Advance payment for long distance move

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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:43 am

Advance payment for long distance move

Postby VaGrl2F1 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:00 am

I am getting ready to move from Virginia to Florida. I've obtained 3 binding estimates from reputable companies, have checked them on various websites, including DOT, BBB, state, general Google and they appear to be well known reputable companies. However, they all require a credit card payment, in advance, for the move. They claim the driver cannot process a credit card payment. ONe of them mentioned they would require ONLY 50% deposit, but would still REQUIRE payment BEFORE delivery. I reviewed the documentation on the FMCSA website but could not find anything. I called their 800 number and spoke to a gov't employee who told me they are not allowed to do that and that I should fine someone else. Has anyone else had this experience, and how did they handle it?

Posts: 580
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Advance payment for long distance move

Postby NYCMover » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

To VaGrl2F1,

The folks who volunteer on this site generally try to steer people away from any mover who asks for a large deposit before booking a customer's move. We also tend to be suspect of those companies that ask for 1/2 on pickup and 1/2 before delivery - as that type of behavior is sometimes indicative that the customer might (unknowingly) be dealing with a broker.

It is unusual for any major van line agency to ask for anything more than a small deposit ($50 - $100) just to secure the move date for the customer. Some (I know I don't) large movers won't ask for any deposit at all; it depends on the agent's policy.

That being said, when paying by credit card - even with the large van lines - credit card payments must be cleared through the agent's or van line's office before the driver is given clearance to deliver the shipment. This is done so that the driver can concentrate on doing the right job at the delivery and not also worrying about being a part-time cashier/collection agent.

At times, I get customers who complain that they don't want to pay for the move before the shipment is even picked up. In these cases I ask the potential customer, "When is the last time you took a plane trip and were allowed to pay as you were getting off at your destination?" All kidding aside, if you don't like the idea of paying the full bill before the pickup begins - almost every mover I've heard of would be happy to take a certified or bank check at the delivery, before the shipment is unloaded.

Good luck with your move! :)

John Adams
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:35 pm
Location: Oxford, Ct

Re: Advance payment for long distance move

Postby John Adams » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:44 pm

You need to understand that there is a ton of work / planning that goes in to arranging, scheduling and securing a driver to be sure that he is in town on the day that you want to load out. These drivers are all over the place. There is nothing much worse than a driver showing up to load an order only to find out his customer has made other arrangements or has already moved. That drivers trip falls apart. The space left empty on his truck cannot be re assigned on a dime. He has other orders on his truck that have dates that he needs to commit to. Those orders have date deadlines, so on he goes, with space in his truck. Nobody is paying the driver for that empty space, so he could very well be working that run in the negative. Some kind of deposit is not unusual.

As far as paying before delivery, it's like buying a new pair of jeans, going to the movie, buying a car, or as NYC says, buying an airline ticket. Pay for it and receive it. Movers are no different. As long as you have done your research and you are hiring a licensed and legitimate mover, you should have no issues reserving your move with some kind of a deposit.
Do your homework then trust your instincts

Big Dog
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:24 pm
Location: Colorado Mountains

Re: Advance payment for long distance move

Postby Big Dog » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:31 pm

I typically get a deposit for the crating that I have to do for a move. In other words, what would happen if I went out bought the lumber, built the crates & then the shipper cancelled the move? The crates have already been built & the chances of using them on another move are "slim to none". We expalin this policy & the shippers understand. 8)
Big Dog
" If you think hiring a professional mover is expensive, try hiring an amateur"

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