8 Tips From A Moving Company

Here’s 8 tips to help make your next move smoother, and help nip customer/company disputes in the bud, provided by Tiffany of ASAP Van Lines:

1. Read Your Order For Service. If something is listed as an additional cost, that means they can possibly charge you that the day of the move. Whatever a sales person promises, get it in writing on your order for service.

2. You can accompany your mover to the weight scale to verify your weight when they leave your pick up.

3. Movers do need to pack items safely in order to assure the same condition on delivery as from pick up. Make sure your items are packed or you know their packing charges if you choose not to pack your own.

4. Update your items list 72 hours before your move to ensure the most accurate weight….

5. …You are always allowed a reweigh [ed. which you can either request with the company or contact your state weights and measures department] …Weight is much more accurate then cubic feet and most states are not allowed to work by cubic feet.

6. Boxes add more weight, if you tell a sales person you have 20 boxes and the movers pick up 100….your weight can change considerably. Example 80 boxes at an average 20lbs are 1,600lbs.

7. Moving companies have legally 30 days to deliver you items but the general delivery spread is 7-21 business days. If you are not paying for an expedited shipment, understand they cannot always guarantee a specific day, only a delivery spread.

8. Content of boxes need to be verified for shipment if they are valued over $100. If you are moving dvd players, dvds, game systems, etc., show the movers and make sure it is labeled on the inventory.

Now that’s from the mover’s perspective. Here’s some more tips coming from the consumer side of things:

Things To Know Before You Freight Ship
Trouble With Your Movers? Call The Department Of Weights And Measures!
Moving On The Cheap
How To Find a Reputable Mover



Edit Your Comment

  1. Tallanvor says:

    9. Most moving companies will lie their asses off, and will completely contradict anything they have in writing once they have your stuff.

  2. jeffj-nj says:

    So, I should not hire a moving company? Alright then.

    I kinda didn’t want to anyway.

  3. ReaderRob says:

    This made me think:

    It would be worth the extra time packing to take the opportunity of moving to form an accurate inventory of household goods.

    For larger items, a pic and description would be good but for all of the smaller things, I think that setting up a video camera and simply holding things up slightly as you pack them away might be enough.

    This record would not only be good if something happens with the movers, but also good if something (such as a fire) happens down the road.

  4. not_seth_brundle says:

    Sorry. I do not understand your comments or your reasoning.

    Oops, wrong thread!

  5. VA_White says:

    I got into it with a moving company. The lady who came to my house to give an estimate told me that I needed to have all appliances and electronics unplugged before the movers got there.

    I did unplug and ziptie all the computer, stereo, and other electronic cables but I left them out so they would pack them them safely.

    When the stuff got delivered, my tower was damaged and the computer would not boot. The moving company told me they would not reimburse me because they could not verify that the computer actually worked when they picked it up because it was all unplugged. They basically accused me of filling my house with broken electronics so I could claim damages at delivery.

    I eventually got reimbursed for the repair but it took almost a year of fighting with them. Does anyone know the real deal on plugged/unplugged electronics?

  6. taz20075 says:

    I highly suggest you take the time to walk through the house with the movers while they inventory your stuff. Most of them make up nicks and dings and scratches that don’t exist, just in case they dent something. We moved a couple months after we bought our dining room hutch. The movers found 30 scratches and dents and cracks on it that weren’t there.

  7. shdwsclan says:

    10. See my post about capitalism under student loans and then do the moving yourself…..rent a van, also, thats what weekends are for…

    And, if your in another state, yeah, you still have to do this yourself…hopefully you have family or a spouse with another car…

  8. chrisgoh says:

    @not_seth_brundle: “Sorry. I do not understand your comments or your reasoning.”

    Awesome, I just shot soda out my nose!

  9. SaraAB87 says:

    I wouldn’t trust a moving company with my electronics, they come with me period, people steal video games, the last thing I want is to open up my packages to find that all my rare games that are quickly sellable on ebay for 100$ plus each are gone. Labeling a box “video games” and showing the movers the contents is just asking for trouble IMO.

