The Pros and Cons of Getting Moving Quotes Online

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The Pros and Cons of Getting Moving Quotes Online

Staff Writer · Apr 27, 2010

Requesting online moving quotes is a great way to receive estimates quickly and make comparisons easier. Online quotes, however, also have drawbacks and should not be relied upon as the sole contact prior to hiring a moving company.

Pro: Receive Multiple, Detailed Quotes at the Push of a Button

Moving quote websites often make it possible to receive multiple quotes with the click of a button. After completing a form in which you will identify the pieces of furniture and number of boxes to be moved, the site will disperse it to multiple moving companies. The companies will then contact you either by phone or email with their estimate. Because the same form will be provided to each company, the estimates will contain the same information and be easy to compare.

Of courses, it is also possible to request a quote from individual moving companies on their own websites. Doing so might possibly result in your receiving a more thorough quote because the forms may be more specific to that company.

Pro: Reduce the Amount of Necessary Legwork

Receiving multiple quotes at once reduces your workload. Even if you later request an in person estimate, an online quote will permit you to more easily identify those companies you would like to speak further to about your move.

Con: Inexact Quotes

The main drawback to receiving quotes online is their unreliability. Without actually seeing your belongings, the moving company is taking your word as to the dimensions, weight, number of boxes and general size of your move. Unless you have a lot of experience moving, you most likely do not have the knowledge to properly estimate these facts. This may mean that when the moving company appears, or after they have loaded and transported your goods, they may claim you need to pay more money because of the inexact estimate.

Con: Untrustworthy Quotes

It is an unfortunate fact that working online increases the chances for scams. An online moving quote may be intentionally low to con you into hiring the company for your move. In these cases, the company may try to extort more money out of you after your belongings are loaded on the truck; often, disreputable companies will refuse to unload your belongings until receiving more money.

Additionally, an online quote is not in writing or signed by the company. This means that they are therefore not bound to abide by their estimate and are legally able to charge you more money. Only if the quote is in writing and signed, is the company prevented from charging an amount higher than their estimate. Furthermore, even if the move proceeds well and as planned, without a signed writing agreement, the company is not liable for any damages to your goods. As such, your ability to request reimbursement for the damaged goods may be all but impossible.

Con: Lack of Face-to-Face Contact

You can tell a lot about a company by meeting their representative. A well-kept, polite and timely representative indicates that the company will be similarly behaved. Not meeting the company’s representative in person means you will not be able to get a feeling of the company’s reliability and trustworthiness. The representative’s visit, furthermore, is the time when you will be provided with other information and documents essential for your move. Forgoing an investigation of your goods means that you will not receive pamphlets that explain the company’s dispute resolution procedures, insurance coverage and the company’s history.

Before your move, you should request no less than three moving estimates from different companies. Generally, it is also advisable to also have the company visit your home and provide you with an estimate for your move. Doing so will reduce the chance of possible problems, fraudulent charges or misunderstandings. Be smart about your move, follow your intuition when choosing a moving company, and do not hesitate to ask any and all questions.

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