicted amount of cubic feet needed on the truck— after receiving your list of belongings over the phone. Several thoughts flood your mind:
Why did I not check the reviews online before booking with this company, namely the negative reviews, to see how often this happens?
Why did I ignore the warnings from the Representative of the once “more expensive” moving company —the one I really wanted to book with but did not want to pay the premium?
and most of all…
HOW IN THE WORLD DO I OWE DOUBLE THE AMOUNT I WAS ORIGINALLY QUOTED!!
Once there, you reach out to your Representative to determine your property’s arrival time. The Representative tells you they do not have a definitive date yet, but they will keep you updated.
THREE WEEKS LATER….
After countless phone calls with most going unanswered, your house-hold goods finally arrive. Your frustration and vexation receive a cathartic sigh of relief at the sight of your belongings being returned to you. But the disappointment is about to turn to rage and the vexation into anxiety.
Before the crew (who is not the same crew from the load phase) begins to unload everything, they provide you with the final bill. You look at the final price, and you are instantly paralyzed by a new total which is DOUBLED what you were originally quoted.
HOW CAN THIS BE?!
The crew member explains to you that the original estimate was based on how many cubic square feet the estimator thought the property would take up on the truck. But the final price is based on how much space the property actually took up on the truck. What is the difference? Thousands of dollars…
So, justifiably angry, you refuse to pay the final price. You cannot AFFORD to pay the final price. The crew will oblige and refuse to return your property, and they will hold your belongings hostage.
You know (and they know) that you need your belongings, so you begrudgingly pay the price. However, as the crew begins to unload the truck, you notice that boxes appear squished, and furniture appears damaged. Still, the crew doesn’t seem to have any clue as to the damage’s origins.
Once the move is completed, you start to go through your property to find (or not find) lost property, stolen property, and damaged property. Again, you are at a loss for words. You are outraged! How could they be allowed to do this?! You immediately begin to call the company to talk with the highest-ranking official you can locate. And it is now that you find out what had been behind the curtain the entire time…
You see, the company which practices this type of shady business is called a BROKER. A broker utilizes business networking to provide customers with a service they do not perform.
For example, the Representative of the fictitious company above does not work for an actual moving company. The company itself is not a moving company, nor has any trucks or movers to perform a move. Although the company will do everything in their power to persuade you that they are a moving company, they are not.
So, they network with transportation companies like freight, logistic transport, and various Van Line moving companies to find the customer a moving company. Essentially, they take the customer’s move and bid it out to the lowest sub- contractor they network with.
Once the price is established, the broker creates a margin/percentage on top
of that to take for themselves. The customer pays the bill, and the broker will never be heard from again.
You may be asking yourselves, “What can be done?!” Well, nothing.
Unfortunately, the devil lies in the details once customers pay their deposit and sign the contract. You forfeit any rights with the stroke of your pen. But there must be somebody that I can sue! … Right? Well, wrong.
Again, the broker just hired other independent contractors to complete the job. These other companies hire their own independent contractors (in the form of day laborer’s) to actually perform the services.
So, liability gets forfeited because the people who made your move were the sub- contractor of a sub-contractor. The broker cannot be held liable, and the company they hired cannot be held responsible.
Furthermore, the day laborer (usually not a licensed/trackable US citizen) cannot be held liable; therefore, the customer is left without anyone to blame.
DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN THIS SITUATION! BEWARE OF THE SCAM OF BROKERS
Yes, ask every Representative that you speak with if their company is a brokerage, but BE CAUTIOUS IN TRUSTING THEM. The Sales Representative you are
speaking to is incentivized to get the sale, and they may be willing to tell you anything you want to hear to get your deposit and close the deal.
Here at Movebright, we have seen this tragedy too many times. We understand that cost is always a significant factor in determining which moving company to go with; however, do not let cost be the only determining factor.
As a general rule of thumb, do not go with the lowest price. There is an industry standard for the cost of a move, and there is usually a suspicious reason behind a particular company being so much cheaper. At the end of the day, you will get what you pay for, and the end result of a broker move will be substantially higher than you think.
Now, let’s talk about what advice you need in receiving a moving quote. First, get a fixed rate. When speaking with a moving company representative, explicitly and overtly ask if they are offering you a fully fixed price.
You want to set in stone that they provide you with a guaranteed, binding, flat fee for your move. Are there any circumstances that could raise the price of your move? What additional fees could be added? Ask every clarifying question needed to ensure your price is fixed.
Next, ensure that the crew will show up on your moving date. As we discussed before, a broker provides the customer with a moving date range, not an exact moving date. So, do not use a broker if you need to move on a particular day.
Furthermore, ask the Representative if there are any circumstances that could preclude the crew from arriving and completing your move. Remember, the broker sub-contacts the move, so they cannot ensure if the moving crew will show up or not. There have been many scenarios where the broker’s moving team does not show up on moving day, thus, leaving the customer in a nightmare.
Furthermore, you must read reviews. Listen to the voice of the people! Look the company up on Google and read the reviews that real people have left. You will quickly find out if they are a broker or not. Also, you will get a real sense of how the company operates when dealing with customer service.
At the end of the day, do your homework. Research! And while you do your homework, look into Movebright.
Movebright is a locally owned and family-operated moving company based in Jacksonville, Florida. We have been established since 2013, and we are fully licensed and insured for every type of move, such as:
– Local Moves
– Commercial Moves
– Full-Service Pack Jobs
– Long Distance Moves
… And no, we are not a broker.
When you research us on Google, you will find that we have a 5-Star Google review with 350 reviews and counting. Our reviews come from real people we have been privileged to serve. We have a strong reputation within our community and are proud of it.
So, please do your research when deciding which moving company to use. We would be honored if you provided us with the opportunity to earn your business.
Move Right with Movebright Today.