    Since damaging my electronics or computer would get me extremely infuriated and there are not too many things that make me mad but thats one of them, I wouldn’t trust anyone but myself with them. It would be easier to tolerate if I damaged something myself in a move. The only way I would allow someone else to touch my games and electronics is if the value of each and every game was documented properly and insured.

  10. not_seth_brundle says:

    @chrisgoh: Sorry, I still do not understand your comments or your reasoning. Sorry.

  11. aalexa says:

    Hey everybody, I have really enjoyed reading Consumerist the past few weeks and I am very interested in this post about moving.

    It seems like there is a general distrust towards moving companies. Working for a moving company as a young, college age business administrator, I have seen things like taking a longer break than normal and not telling a customer, or maybe breaking something and fixing it without alerting the customer, but on the whole I have been very impressed with the way that individual movers take ownership of a moving job.

    We pride ourselves on being a top-notch moving company. When we move you into your new house, we go room by room and make sure that all heavy objects are in the right spot, we assemble all beds, amwars, and entertainment centers, and we do hold ourselves responsible for most damages caused.

    Now, whether or not you should hire a moving company is a question that you need to ask yourself. We don’t see much business from 20-25 year olds because they usually are capable of moving themselves, but as you get older, the prospect of moving that big dresser just doesn’t seem enticing. We also add value by wrapping all furniture and breakables in a thick pad before loading it on a truck and we are able to stack all of your belongings in a way that minimizes space wastage and movement during your trip.

    I guarantee that a moving company will do a better job than any individual when moving much the same way a lawyer can run a courtroom better than you can. We do this for a living.

  12. VA_White says:

    @SaraAB87: Since damaging my electronics or computer would get me extremely infuriated and there are not too many things that make me mad but thats one of them, I wouldn’t trust anyone but myself with them.

    This makes sense but you’re screwed when you only have a certain amount of space in the car and you’ve got to fit you, hubby, two kids, two cats, and enough clothing for the month it’s going to take to get you there. I just can’t pack all that stuff in the car. I wonder if shipping it all UPS would be safer/cheaper?

    Still doesn’t address the original question of whether they can screw people like that with the “unable to verify that it worked at origin” bullshit.

  13. lindyman77 says:

    I just moved internationally and have 3 things to add to this for international moves:
    1) You are not allowed to pack yourself if moving to the U.S. (Homeland security stuff)
    2) You must buy insurance.
    3) International movers are not liable to U.S. laws so choose your movers carefully.

  14. acambras says:

    My biggest moving tip applies whether you hire a moving company or do it yourself:

    It’s smart to purge unwanted stuff before the move. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at something after a move and asked myself, “Now why the hell did I just move this?” before taking it to Goodwill or the dumpster.

  15. crayonshinobi says:

    This will be my last post on the Consumerist.

    I am very disappointed that The Consumerist, a site which purports to aid consumers, would post “Tips for Moving” from a representative of a company that committed consumer fraud.

    See here: ASAP Van Lines Dispute Resolved In Favor Of Consumer

  16. MommaShenobi says:


  17. MommaShenobi says:

    ASAP VAN LINES is under investigation for consumer fraud.

  18. K-Bo says:

    @crayonshinobi: They are common sense tips for the most part, it’s not like they say leave all jewelry on the kitchen counter so we can steal it. Just because they may have done something wrong doesn’t mean that these tips aren’t helpful, and I’m sure Ben actually reads them before he posts them, and wouldn’t have posted them if they were attempts by the company to make it easier to rip more people off.

  19. farrah says:

    The first and most basic tip is to make sure the mover comes and does an in home estimate. Do NOT use the Find-A-Mover websites, as that is where the scammers reside. There is no way for you to “guesstimate” how much stuff you have. A mover must go through and see everything that you will be moving. Only, at that point, will you have a correct quote from a moving company. Do not find a mover over the internet and fill out the inventory lists. Those will not be accurate and will leave you to becoming “held hostage” by the scammers. The second most basic tip is that you will receive only $.60 per pound for any/all damages and/or losses UNLESS you purchase additional valuation from your moving company. A dining room table that needs to be replaces will get you about $25.

