Questions About Moving

When is the best time to move?

If there is a choice, most moving companies suggest that you select a time other than summer, the end of the month or the end-of-year holidays. The heaviest demands are placed on vans, equipment and personnel during these periods.

However, United Moving & Storage believes that you should move when it is most convenient for you. Factors involved in the decision may include:

• Whether the move must be made immediately.
• Transferring children during the school term.
• Separation of the family while the move is under way.

If the move can be scheduled for a time when vans and trained personnel are more readily available, we'll be better able to meet your preferred delivery schedule.

How long does it take to move?

This depends on many factors, such as the time of year, weather conditions, size of your shipment, time required to load and unload, and the direction and distance your shipment is traveling.

Because the furnishings of the average household will not fill a van, it is often necessary for two or more shipments to be loaded on the same van. Each shipment is carefully sectioned off from the others.

With the help of United's computer-assisted dispatching system, pickup and delivery dates are scheduled according to the origins and destinations of individual shipments on the van, as well as shipment weight.

How far in advance do I need to schedule my move?

During the winter we can schedule your move with as little as a weeks notice. In the summer we require at least two weeks. We can do it with less, but you will have to call so we can check our dispatch. The more lead time you can give, the more likely we will be able to meet your delivery schedule.

Do I need an estimate?

We will conduct a pre-move survey of your household goods to be transported. A pre-move survey is needed to determine the approximate cost of a move and the amount of van space your goods will occupy. We will compute the approximate cost and give you a written Estimate/Order for Service. An accurate estimate cannot be given without a visual survey of the goods to be moved. There is no charge for the estimate.

Keep in mind that estimates (household goods surveys) are only guidelines. On interstate shipments, you must pay the total charges as determined by the actual weight of your shipment, the origin and destination points of the shipment, the distance it travels, and the services, which you authorize or which become necessary to handle your shipment.

What is a binding estimate?

A binding estimate or binding cost of service specifies in advance the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional services are requested or required at either origin or destination (such as a shuttle or long carry), the total cost will increase. Binding estimates are valid for the time period specified, up to 60 days.

If you add items to be moved or require additional services, such as packing, between the time of the estimate and the time of your move, there will be additional charges. An addendum providing for these additional charges will be prepared for your signature.

If you are interested in obtaining a binding estimate, please contact us.

How much will my move cost?

Unless you have been given a binding estimate, the exact cost of your move cannot be determined until after your shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed. If additional services are requested or become necessary after loading and weighing, additional charges will be incurred. Basic transportation charges depend on the actual weight of your goods, the origin and destination points of the shipment and the distance it will travel. The total cost will include these transportation costs, any charges for Full-Value Coverage plus charges for any "accessorial" services (such as packing and unpacking) performed by United Moving & Storage at your request. These charges are based on "tariff" rate schedules.

What is a tariff?

This is the list of rules, regulations, available services, terms and resulting charges used by all motor carriers which provide interstate transportation of household goods.The tariffs are published by each household goods motor carrier and include its various services. The tariffs are available for your inspection at the office of United, or, on request, United will furnish a copy of any tariff provision containing United's rates or charges governing the shipment. Such information is also available for inspection at the office of the Household Goods Carriers Bureau Committee/American Movers Conference, 1611 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314.

How and when should I pay?

Tariff provisions require that all charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at destination (unless prior arrangements have been made for later billing).

Payment for your United shipment can be made by one of the following methods: cash, traveler's check, money order or cashier's check. In addition, the American Express® Card, Discover Card, Visa® or Mastercard® can be used to pay for interstate moves only, with advance approval required prior to loading (unless other billing arrangements have been made). Personal checks are not accepted.

All payment forms apply to both binding and non-binding estimates. If you have received a non-binding estimate and your actual moving costs exceed the estimate, you will be required to pay no more than 110 percent of the estimated cost at delivery. Should your actual costs exceed the estimate by more than 10 percent, you will be given 30 days after delivery to pay the amount over 110 percent.

If storage in-transit at destination is necessary, all transportation charges must be paid at time of delivery of the shipment to the warehouse. You will then be assessed storage charges based on the applicable rates set forth in United's tariff.

Can you provide storage at my destination, if I need it?

With over 1000 agents in the US we can provide any destination services you might need during your move. You will be responsible for the storage charges, as well as warehouse handling and final delivery charges from the warehouse. Please give us a call to discuss storage arrangements.

