When is the best time to move?
If there is a choice, it is best to avoid the summer months, the end of the month, or the end of the year holidays. Those are the busiest times for a moving company when the heaviest demands are placed on our trucks and our personnel.
However, Berman is equipped to work with any schedule and will set up your move when it is most convenient for you.
When should I call a moving company?
The earlier, the better! We recommend at least four to six weeks notice, if possible. The more lead time you can give, the more likely we will be able to meet your preferred schedule.
Do I need an estimate?
Yes. A pre-move survey is needed to determine the approximate cost of a move and the amount of space your goods will occupy on the van. Berman will provide a free in-house survey performed by a certified estimator. An accurate estimate cannot be given without a visual survey of the goods to be moved.
Keep in mind that estimates (household goods surveys) are only guidelines. Total charges for interstate and intrastate moves are based on the actual weight of your shipment, the distance it travels, and the services that you authorize or which become necessary in order to handle your shipment. Charges for local shipments are generally calculated on an hourly basis. There may be a minimum number of hours required.
What is a binding estimate?
A binding estimate, or binding cost of service, specifies in advance the precise cost of the move based on the services requested, or deemed necessary, at the time of the estimate. If additional services are requested or required at either origin or destination (such as a "shuttle" to or from a location which a full-size van cannot access, or a "long carry" from the street to residence), the total cost will increase. Binding estimates are valid for the time period specified, up to 60 days.
If you add items to be moved or require additional services such as packing, between the time of the estimate and the time of your move, there will be additional charges. An addendum specifying these additional charges will be prepared for your signature.
What information do you need to schedule my shipment?
Your address (including zip code), phone numbers, and destination city and state are the primary items needed to get the moving process in motion. Other information, such as additional stops and unusual items to be shipped (cars, boats, tractors, etc.), also must be provided at this time.
If our schedule changes, who should be notified and when?
Call your move coordinator as soon as possible, even if you do not know the revised move dates.
How much will my move cost?
Unless you have been given a binding estimate, the exact cost of your move cannot be determined until after your shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed. If additional services are requested or become necessary after loading and weighing, additional charges will be incurred. Basic transportation charges depend on the actual weight of your goods and the distance they will travel.
What is a tariff?
This is a list of rules, regulations, available services and resulting charges used by all motor carriers which provide interstate transportation of household goods. The tariffs are published by the Household Goods Motor Carrier Bureau and include various services. The tariffs are available for your inspection upon request.
How and when should I pay you?
Tariff provisions require that all charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at destination (unless prior arrangements have been made for later billing).
Payment for your shipment can be made by one of the following methods: Cash, Traveler's Check, money order or cashier's check. In addition, the American Express Card, Discover Card, Visa or MasterCard can be used to pay for interstate moves only, with advance approval required prior to loading (unless other billing arrangements have been made). Personal checks are accepted. All payment forms apply to both binding and non-binding estimates.
If you have received a non-binding estimate and your actual moving costs exceed the estimate, you will be required to pay no more than 110% of the estimated cost at delivery. Should your actual costs exceed the estimate by more than 10%, you will be given 30 days after delivery to pay the amount over 110%.
Payment of estimated charges plus 10% does not apply if goods are delivered into storage. If storage at destination (storage-in-transit) is necessary, all transportation charges must be paid at time of delivery of the shipment to the warehouse. You will then be assessed storage charges based on the applicable rates set forth in our tariff.
Do I have to be present for all phases of the move process?
Yes, because you are the most important participant in the move. You will need to be present during all phases of the move - the pre-move survey, packing, loading, and unloading - to assure that all items which you intend to transport are surveyed, packed, loaded, and delivered. You will need to do a final walk-through at both origin and destination in order to:
- Make sure everything has been loaded (origin)
- Make sure there is no damage to the residence. (origin & destination)
- Perform the inventory check-off, which ensures that all items are delivered.
- If there is damage, exceptions MUST be noted on the paperwork prior to the driver's or packing crew's departure, or the claim will be denied.
- You will need to sign all paperwork at both origin and destination.
Am I protected against loss or damage while my goods are in transit?
Yes, but how much protection you have and its cost to you depend upon the "valuation" program you choose.
The valuation option you select determines the basis upon which any claim will be adjusted and establishes the maximum liability. The liability for loss or damage is based upon tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations, and has certain limitations and exclusions. Valuation is not insurance; it is simply a tariff-based level of motor carrier liability.
Released Rate Liability - Basic Coverage
With this type of valuation, the maximum liability for loss or damage to any article in the shipment is 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the article. This is the basic liability level and is provided at no charge.
Under this protection plan, if your articles are lost or damaged while in our care, they will either be repaired or replaced with like items, or a cash settlement will be made for the current market replacement value, regardless of the age of the item.
Items of "Extraordinary Value"
"Articles of extraordinary value" refer to items having a value of more than $100 per pound. All "articles of extraordinary value" in your shipment must be listed on the High-Value Inventory form (this form will be given to you by your salesperson). Following is a partial list to help you identify items that might fall under this classification:
- coin collection
- oriental rugs
- precious stones or gems
Can I pack my clothes in a chest or in dresser drawers?
Lightweight clothing - sweaters, shirts, blouses, and lingerie - may be left in the drawers. Do not fill drawers with heavy items such as books, table linens or sheets which can damage the piece of furniture during transit. Be careful not to leave fragile items, money, jewelry, watches or other valuables in the drawers, as well as anything that might spill or leak.
What should I do in the event of a claim or damaged item?
First, bring the damage to the Driver's attention. Second, you should contact the move coordinator who is handling your move and make them aware of the problem. A claim form will then be mailed to you, or you will be referred to a claims adjuster for assistance. The following information will be needed when filing your claim for damages:
- Inventory tag number
- Description/name of the item (including brand name)
- The nature and extent of damage, or if the item is missing
- The original cost of the item
- The year that the item was purchased
- The value that you are placing on the item/the amount that you are claiming
DO NOT DISCARD ANY ITEM (INCLUDING ANY PACKAGING) THAT IS DAMAGED UNTIL A REPRESENTATIVE HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO INSPECT THE ITEM. FAILURE TO HAVE ITEMS AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION BY 3RD PARTY CONTRACTED BY THE VAN LINE COULD RESULT IN THE DENIAL OF THE CLAIM.