  20. chrisgoh says:

    @crayonshinobi and MommaShenobi: Sorry, I don’t understand your comments nor do I understand your reasoning. Sorry.

  21. jeffislouie says:

    “ASAP VAN LINES is under investigation for consumer fraud. “

    I’m sorry,I do not understand your comments or your reasoning.

  22. jeffislouie says:

    “This will be my last post on the Consumerist.”

    Thank you.

    “I am very disappointed that The Consumerist, a site which purports to aid consumers, would post “Tips for Moving” from a representative of a company that committed consumer fraud.”

    Yeah. Stupid Consumerist posting tips that would help prevent fraud!

    I mean:
    I’m sorry. I don’t understand your comments or your reasoning.

  23. chrisgoh says:


    Crayon, are there any of the suggestions that you think are wrong? If they are good recommendations, I really don’t care who is giving them.

  24. MusicMom says:

    The tips above are OK, in extremely general terms. There is a lot of information left out, most of which Farrah covered above, and some that needs correcting. States do not regulate Cubic Feet moves interstate, that is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The law is that Cubic Foot (volume) measurements may only be used if the estimate clearly says Binding, in which the price cannot go up or down nomatter what. These are often called Flat Rate moves. If the estimate is Non-Binding or a Guaranteed Not To Exceed, the measurement has to be based on weight and backed up with the so-discussed Certified Weight Tickets.

    For a more detailed and direct set of Tips to follow, go to the FMCSA’s consumer website, http://www.protectyourmove.gov. There are PDF versions to follow, plus you can read through the federally-required “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet.

    I, too am surprised that these tips came from a company with an ongoing article alleging fraud. I haven’t yet seen an outcome to this case, so I’m wondering if waiting to post these wouldn’t have been in the public’s best interest? It smacks a little of hypocracy (I’m not intending offense to this site), like printing a guide on finding a good babysitter written by a person currently on trial for child abuse. You might want to take it back later if it’s shown that ASAP was in the wrong.

  25. chrisgoh says:

    If there is nothing wrong with the information, there would be no reason for them to have to take it back at a later date, regardless of the outcome of the ASAP investigation.

    For the sake of argument, assume ASAP has scammed people, wouldn’t they be the best person to get advice from?

    You’ve seen or read “Catch Me if You Can”? Frank Abingale was a scammer of the utmost degree regarding check fraud. Today he is one of the leading professionals consulting banks on how to avoid being scammed.

  26. jeffislouie says:

    “You might want to take it back later if it’s shown that ASAP was in the wrong.”

    Here’s what I don’t understand – you admit that these are good general guidelines so why would/should they be taken back?
    The mover is under investigation for fraud – in our country, they are innocent until proven guilty. So why should the consumerist take it back or kill the post, which you admit makes valid points?
    And frankly speaking, unless you see anything that would help a moving company scam anyone, who cares who it comes from? Good advice is good advice.
    If a homeless man gave you the advice to buy low and sell high, would you run out and do the opposite because it came from a homeless man?
    My girlfriend doesn’t eat fish, so should people ignore her if she were to talk about the benefits of eating fish?
    The fact is that the advice offered by ASAP is good. Take it or leave it, but it doesn’t make sense not to post it because of alleged, but not proven, fraud.
    Ad Hominem logical fallacy – attack the person.
    “One of the most common non-rational appeals is an argumentum ad hominem–or, as the Latin phrase suggests, an “argument against the person” (and not against the ideas he or she is presenting). Our decisions should be based on a rational evaluation of the arguments with which we are presented, not on an emotional reaction to the person or persons making that argument. But because we often react more strongly to personalities than to the sometimes abstract and complex arguments they are making, ad hominem appeals are often very effective with someone who is not thinking critically. Consider a few examples:

