There are two types of estimates that moving services will offer you: binding and non-binding. Before we talk about these two, you should know that depending on what estimate you choose, these will determine how your shipment charge will be computed.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires any moving company to provide potential clients with a written estimate. A written estimate has more weight and is more legal compared to a verbal estimate. As required by the FMCSA, a moving company must give the consumer a written estimate of all the possible charges that will be incurred in shipping the items. Once you and the company agree on it, the agreement has to be signed and it is just as important that the document be dated.
So what then is the difference between a binding estimate and a non-binding estimate? As defined by the FMCSA, a binding estimate is one where you as the consumer, will not pay the moving company more that what is stated in the estimate. However, if there are any changes to the original agreement, then you and the moving services you have hired can do one of three things:
1. both you and the company may agree to proceed with the binding estimate despite the change;
2. both you and the company can agree to cancel the old binding estimate and draft a new one; or
3. agree to convert the binding estimate into a non-binding one.
If the company does not negotiate a new agreement with you or offer a conversion, then once the goods are loaded, the original binding estimate is considered enforced. Still, even with this provision, there remain special situations wherein the company can charge you for additional expenses. This may seem advantageous to you but if you are unable to pay the full amount of the binding estimate, the moving services has the right to place your goods in storage and at your expense.
A non-binding estimate on the other hand is done to give you an idea of how much you will spend to ship your goods. Though it may not be the final amount, a non-binding estimate will give you a price that is close to the actual one. The good thing about a non-binding estimate is that the moving services will not require you to pay more than 110% of what was originally estimated at the time of the delivery. On your part though, this will still mean that you have to pay the amount due to the company.
Which one should you choose then? The answer is, it depends on several considerations. If you are sure of what things are needed to be shipped and you have the budget for it, then a good choice would be a binding estimate. While it may cost more, a non-binding estimate ensures that you can ship any additional items that you forgot to inform the company about.
To know more about estimates, visit www.myguysmovingrva.com as they will be able to answer any additional questions you may have and more.