Moving To Los Angeles
While just the thought of relocating can be stressful, with planning and helpful resources, the process can be managed. In this section, you’ll learn about ways to pack, preparing for your move, utilities in the area, a timeline to help you plan for every part of the move as well as additional resources. Once you’re established in the area, a real plus is discovering how genuinely friendly most Angelenos are and how ready they are to welcome you to the city and your neighborhood.

As soon as you’ve received word that you and your family are being relocated, contact your company’s relocation representative to find what company will be moving your goods. Ask if the moving company provides any information to help make the move easier and verify the move date. At some point, you’ll want a direct contact at the moving company to ensure you have an open communication flow and there are no misunderstandings. Your moving company also will need to ask you questions and be in touch with you directly as moving day approaches. It’s also possible that the moving company has resources regarding storage in the Los Angeles area should you require additional space to place your furnishings, a boat or an additional vehicle.

As you plan your move, we hope the following resources and relocation timeline will assist in making your relocation a process that is manageable and organized. Once you’ve arrived and are established in your new community, Los Angeles’ hospitality will make you feel at home quickly.

MOVING COMPANIES
Moving companies provide a variety of services for a range of fees. It is a good idea to speak with different movers to compare their services. To find out who the best movers are in your area, begin by asking friends about their experiences with the movers they have used. You also can check with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) or other consumer organizations in your local area.

When selecting a mover, the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) encourages consumers to select a moving company that is an AMSA member. Members have all agreed to abide by the terms of the organization’s published tariffs and to participate in the Arbitration Program sponsored by the organization.

Once you have compiled a list of movers, inform them of the destination and timing of your move. Ask them about the types of services they offer. Also ask them to explain their estimates in detail and to give you a copy. Then carefully compare to see which mover best suits your needs and budget.

If you are moving between states, you should read and understand all of the information you will receive. In addition to brochures explaining the various services, moving companies should give you a copy of a consumer booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” and information regarding the mover’s participation in a Dispute Settlement Program. Distribution of the consumer booklet and the requirement that movers offer shippers neutral arbitration as a means of settling disputes concerning loss or damage on household goods shipments are requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

AMSA advises to make arrangements for your move well in advance, at least four to six weeks before the moving date. When you choose your mover, be sure you understand the following:
  • Rates and charges that will apply
  • Mover’s liability for your belongings
  • How pickup and delivery will work
  • What claims protection you have

GETTING ESTIMATES
According to AMSA, the cost of an interstate move usually is based on the weight of your belongings and the distance they are shipped, plus the amount of packing and other services that you require. To help you anticipate the cost of your move, movers will give you an estimate of the price. Be sure to get written estimates from at least three different companies so you can compare their services and prices. Your bill will be higher or lower depending on how much your shipment weighs and how far you move.

Help the movers calculate the cost of your move by showing them every single item to be moved. Don’t forget to go into the attic, basement, garage, shed, closets and under beds. Reach a clear understanding about the amount of packing and other services needed. Anything omitted from the estimate but later included in the shipment will add to the cost.

Types of Estimates
Most movers offer two types of estimates—nonbinding and binding. Some offer not-to-exceed estimates.

Nonbinding Estimates. Nonbinding estimates are not bids or contracts. Instead, it is an approximation of the cost based on the mover’s survey of the items to be moved, with the final cost determined after the shipment is weighed. Since a nonbinding estimate is based on the actual weight of your shipment (rather than the estimated weight), the price will usually be lower than a binding estimate. However, when you receive a nonbinding estimate there is no guarantee that the final cost will not be more than the estimate. Under a nonbinding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than the amount of the estimate, plus 10 percent (or 110 percent of the estimate amount) at the time of delivery. You then are obligated to pay any remaining charges not included in your estimate for any additional services that you requested or that were necessary to accomplish your move within 30 days after your shipment is delivered.

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