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  • Visit Stevens Worldwide Van Lines at the Atlanta Driver Recruitment Event

    Learn. Explore. Connect. This is what you can expect to be doing for FREE when you attend any one of the Atlanta Driver Recruitment Events. As a driver or a carrier this is a job fair that is designed especially for YOU.

    The takes place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, January 18th. Admission for all drivers and their families is free. This event not only encourages drivers to engage face to face for interviews with carriers, but also to experience the Application and Resume Seminars to learn additional information on what carriers are looking for and want.

    Jim Van Haaren, a Stevens Worldwide Van Lines recruiter, is looking to talk with you at the Stevens Worldwide booth regarding his available opportunities to earn BIG Money with Stevens. You can become an interstate employee driver, a HHG owner operator, or shuttle driver with paid training provided (if you have no current household goods experience). Stop by the Stevens booth to register to win your part of $500 to be given away in five $100 drawings all day Saturday.

    Jim will also be showcasing the Stevens Tractor Lease/Purchase Program which provides completely refurbished, warranted, and low mileage 09',10', 11' T2000 and T700 Kenworth models.

    Families are encouraged to attend the Atlanta Driver Recruitment Event and register for the raffle and door prizes, which are available just for showing up! Take advantage of raceway concessions, networking opportunities, plenty of available truck parking, and more than 40 carriers including Stevens Worldwide Van Lines that have open driving positions NOW! To learn more about driving for Stevens, watch our video here!      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHJEGolh4y8

    Be part of more than 2000 drivers attending this event. Attend popular seminars on topics such as driver recruiting, driver retention concepts, driver marketing strategies, best practice discussions, peer networking, and more!

    For more information about the event and opportunities at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, call or email Jim Van Haaren, Cell: 989-395-1809, Office: 800-76503836 Ext. 407 or jim.vanhaaren@stevensworldwide.com. See you there! 

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  • The American Moving & Storage Association

    In today's blog about the 10 important things to consider when getting a moving quote, we will be discussing the importance of the American Moving & Storage Association. Before you hire a moving company to carry out your move, you should always check to see if they are a member of the A.M.S.A. This is another simple but important step toward making sure your move is handled with the utmost quality and care.

    The American Moving & Storage Association was established in 1936 as a non-profit trade association and it consists of more than 4,000 local and out-of-state movers. It is our recommendation that you only hire a mover that is an A.M.S.A. member, in an effort to avoid dealing with disreputable moving companies. There are a couple of different ways you can check to see if your mover is A.M.S.A. certified. Most companies who are A.M.S.A. members will have a badge posted on their website indicating their membership. The most fool-proof way to check their status however, is to visit the A.M.S.A. website and view their list of ProMovers.

    The A.M.S.A. puts all of its members through a secure screening process at either the state or federal level, and they coordinate with the Better Business Bureau as well. The A.M.S.A. also has its own code of ethics that each member is sworn in under, to ensure they operate in a professional manner. For all of its interstate members, the A.M.S.A has a secondary membership program and they are subject to annual background checks. You can rest assured that if the mover you are in contact with is A.M.S.A. certified, that they are safe, reliable and will go the extra mile to meet all of your moving and storage needs.

    Simply put, the A.M.S.A. can act as a safety net of sorts for you and your family while you plan your next move. Of course you should still conduct your own research when hiring a mover, but by choosing a mover that is an A.M.S.A. member, you eliminate a lot of the big questions about experience, performance and fair business practices. For more information about the American Moving & Storage Association or to look up any of their members, visit moving.org today.

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  • Always Get a Binding Estimate

    When you begin doing research and planning for your upcoming move, one thing you learn is that not all moving estimates are created equal. To make an informed decision you should be aware that there are actually different types of estimates, known as “binding” and “non-binding”. The distinction can be significant and may end up greatly affecting the final bill at the end of your move. We briefly touched on this topic in our previous blog about always reviewing your moving quote, and we're going to do a further comparison here as well. To ensure you get the most cost-friendly estimate possible, you should always request a “binding” or “not-to-exceed” moving quote.

    The difference between binding and non-binding estimates is fairly self-explanatory. For a binding estimate, the mover will carry out a walk-through of your home, taking note of everything that is to be moved and estimating the total weight of all of your goods and equipment Once that is complete, the mover will give you a written price estimate based on the assumed weight. Since it is a binding estimate, the mover can only charge you up to that specified amount, regardless of what the actual weight of your move ends up being. It should be noted however, that if the actual weight of your move is lower than the estimate, you are still obligated to pay the previously agreed upon total. There are some exceptions where you may pay more than the binding estimate, such as requesting any additional services from the company such as purchasing packing materials or if you have any goods being moved that require special equipment. The total may also change if you add any items to your move after the initial estimate. A non-binding estimate is essentially the opposite, and the moving company is not bound in any way by the initial dollar amount given. Your final bill will not be given until after your belongings are actually weighed, and you may end up paying more or less than the original estimate. Also, take note that both types of estimates should be given in writing and should clearly detail everything you are being charged for.

