The Revised Estimate: What Interstate Moving Companies Need to Know
What is a revised written estimate? It is an optional document for household goods movers if a change is needed such as additional items. But do not make the mistake of thinking “optional” means “not important.” It is crucial that you and your team understand what a revised estimate is especially because of the STB update tariff rules.
Say you own a moving company that transports goods across state lines. That means that you must pay close attention to the federal regulations. They are important and affect your industry. Those regulations serve a purpose to make companies provide specific documents. These documents must get processed after every single move that your company makes. One of the most important required documents is the Bill of Lading. Also, there are many optional documents that companies must be aware of.
What is one of the most crucial optional documents? The revised written estimate. Sure, your company does not need to provide it to your customers. But it’s recommended that you always have it on hand. Why? Because you never know when you may need to whip it out before, during, or after a move.
When do you need a revised written estimate? Here is an example. Say it is the day of the move. The customer chooses to ship even more items than you thought he or she would. These new items are not included in the original estimate. There is no reason for your company to panic. There are plenty of routes that a moving company can take in this situation just as long as the pricing matches there FMCSA published moving tariff:
1) Your company can choose to back out of the move.
Sure, the customer will get upset. But you have very right to cancel it.
2) Your company can make a counter-offer.
This should state that the original items in the agreement will get shipped. But the new items will not. Some customers are fine with this and others will pitch a fit.
3) Your company can move extra items and not bother charging for them.
This only occurs when the items are small and not a hassle to move. It would be rather stupid for a company to go this route if the items are big and you need a lot of labor.
4) Your company can agree to move the extra items.
But then it can charge the customer after thirty days. (United States law requires a thirty-day waiting period to take place.) This only apply’s to non-binding contracts. Also make sure the customer sign’s on insurance part, they must sign on 60 cents per pound insurance for it to apply.
5) Your company can get the customer to sign a revised written estimate.
This needs to take place before the extra items get packed. And it also has to occur before those items get loaded onto the truck. The revised estimate cancels the original estimate. As a result, that estimate gets replaced with the revised written one. Your company can now charge the customer. It is fine to demand the payment before the goods get unloaded. Say your company desires to charge for those items as soon as possible. It should get a revised written estimate drafted in advance. That means before communicating with the customer. That customer should sign the agreement before the truck is on the way to the destination or loaded.
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