When should I call a moving company?
The earlier, the better. Although the actual van assignment may not be made until a few days before your move, it's wise to give your moving company from four to six week's notice, if possible. The more lead time you can give, the more likely we will be able to meet your preferred delivery schedule.
All moving companies, for their standard type of service, require alternate pickup and delivery dates. We'll do our best, of course, to comply with the dates you prefer or the nearest possible alternatives. You will be notified in advance of the loading date for your goods and of the estimated date of arrival.
If your pickup and delivery dates are critical due to such factors as a lease expiration or a real estate closing, you may choose an extra-cost service which will enable us to accommodate a more precise, reasonable schedule. You should discuss your specific pickup and delivery requirements with your Western Moving + Storage move manager, who can advise you regarding the types and costs of services available.
Do I need an estimate?
A Western Moving + Storage agent will make 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. Your Western Moving + Storage move manager will compute the approximate cost and give you a written Estimate/Order for Service. An accurate estimate cannot be calculated 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 interprovincial shipments, you must pay the total charges as determined by the actual weight of your shipment, the distance it travels, and the services that you authorize or which become necessary to handle your shipment.
Charges for local shipments are generally calculated on an hourly basis. There may be a minimum number of hours required. These shipments are handled by Western Moving + Storage, or your nearest United agent.
When is the best time to move?
If there is a choice, most moving companies suggest 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, Western Moving + Storage believes you should move when it is most convenient for you. Factors involved in the decision may include:
- whether the move must be made immediately
- moving 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 our 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 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 Western Moving + Storage shipment can be made by cash, certified cheque, or any major credit card.
Payment of estimated charges plus 10% does not apply if goods are delivered into storage. If storage at destination (storage-in-transit) 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 our tariff.
Am I protected against loss or damage while my goods are in transit?
Yes, but how much protection you have and its cost to you depend upon the Western Moving + Storage "valuation" program you choose – Full-Value Coverage or Released Rate Liability (60 cents per pound per article).
The valuation option you select determines the basis upon which any claim will be adjusted and establishes the maximum liability of Western Moving + Storage and United. The liability of Western Moving + Storage and United for loss or damage is based upon the movers' tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations, and has certain limitations and exclusions. Valuation is not insurance; it is simply a tariff-based level of motor carrier liability. If you desire insurance, you should consult your insurance company representative about available insurance coverages, because Western Moving + Storage and United do not offer insurance.
Released rate liability - basic coverage
With this type of valuation, Western Moving + Storage and United's maximum liability for loss or damage to any article in the shipment is 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the article. This is the basic liability level and is provided at no charge.
Under this protection plan, if any article is lost, destroyed or damaged while under United's interstate authority, it will either 1) repair the article to the extent necessary to restore it to the same condition as when it was received by Western Moving + Storage and United, or pay you for the cost of such repairs; or 2) replace the article with an article of like kind and quality, or pay you for the cost of such a replacement. An additional charge applies for this option. Western Moving + Storage and/or United will determine the appropriate settlement method to be used.
Full-Value Coverage and deductible options are available in dollar increments to fit your needs at very attractive rates.
The deductible options are as follows:
- Option A -- Full-value protection with no deductible
- Option B -- Full-value protection with a $250 deductible
- Option C -- Full-value protection with a $500 deductible
Western Moving + Storage and United's total liability for loss or damage will be the amount you declare as the value of your shipment. However, the minimum total declared value must be at least equal to the weight of your shipment multiplied by $6.00.
Items of "extraordinary value"
In the moving industry, items having a value of more than $100 per pound are known as "articles of extraordinary value." All "articles of extraordinary value" in your shipment must be listed on the High-Value Inventory form which will be given to you by the salesperson to complete. An online copy is also available. Although you might have other articles of extraordinary value, the following list should help you identify items that might fall under this classification: jewelry, furs, art and coin collections, crystal, figurines, antiques, Oriental rugs, precious stones or gems, china and silverware. In the event of a claim, any settlement involving an article of extraordinary value listed on the High-Value Inventory form is limited to the value of the article, not to exceed the declared value of the shipment, based upon the United valuation program applicable to your shipment. If an article of extraordinary value is not listed on the form, Western Moving + Storage and United's maximum liability is limited to $100 per pound per article. If you are not shipping any items of high value, sign the form and print the word "None" in the inventory list.
Shipments that move under the Released Rate Liability program, in which the declared value of the shipment would be 60 cents per pound per article, would not be covered by the provisions applicable to articles of extraordinary value. The High-Value form should still be signed with the words "Not Applicable" written on the form.
You must select the valuation program, and you must write your choice in the "Valuation" box on the Bill of Lading in your own handwriting.
Can my possessions be stored temporarily?
If you are unable to take immediate possession of your new residence, your belongings can be stored in a local United agent's warehouse. United agents throughout the world provide safe storage facilities for holding your goods until you're ready for them. However, you are responsible for the storage charges, warehouse valuation coverage and final delivery charges from the warehouse.
If your goods are placed in storage, there will be an additional charge for the valuation or insurance coverage provided for your shipment, as mentioned previously. The type of coverage and cost will depend upon whether the shipment is held in storage-in-transit (temporary) or in permanent (long-term) storage. Please ask your United agent for information regarding storage arrangements.
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 and the 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.
Can I pack my clothes in a chest or dresser drawers?
Lightweight clothing – sweaters, shirts, blouses, and 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 discuss this with Western Moving + Storage. In most instances, we suggest that shipping arrangements be made through local frozen food locker plants, especially for a long-distance move. It is even easier just to use up the foods prior to the move or donate them to someone.
Can I move jewelry and other valuables?
Items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, photographs, antiques and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided you notify your United agent 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. To be assured that a claim involving these articles is not limited to minimal liability, complete and sign the High-Value Inventory form and sign the "Extraordinary (Unusual) Value Article Declaration" box on the Bill of Lading. If no articles of extraordinary value are included in your shipment, simply write "none" on the High-Value Inventory form and sign it.
Can I move my house plants?
Western Moving + Storage cannot accept responsibility for safely moving your plants, because they may suffer from a lack of water and light as well as probable 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.
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, Western Moving + Storage will be glad to suggest alternate ways to ship your pets safely.