    A political candidate is gaining support by proposing a tax change. So her opponent argues that the candidate herself would be one of the chief beneficiaries of that tax change.
    Your doctor tells you to lose some weight. But why should you listen to a doctor who is himself overweight?
    A friend has recommended a new investment opportunity, but your significant other rejects the recommendation with the remark, “How could you possibly value the advice of that idiot?”
    In each of these cases, there is an argument (concerning taxes, health, or investments); and in each, the argument is given less importance than something about the person making that argument. And that’s what is wrong with ad hominem appeals. After all, if the tax proposal is an improvement, if the medical diagnosis is sound, if the investment opportunity is worthwhile–then what difference does it make who is presenting the argument–or even why?”


  27. MusicMom says:

    I’m sorry, I meant to go more into T’s tips.

    Half of the tips up there are about re-weighs and correcting the weights you gave to the movers. This is a small portion of the move. Re-weighs rarely happen, and a custimer usually is VERY unhappy when they go to this length, because it requires the full truck be weighed, then you have to pay them what they ask, then they empty te truck, then they weight the empty truck, then they hand you back the money you’ve been overcharged. If you don’t trust the mover to tell you the tuth, why would you trust the mover to stick around after unloading to hand you back your money? You can’t sue them, there’s the Carmack Amendment barring a consumer from suing a moving company. Also, T twice says that YOU have to contact the company to update the inventory YOU already provided to them, and if YOU underestimate the number of boxes you’re going to need, then YOU better fix it or be prepared to pay the extra weight. How many of us have been packing and had to go out to buy more boxes at the last minute? Again, we’re not trained professionals. Those guys can look at all your knick-knacks and tell how many boxes of what size they will all take.

    It is absolutely imperative that your estimate is provided by a representative of the moving company. Doing this means you should be using a company that’s local to your current house, not one that’s across the country offering you a move through a website. Yellow Pages and Real Estate agents are the best places to find good movers near you.

    Yes, you should read your Order for Service. Don’t let the foreman rush you. Make sure all pertinent information is filled in, like new address; estimated delivery window (which can be 7-21 days, though not usually that long unless there are extenuating circumstances-good movers will plan their routes ahead of time to work for the deliveries they have and result in shorter timeframes); a legible driver’s signature so you can reference his name later; the carrier’s name, address, phone number, and license numbers (DOT & MC); additional services that may be needed (stairs and “long carries” are a contentious charge) and their prices, they are supposed to discuss these with you ahead of time; discuss insurance options ahead of time so you understand the differece between Basic Valuation and additional coverage; and last but not least, make sure ALL of this information came through onto the Carbon Copy. There are some sneaky movers out there.

    Do check the inventory sheet. Make sure the movers are writing more than “box”, “box, “table”, “chair”, etc. If they are marking everything as “scratched” or “damaged” before it’s been handled, you’re in for a big surprise at unloading. Admit when one of your items IS actually scratched or damaged, but don’t give them a window of opportunity to later say “oh, that smashed table was already damaged when we picked it up, see, it’s marked on the Inventory List.

    OK, I think that’s enough for now. Basic protIection for the consumer. Most important: READ EVERYTHING WORD FOR WORD AND SMALL PRINT.

  28. MusicMom says:

    No, Jeff, I said the tips are “OK in very general terms”. I didn’t say they were “good”. To much is left out to say they’re good tips. What if shampoo only said “wash hair” instead of “lather, rinse, repeat”?

    And Chris, a person still operating in an industry has the obligation to get all the info right and be thorough if they’re going to play the expert. Frank Abingale has nothing to lose by exposing his secrets. But the Tips above are not exposing secrets of scammer, they’re just an underfed attempt at looking good.

  29. MusicMom says:

    Chris and Jeff, what will you say if it is proven that ASAP defrauded Candace?

  30. acambras says:

    What if shampoo only said “wash hair” instead of “lather, rinse, repeat”?

    We’d all probably save money on shampoo, seeing as how double-shampooing is unnecessary unless one’s hair is really dirty.

