Each company company's guaranteed not to exceed estimate, binding estimate, or non-binding estimate includes an pre-move inventory which the estimator prepares when she or she visits your home to inspect the goods you want to move. This inventory is referred to as a "Table of Measurements" or a "Cube Sheet" in the moving industry and it is as important to the consumer as is the written moving cost estimate.
The Table of Measurements lists all of the items which will be moved for the price the mover has quoted you. In the case of a guaranteed not-to-exceed estimate (or a flat-rate binding estimate) the cube sheet functions as a permission slip; you may only move the articles on the cube sheet for the not-to-exceed or binding price which the mover has quoted you. If you attempt to move any additional items then those listed on the cube sheet then your guaranteed not-to-exceed estimate (or binding estimate) is no longer valid and all ll bets are off: you are going to have to pay more money to move the additional items or you must leave the extra items behind.
In the case of non-binding estimates, the cube sheet acts as the measure by which the estimated shipment weight & cube (and the resulting move cost) are calculated.
In all cases, the estimated weight listed on the cube sheet drives the move price. Therefore, one can be reasonably certain that mover #1's $2,400 price has fewer items listed on the Table of Measurements then mover #2's $3,800 price for the same move.
So who's fault it is that the $2,400 price had less items listed on the Table of Measurements then the $3,800 price? Who is responsible for this error which may cause serious problems on move-out day? Is it the estimator's fault? Possibly. Is it the consumer's fault? Possibly. And perhaps each party had a hand in the error. The fact is no one can be absolutely certain whose fault this is because the estimator may claim that the consumer failed to show him everything which needed to be moved whereas the consumer may accuse the estimator of failing to enter everything which the consumer indicated was to be moved.
However, I am certain that -- when one checks out at the grocery store -- one makes certain that one places all of the items one wants to purchase on the conveyor checkout belt and one makes certain that the clerk bags everything which has paid for. So why is it that consumers fail to make certain that all of the items they need to move were listed on each mover's Table of Measurements?
Maybe it's simply because the consumer was more concerned with the price and failed to ask...and to learn...how the price was derived.
This article suggests that it is wise for consumers who are moving to check each Table of Measurements for each estimate they receive to make certain that each mover has listed the same number of items to be moved.
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