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How to Avoid Commonly Hidden Moving Company Fees

While we pride ourselves on the quality and integrity of the work we provide our customers, we’ve heard our share of horror stories from clients who had terrible experiences with other top Chicago movers. And alas, not all moving companies are created equal and the less you pay, the more you’re opening yourself up to lower expectations. At the same time, paying a lot of money for professional movers guarantees nothing if you haven’t done your homework; some companies just charge a lot for not-great work.

But what makes many of our clients abandon their previous moving company is when they receive their bill and find themselves paying significantly more than they budgeted for due to those all-too common hidden fees. So even if you don’t deal with our moving team, here’s what to look out for when dealing with moving companies in Chicago.

Avoiding Hidden Fees from Moving Companies

1. Read the Paperwork

OK, now this tip basically applies across the board here, but it still can’t be said enough. We’ve talked before about the lists that moving companies provide of items they will not transport. Additionally, it is common for moving companies to also provide fees for heavy items, so make sure you request to see such a sheet if one hasn’t already been presented to you.

But even the way you pay can be open for extra fees, and that can apply to credit cards. While a few bucks is no sweat off of many people’s backs, if you’re doing a long-distance move with full service movers, then you could be in for a serious credit card fee if you do not read the paperwork beforehand. Get clear as soon as possible on your moving company’s options for payment and always get a receipt as proof that you’ve pain and how you did so.

2. Fees for Hard-to-Reach Locations

Even in the largely flat state of Illinois, there are still plenty of homes situated off-road or requiring the braving of non-paved country roads to access one’s new home. If your large moving truck can’t navigate your skinny or steep driveway or it’s set on rural roads that the truck can’t meet, you may find yourself utilizing shuttle vans as an intermediary between the trucks and your home. As you can imagine, these extra vehicles that often require extra workers as well can cost quite a bit. Make sure that you ask all the questions you need to up front about the costs associated with these shuttle vans.

3. Last-Minute or Off-Hours Moves

As we discussed in our post on moving in Chicago during Labor Day, it’s not uncommon for moving companies to charge extra on days that they are not typically scheduled to work. And indeed, sometimes these moves are necessary and what makes them happy is the client paying the movers a bit extra for them taking time they would usually have off to help you. But if you’re doing a move that requires immediate action or work on vacation days, take the time to ask about what those costs will be and try to get them in writing beforehand so no one tries anything on the day of the move.

In terms of other charges to look out for, find out if the company you’re working will charge for the cost of gas incurred during a move or if the truck leaves the Chicago city limits. One thing you can do to avoid incurring parking tickets or violations is to secure your permits for the truck to park on your new home’s street the day of the move.

Ultimately, by not making assumptions as to what the moving company might charge you or not and focusing on the cold, hard facts, when you finally get your bill you should not freak out if you follow the above steps.

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Page Updated on November 16, 2018

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