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Cross Country Movers Los Angeles

Published by Chris Townsend

Interstate Moving Companies In LA

Los Angeles

Looking for a cross-country mover to help support your move out of Los Angeles? The population in the Los Angeles area has been on the decline due to unfriendly congestion and high housing prices. When people decide to leave California, they often choose to relocate long distance to Texas or Arizona, both more affordable than Los Angeles, but with moderate weather. Oregon, Washington, and Nevada are also popular destinations for those making a move.

How do I find a cross-country mover in Los Angeles?

Finding a reliable interstate mover is not too difficult if you know what resources to rely on and what rules the movers should be following. Companies that conduct state to state household goods moves are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, known by the abbreviation FMCSA. In many states, local movers are under the Department of Motor Vehicles or another state agency. Still, any interstate move is within the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, which also regulates interstate commerce. FMCSA maintains records on the safety history and customer complaints regarding moving companies and recommends that you check the license status of any company you are considering for your move.

The FMCSA website offers several valuable resources to help you educate yourself about the moving industry and choose the best moving company for your job. Movers are required to provide customers with a copy of the publication titled Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, which describes the obligations of movers and packers and moving brokers to their customers. Reading through this document in advance will give you a head start understanding what you should do to find an excellent moving company.

Do I need an in-person estimate to hire a mover?

Consumer advocates and moving industry watchdogs prefer that you obtain at least three in-person estimates before you decide on a moving company. The in-person, visual inspection of the household goods is a crucial part of the process the mover should go through to determine the rate it quotes for your move. If a company is reluctant to come to your house or apartment and do the required walk-through, that is a red-flag (more info later on other red flags signaling potential scams) that you might be dealing with a shady company. Each potential vendor should walk through the residence, look at everything that will be included in the move, and ask questions. That way, they can determine how much the shipment will weigh, which is the basis of the rate for a long-distance move quote. A company that claims it can do a good job of creating an estimate over the phone or using an online form is not trustworthy.

When you get the moving estimates, make sure that you understand whether they are nonbinding or binding. A nonbinding estimate is not a firm price—it is an approximation, and the move's final cost can be higher if the weight forecast the mover makes is incorrect. A binding estimate is a commitment by the mover that the transportation part of the cost is guaranteed. The overall price will only increase if you must pay for additional services or if you add items to the move that were not accounted for in the original quote.

Suppose one of the estimates assesses your shipment's weight much lower than the others and is a nonbinding quote. In that case, the mover might be planning to raise the price later by telling you that you have a much heavier load than they thought and demanding that you pay more before they deliver and unload your possessions. If you are suspicious of a low quote, ask questions, or ask what the charges would be if the weight is ultimately greater, so that you can compare fairly to the other bids.

How much will it cost to move from Los Angeles?

Getting the estimates is the best way to find out how much it will cost for your move. This also helps you choose the cheapest cross-country movers. The average interstate relocation costs about $4,300. That pays for moving the contents of a three-bedroom house 1,250 miles. But every move is different. Some factors can increase or decrease your cost. If you have a small apartment with minimal furniture and not much storage, you can expect to pay less for your move than someone in a large home with a garage full of boxes and heavy antique furniture. That makes sense. If you want a full-service move, where the mover does the packing for you in addition to loading and unloading the truck, they will do that for an extra charge. For emergency moves, you will need same day moving services and usually costs more. There are charges for crating fragile art and charges for heavy items like pool tables and pianos. Other things you might not think of that can add to the cost include the layout of both the home you are leaving and the one you are moving to. Movers charge for "long carries," which means they must carry your goods more than a certain distance from the house to the truck. They often charge for stairs, mainly if there is more than one flight, and for elevator waiting time. If you have a long, steep driveway and the standard moving truck can't park at the top, you may incur a shuttle charge. Fortunately, all these potential fees are spelled out in the mover’s tariff, which they will provide to you with the estimate.

What are the other red flags to look for when talking to moving companies?

Remember that most of the Los Angeles movers you find are good, reputable companies, and if they maintain the required license with FMCSA, you are probably going to have a good experience. But it would be best if you still were cautious in certain circumstances.

  • If the mover demands a large deposit in advance or insists on being paid in cash, you should be wary. Movers usually receive their payment when the delivery is made, and requesting payment upfront can be a sign that the company is not trustworthy. If you pay with a credit card, you retain the ability to dispute the charge with your card issuer, whereas if you have handed over cash, you can't get it back.
  • If the company's website doesn't have a local address, or their office turns out to be a post office box. They might be a front for a far away rogue operator that sets up unsuspecting customers and may or may not even show up to perform the move. If they do, they may send unskilled temporary labor in a rented truck. Either way, they are probably not registered with FMCSA or insured.
  • If the person you initially spoke to is impossible to reach after that contact. When you call, you get voice mail, or someone answers the phone with a generic greeting that says "moving company" instead of using the name of the firm you think you are doing business with.
  • If the mover says that their basic level of insurance covers everything, or that the maximum increase on a nonbinding estimate is 10 percent, these are misleading claims designed to keep you from looking too closely at the terms. Moving company valuation protection (which may sometimes be referred to as insurance) has different coverage levels for you to consider. The basic level, included with the move's cost, will not provide you with reimbursement for most items in your shipment, and you should carefully consider paying the additional fee for a higher level of coverage.

Similarly, while the invoice for a move based on a nonbinding estimate is limited to 110% of that estimate on the day of delivery, the mover can bill you for additional charges subsequently.

For more information, refer to the publication on Your Rights and Responsibilities that your mover will provide.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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