Are the employees well-trained?

Yes, Drivers, Movers and Packers must complete 30 hours classroom and 200 hours field training to become certified through our exclusive Quality Labor Program.

Will my upholstered items be handled with care?

Yes, United provides exclusive clear-guard shrink wrap for all upholstered items to protect them against dirt and stains.

Will my furniture and appliances be protected?

Yes, United provides exclusive pad wrapping in your home, before anything goes on the truck. Items are unpadded inside your new home.

Most refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other electrical or mechanical appliances require special servicing to assure safe transportation. Any moving parts such as motors on major appliances, washer drums, icemakers, and the pickup arm on a phonograph should be securely fastened for shipment. Gas appliances need to be serviced and disconnected by your local gas utility.

It is the owner's responsibility to see that appliances are serviced for shipment before they are loaded on the van. Upon request and for an additional charge, a moving company will perform this service, using either its own qualified personnel or an authorized service company. For more information on servicing and cleaning appliances for moving, please call us and request the brochure, Moving Appliances & Other Home Furnishings.

Can I pack my china, glass and crystal?

Most people prefer to have their household possessions, especially fragile items, professionally packed by a moving company. However, if you decide to pack these items yourself, remember that the basic principles of good packing include wrapping the items individually, providing plenty of cushioning and making sure of a firm pack.

Be sure to select a sturdy container with a lid. Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper on the bottom of the carton as a cushion. Wrap each item individually with a soft material to provide a safe, protective "padded nest". Pack the heaviest items on the bottom, lighter ones next, filling in empty spaces with crushed paper. Place plates on edge and glassware on rims for maximum protection. Mark the carton "Fragile", and list the contents on the outside. Be sure to seal the carton with tape.

Cartons, paper and tape may be purchased for a modest cost. We can also provide you with a brochure, Doing Your Own Packing.

Can I pack my clothes in a chest or dresser drawers?

Lightweight clothing - sweaters, shirts, blouses, lingerie - may be left in the drawers. Do not fill drawers with heavy items such as books, table linens or sheets, which can damage the piece of furniture during transit. Be careful NOT to leave fragile items, money, jewelry, watches or other valuables in the drawers as well as anything that might spill or leak.

Can I move my frozen foods?

Frozen foods can be moved, but only under specific, limited conditions. Be sure to call and discuss this with us prior to your move. In most instances, we suggest shipping arrangements be made through local frozen food locker plants, especially for a long-distance move.

Can I move jewelry and other valuables?

Items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, antiques and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided you notify us of these items before packing or moving day. However, we strongly recommend that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you, or make other arrangements for their transport.

In the moving industry, items worth more than $100 per pound are considered to be articles of extraordinary value.

Can I move my house plants?

United Moving & Storage cannot accept responsibility for safely moving your plants because they may suffer from a lack of water and light as well as possible temperature changes while in the van. You may prefer to transport your house plants in the family car or ship them by plane.

Some states prohibit the entry of all plants, while other states will admit plants under certain conditions; still others have no plant regulations. Be sure to check the regulations of the state to which you're moving. Ask us for a copy of the brochure, Moving With House Plants.

Can I move my pet?

Pets cannot be carried on the moving van. Dogs, cats, canaries and parakeets can usually be transported in the family car. If this isn't convenient, we will be glad to suggest alternative ways to ship your pets safely. Ask us for a copy of the brochure, Moving With Pets.

Will the same driver who loads my belongings, deliver them to my new home?

Yes, because the driver knows how the truck was packed and where things are.

Will the truck be clean and well-maintained?

Yes, in addition to strict maintenance requirements, all United vans are exclusively Sanitized regularly to ensure against the spread of insects and disease.

Will my household goods be picked up and delivered on time?

Yes, we are subject to strict penalties for missing assigned pickup and delivery date spreads. See our current annual report for on-time percentages.

Will I be able to find out where the van is?

Yes, with United’s exclusive Vanstar® satellite computer locator, we can communicate with the driver and locate the vehicle within 100 yards anywhere along the route.

Can I be sure that I’ll get the best quality service no matter where I’m moving?

Yes, United Van Lines and all of its 900 plus agents worldwide have a vested interest in providing you with the highest level of service in the moving industry today.

Need More Information?

Our service representatives would be happy to answer any additional questions.

Contact Us