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Dealing with The Man and His Van: Moving Companies

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Curbed University delivers insider tips and non-boring advice on how to buy, sell, or rent a home or apartment. Additional questions welcomed to tips@curbed.com. Up now, in honor of Moving Power Hour, dealing with moving companies.

As with most things in NYC, movers best come recommended by a friend. If you don’t have any friends who have moved lately (or just no friends at all?hey, that’s what the movers are for, right?) then check out Yelp or Citysearch.

The oldest moving company scam in the book is the Hostage Situation. You sign a contract with an estimate (or maybe you don’t even sign a contract at all....eek). They are nice to you, pack up your stuff and load it into the truck. But then (dun, dun, dunnnn) you arrive at the new place and your belongings suddenly “weigh more” and the price has gone up... maybe by even three or four times. If you refuse to pay, they keep your stuff. If you want it back (and most people do), you have to figure out your next course of action.

You’re supposed to get a booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” from your moving company, but check it out here first to make sure you know what’s up. Also, if you’re planning a big move, get the following information from the movers and enter it here at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association website to see if they’re insured or even licensed. Also, this site provides a ton more information if you’re planning a serious move. If you sign something, make sure there are no blank spaces. Sign a binding agreement that lets you pay by weight and not cubic feet as a measurement and agrees on a specific weight where you won’t have to pay more if it goes over.

Of course, if you have willing friends that can be bought off with pizza and beer, just rent a U-Haul for $20 or so and take whatever scratches you get in stride.
· How to Not Get Screwed Over by a Rental Broker [Curbed]
· Moving Power Hour archive [Curbed]
· Curbed University [Curbed]