  31. jeffislouie says:

    Same as I’ve always said – shame on them.
    But it could have been handled better by mommashinobi and likely resolved much faster. My comments have not been to excuse ASAP’s error, just to point out that yelling and threatening isn’t the only way to get stuff taken care of – as a matter of fact, it’s USUALLY the worst way to deal with a problem.

  32. jeffislouie says:

    That is funny.
    A little soda just shot out of my nose.

  33. chrisgoh says:

    I’d say shame on ASAP and they should be punished accordingly. The current evidence only indicates that an error was made. Your posts in the other thread make it sound like you automatically are assuming they are guilty. The posts Jeff and I have made are based only on what has been posted here. Possibilities include incompetence or fraud on either the parts of ASAP or the scale operator. The only point I’ve been trying to make is that the customer could have handled this better. From what we’ve seen her, Tiffany SOUNDS reasonable and helpful while the customer SOUNDS rude and unreasonable.

  34. chrisgoh says:

    @MusicMom: What would you or the Shenobi clan say if it is shown that it was not ASAP’s fault?

  35. acambras says:


    That’s ok. Unless some of the soda/snot got into your hair, you still only need to shampoo once.

  36. chrisgoh says:

    @MusicMom: “And Chris, a person still operating in an industry has the obligation to get all the info right and be thorough if they’re going to play the expert.”

    First off, like I said in the other thread, I appreciate your willingness to participate in a mature debate. It is nice to see that people can have diverging opinions and still discuss them without resorting to insults.

    To your point, I think you’d probably agree that a thorough set of tips regarding dealing with moving companies could probably encompass volumes. The web is full of true experts (as well as “experts”) who give advice in the form of short lists. And sure, you can assume that they only provided the list to make themselves look good and I am sure that is part of the reason they provided it. That does not negate it being useful or a good thing. Nor does it mean, as Crayon suggested, that it should not have been posted. Lots of companies do good things partially for the PR benefit, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

    If nothing, the Shinobi’s could probably learn a thing or two from ASAP about using PR to your benefit to skew public opinion to your favor.

  37. MusicMom says:

    OK, left myself wide open on the shampoo thing. ;^) Couldn’t think of a better example.

    I may seem to be against ASAP, but you also seem to be very against Candace, just because she supposedly yelled (if you’re taking Tiffany’s word for it) and you found one sentence of hers in the comments particularly annoying, yet you then continued to childishly repeat it over and over again.

    I’m not automatically assuming they’re GUILTY so much as assuming there were inner workings to get more money from the customer. Whether it was the driver trying to sneak that $400 into his own pocket without Tiffany’s knowledge, or whether they secretly hoped that Candace was very bad at estimating so their bill would be higher, or whether the office shuffled around some other weight tickets to get a higher weight to call Candace’s load, I don’t know and I never will. Perhaps I may be automatically assuming that ASAP is at fault because I have been working to protect the consumer for almost 4 years, after I got scammed, and have come across other unhappy customers of ASAP and studied the two news articles involving ASAP. I would not think they were intentionally trying to defraud Candace if they hadn’t been accused of that before. I’m not a moving professional, but I’ve learned a heck of a lot of stuff from pros, enough to say that after reading BOTH sides of the argument, ASAP has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. Tiffany’s answer may have sounded reasonable, and perhaps it was, but it didn’t really address the problem other than to offer to do the re-weigh, which was going to be forced upon them at some point anyway by the Dept of Weights and Measures.

    To say that only “an error was made” is a huge understatement. In a legal sense, ASAP’s attempt to overcharge Candace for a move based on weight tickets proven by government double-checking to be wrong is nothing less than fraud, in fact, it’s what my own scam mover is currently awaiting federal charges for doing over and over again. And if she had paid up without a fight, as so many scam victims have done, she’d not have any legal recourse. I for one am proud that Candace stood up to them, even if she yelled, and is not letting up to this date. And I’m very glad this website is airing this whole issue for others to read.

