You are preparing for your big interstate move, interviewing movers, checking references, and comparing estimates. It’s exhausting enough, and then you notice that each of the finalists has a whole section called accessorial services in San Diego, all priced differently. What does this mean, and how do you evaluate them? Relax, it isn’t as complicated as it looks at first.
What are accessorial services in a move?
“Accessorial services In San Diego” means services provided by the moving company in addition to the loading and transportation of the shipment. The term includes storage, assistance with packing, unpacking, additional labor for stairs or long carries, assembly, and disassembly, and rubbish disposal. These are sometimes referred to as ancillary services and are identified on the mover’s tariff. Usually, you can decide what accessorial services you want to pay for—such as packing and storage, and you can control the costs by the decisions you make.
Costs for packing can easily add $1000 to your move bill if you have a three-bedroom home. Is it worth it? That depends on your situation. Paying for packing services has pros and cons. The most significant advantage is that it is one less thing for you to do—one big item checked off your list. Another important consideration is that the movers know how to pack and ensure that your items are adequately secured and protected in their moving boxes. They have the expertise needed to pack glassware, they understand the dynamics of loading boxes, and they won’t get tired of wrapping small items and start skimping on bubble wrap, potentially exposing your sentimental tchotchkes to harm. The experts also have the right materials and can make packing closets a breeze with those handy upright wardrobe boxes, not to mention crating your large pictures.
On the other hand, the movers will pack everything—no questions asked. If you are counting on using the packing process as an opportunity to downsize, you will have to complete your screening work before having the moving team start packing. Moving is a great time to discard (give away, donate, or dispose of) things you no longer need or use, rather than automatically moving everything to your next location. Closets and garages are the most promising targets for this attention, so whether you are packing or engaging movers to complete that service, take advantage of the moment and reduce your possessions. Ultimately, you will benefit from the reduction in weight for the shipment. Every box in a load can weigh as much as fifty pounds, so reducing the number of boxes will directly reduce the weight that goes on the truck.
If you decide to perform the packing yourself, you may also be limiting the liability the movers assume for some items. If something gets damaged in a box that you pack, there must be significant damage to the container for the mover to be liable. If the mover packs it, they are responsible for the item during the journey. Pro tip: carefully review the options for valuation coverage. The moving & storage companies in San Diego must offer you coverage at no cost, but it values your shipment at $0.60 per pound. If anything gets lost or damaged, this is unlikely to allow for the repair or replacement of your item. As an illustration, your 20-pound flat-screen television will be valued at $12.00 by this formula. Even a $300 men’s suit that weighs 3 pounds will be valued at $1.80. The moving company will also offer you Full Value Coverage, but at a price.
Storage is a service that you can sometimes control, by timing your move. If you need to move out of your old home before your new residence is available, you will need your goods placed temporarily into storage. Your temporary housing will have a cost associated with it, and the storage facility will as well. Also, your shipment will be loaded and unloaded twice—once into storage and once into the final destination. That increases the labor charges of the move overall.
There are also some factors outside your control. These are often encountered at the destination residence and are referred to in the industry as impracticable operations or unforeseen conditions. They may be unforeseen because the mover you engage to conduct the transfer of your household has not seen your destination. While the mover is required to do a physical inspection of the origin, to create a comprehensive inventory of everything in the move, no one examines the end location.
What are impracticable operations?
These are conditions that prevent the operator from doing business with standard equipment. Commonly, a steep driveway that results in a long carry for the movers is an impracticable operation. The same is true of a busy urban street where the full-sized truck cannot park for an extended period, requiring a shuttle instead. Elevator deliveries or multiple stair flights are in this category, as are room configurations that make delivery difficult. If your destination has these conditions, the mover will add charges for the additional labor that it expends to complete the shipment’s conveyance. The shipper (that’s you) is obligated to pay these charges, regardless of whether you were consulted or not.
What if I can’t pay the whole bill?
If the additional charges are high, you may not have to pay all of them immediately. Federal regulations are specific regarding interstate moves, and depending on the type of estimate you obtained. Suppose you agreed to a move with a binding estimate. In that case, you are required to pay no more than the following at the time of delivery: 100% of the forecast for transportation and services, plus impracticable operations charges in an amount equal to 15% of the total. For example, suppose your binding estimate for line-haul charges and packing was $8,000. In that case, the added cost for services due to unexpected conditions cannot exceed $1,200 on the day of delivery (total of $9,200). If the mover has more charges, it must bill you after 30 days.
Suppose your non-binding estimate for line-haul costs and packing was $8,000. In that case, you could pay up to 110% of that total, plus the same allowable amount for impracticable operations, so in this case, the maximum you could be required to pay to receive delivery would be $10,120. The $8,000 estimate plus 10% totals $8,800, plus 15% of that total comes to $1,320, for a possible grand total of $10,120. In the case of a non-binding estimate, the shipment’s final weight is what determines the price. Remember that the mover can bill the shipper for a higher amount, but not on the day of delivery. The shipper has the right to review the weight ticket for the shipment or observe the weighing process.
All of these amounts will appear on the Mover’s Tariff, and your moving company should be willing to explain them to you.