Rogue Movers, Reputable Movers, and Written Estimates
Let’s be honest: moving is a pain, no one likes to do it. Seriously, just ask your friends to help and suddenly everyone is instantly busy, out of town or scheduled for routine brain surgery. So now that you’re on your own, what do you do? Where do you go to find help? Is it time to bring in the pros and if so, how do you pick the right company for you? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Rogue Movers vs. Reputable Movers
There’s a couple of things you should know when “shopping” for a moving company. There are two types of moving companies…the Reputable Movers and the Rogue Mover. In the state of Washington, Reputable companies follow the strict guidelines set by the Utility Transportation Commission (UTC) and the Rogue companies….well, they don’t…which is why they’re Rogue…so be very careful with this kind of company. How do you know the difference? Well, the Reputable Movers have professional websites listing all the services they offer, tips for moving, “free quote” sections, etc. The Rogue Mover….well, sometimes they do too. Telling the difference can be a bit tricky. So for now, let the shopping and sorting process begin!
Before you know it, it’s 2 a.m. and you’ve been trolling all the moving websites, filling out quote requests until you can’t feel your fingers anymore. Some companies throw a quote out right away that sounds too good to be true. Others give a price range and then there are the companies that tell you to schedule an onsite visit in order to get your “free written estimate”. Ugh…can I just get a realistic number please? I don’t want to take the time to get anything in writing! I know, you’re tired, you’ve microwaved the same cup of coffee so many times it now has a faint nuclear glow to it and you are not in the mood for any of these shenanigans! But let me tell you something about the need for the written estimate because this is going to be a major factor that sets the Reputable Movers apart from the Rogue Movers.
Washington State law requires that customers receive a Written Estimate from a licensed moving company before you put your stuff on their trucks. This is a free, no obligation service and anyone who tries to charge you for an onsite visit or tells you a Written Estimate isn’t required is a company to be very cautious of. Now you may be wondering what difference it makes; how does a piece of paper protect you? Well, here’s why – the estimate protects you from a Rogue Mover who quotes you a low rate to get you to sign on the dotted line and then holds your belongings “hostage” on their truck until you pay whatever inflated price they want. They are also known for telling customers to pay a percentage up front as a “deposit” only to never be seen or heard from again. A Reputable Mover does the free onsite visit to assess the needs of the customer. They then either provide you with the written estimate at the end of your appointment or will email one to you if you prefer.
Now what happens if the size of the household being moved changes? Maybe you’ve had a monster yard sale and sold off all the “chachkies” you inherited from your great aunt Matilda….or (and I promise, this has happened) you got click happy on the Ikea website and went on a furniture shopping spree and now have more furniture than you did at the time of your estimate…not a problem because a Reputable Mover will make the necessary adjustments to the estimate before your stuff goes on our truck.
At the end of the day, it comes down to just using your best judgement. If a quote sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Written Estimates are required by state law to protect YOU the consumer. They aren’t some evil form of salesman trickery to coerce you into something you don’t want or need. It’s not a “hard sell” – either you like the quote or you don’t, it won’t hurt our feelings in the least….well, ok, maybe it’ll hurt ’em a little…and the Move Coordinator will probably lose sleep over it or might require therapy….but it’s all good. Now, repeat after me, Rogue Mover – BAD, Reputable Mover and their Written Estimate – GOOD!
Customer Service Representative
After moving across the country (twice) with her two favorite horses, Stephanie has experienced first-hand what every single one of our customers goes through. Her passion for helping people for the past 16 years as a customer service representative has led her to delve into the world of writing informative blogs to help our customers during the moving process. If you have questions for Stephanie, please feel free to add a comment below!