    I do have to confess that I have talked to MommaShenobi about this on the website I volunteer at, but truthfully I got much more information on both sides of the story from Consumerist. My take on it comes from this site, not my conversations with Momma.

    But if, in the end, it’s proven that ASAP did nothing wrong, that the weight of the shipment actually was the 2100 pounds they demanded payment for, that a screaming voicemail gets posted as an audio file here, that Candace is a raving lunatic, that the scale of the original weighing is SO far out of adjustment that my Volvo would weigh 5 pounds, then I will conceed that ASAP did nothing wrong. That’s about the end of my obligation.

  38. MusicMom says:

    Allright, Chris, I’ll change my tune. I don’t think the list of tips above is good in any way, because it leaves so much out and is vague in what it does say.

    But I still don’t think it should have been posted at this point in time, or it should have been double-checked against all the other sets of Tips out there for completeness and usefulness. People might take it as an endorsement of ASAP by this website, that the Consumerist sees ASAP as a reputable source of information, thus ruining any informative discussion going on in the other articles and smacking Candace in the face.

  39. MusicMom says:

    Oops, I mistakenly thought this screaming voicemail in question was left by Candace to Tiffany. Sorry

  40. chrisgoh says:

    @MusicMom: “I may seem to be against ASAP, but you also seem to be very against Candace, just because she supposedly yelled (if you’re taking Tiffany’s word for it) and you found one sentence of hers in the comments particularly annoying, yet you then continued to childishly repeat it over and over again.”

    First off, you have it backwards, the Shinobi’s claimed that Tiffany left a screaming message on their voice mail, Tiffany denied it. So if they produce the message they prove Tiffany a liar, but they have not done so, as a result, I believe that was a lie.

    Like I said in the other threads, as a reader here, we have very little evidence to go by. That leaves us judging a she said/she said. Based on that, you have to look at character to determine who you think is right. For me, the lack of the message and the customers insults and other silly responses compared to Tiffany’s more mature response leads me to believe her.

    Given that you actually talked to Momma, have you tried to actually talk to Tiffany? I think that might give you a more balanced perspective.

    And regarding your comment about me childishly repeating over and over again Momma’s comment, I skimmed through the comments and believe I only posted it once. MommaShinobi has said it more times than anyone.

  41. chrisgoh says:

    @MusicMom: “Oops, I mistakenly thought this screaming voicemail in question was left by Candace to Tiffany. Sorry”

    No problem, I started the above post before you posted this, so disregard that part of my comment.

    That said, since you’ve talked to Momma, why not contact her again and ask her to play the message for you.

  42. MusicMom says:

    Yeah, sorry about the voicemail thing. And it was Jeff that kept repeating the phrase, not you.

    I did ask Momma about it, just this evening, but it’s not my place to speak for her. I know the answer, but I have to wait for her to say it.

    I think it’s time to let this go. It was good getting all this in the open from a bunch of people not actually involved in the situation. ;^) I’m hoping future potential customers might read both Tiffany’s and Candace’s stories and make an informed decision about what might happen during THEIR move.

    As GI Joe says, “knowing is half the battle”.

  43. chrisgoh says:

    Agreed, this has been beat to death. I can certainly understand your perspective, especially given that you’ve actually spoken with Momma. I hope you can at least understand where my perspective is coming from (even if you don’t agree) given that the only information I’ve had to go by is what has been said here by each party.

  44. chrisgoh says:

    Any word if Momma is going to speak up regarding the message or the results of the investigation?

  45. a_m_m_b says:

    #8 don’t bother – they will go through your boxes & cherry pick as they please claiming never to have seem said items or their boxes.

    [ex: Starving Students – aka: Lying Skank Thieves]

    @ReaderRob: awesome idea :) just be sure to check off the inventory as it’s delivered & don’t sign off on the delivery w/o checking each & every box.

    [yes, got burned. my insurance co (USAA) was awesome about the cost of replacement, but nonetheless, having 2 boxes of DVDs, 1 box of china & misc. video games sucked.]