    The advantages of the binding estimate are obvious, as you know the upper limit of what your move will cost you and the price cannot fluctuate. While the chance of possibly paying less with a non-binding estimate may be attractive, the last thing you would want is for the pendulum to swing the other way and end up having to pay more than you want to. Play it safe and be informed. Always go with a binding estimate when you consider getting a moving quote.

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  • Ask For References

    When you are applying for a job, one of the things you must have if you hope to get hired is a solid list of references. If an employer is going to hire you they want to make sure you are worth the investment. This same principle is true when considering which moving company to choose for your next move. In today's blog about what to consider when getting a moving quote, we will be discussing why it is important to obtain a mover's references and what kinds of questions you should be asking to ensure you make an informed decision.

    When trying to find references for a particular moving company, online reviews are the most convenient, but word-of-mouth testimony can be even more valuable, especially if the person or company you speak to is located in your area. If the company is nationwide this will give you a feel for what their customer service is like on a more localized level. For any online reviews that you reference, be sure they are as up-to-date as possible. Sometimes companies that had sterling reputations a couple of years ago may have gone down hill for any number of reasons, such as change in management.

    There are plenty of questions you should ask while seeking out references, whether you are looking online, in person or both. Were the movers timely and efficient? How accurate was the company's initial moving estimate? Does the company offer binding or non-binding estimates? In regards to your personal belongings, did the movers handle everything with care? How was the staff? Were they helpful and courteous or were they rude and incompetent? As referenced in past blogs, you should also ask for and verify the mover's D.O.T. number to ensure they operate in a safe and legal manner, and to see if the company plans on bringing in any sub-contractors. Also, when reading online reviews be thorough and take everything with a grain of salt, as some companies have taken to hiring content writers to create positive reviews, regardless of actual performance.

    Remember that when you request a moving quote you are essentially beginning an interview process. You are the employer and you assume all of the risk, so asking for or seeking out references is essential if you want your move to be successful.

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  • Know the Difference Between "Internet Movers" and an Actual Moving Company

    In today's blog about all of the important things to consider when getting a moving quote, we will be discussing the prospect of getting an estimate from an “Internet Mover”. To clarify, an “Internet Mover” is not really a moving company. More often than not, an “Internet Mover” is actually a lead-generation sales company. If you have ever seen Glengarry Glen Ross then you probably know that in the world of marketing and sales, generating consumer interest through leads is paramount. However, when it comes to getting your moving quote, you need to be careful about which companies you are talking to.

    Simply put, you should never get your moving quote from an “Internet Mover”. Lead-generation companies usually sell their leads to anywhere from 8-10 moving companies, making your decision all the more difficult. Customers searching for a moving company online are often drawn to lead-generation companies because they rank highly with search engines and run ads for free quotes. Free always sounds nice, but moving quotes are always free and you cannot get an accurate moving estimate from a website alone.

    Finding a mover from a lead-generation company can be a problem when it comes to privacy and may end up being a waste of your time. As previously stated, these companies sell their leads to anywhere from 8-10 moving companies. This means that once you give the website your personal contact information, all of those moving companies have that information as well. This opens the door to unwanted spam and may put you in contact with suspect moving companies. You have no control over which companies get your information or when/if these companies may contact you. This is problematic because you're not able to research these companies until after they've already contacted you, and it is not unheard of for illegally operating movers to buy leads from these sites. The pitfalls there are obvious.

    Planning a move is a stressful undertaking as it is, so be sure that when you request a moving quote that you are talking to the actual mover, and not a lead-generation sales company. Do your own research and contact the company directly to avoid any privacy issues, and to ensure you are getting a quality a mover. It is time well spent to make sure your move is handled with professionalism and care.

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  • Understanding Your Moving Quote

    Getting a moving quote is the first important step towards making your move as easy and stress-free as possible. As we have discussed in previous blogs, there are many important steps that should be taken when getting a moving estimate, such as always getting an in-house quote, requesting your mover's D.O.T. number, and being informed about sub-contractors. In today's blog, the topic is quite simple. Always review your moving quote(s) in detail to assure you understand all of the charges.

    There are a number of factors that can determine the final dollar amount of your moving estimate. Companies can charge based on the total number of rooms being moved, or strictly look at how many goods and/or pieces of equipment are being relocated, and use the total weight or volume of said goods to arrive at an estimate. There are other charges to take note of as well, such as any storage or cleaning charges, or if the moving company charges for moving boxes. All of these charges can fluctuate depending on what type of estimate you agree to.

    There are three basic kinds of moving estimates that consumers should be aware of, as the type of estimate you receive could greatly affect the amount you actually pay. The first kind of estimate is the Binding Not-To-Exceed estimate, which stipulates that should your final weight exceed that which was found in your initial appointment, you still only pay for the previously agreed upon total. The second type of estimate is the Binding estimate, which basically means you and the mover agree upon a price before the move, and you pay that price regardless of what the actual weight ends up being. The last kind of estimate is the Non-Binding estimate, which states you will pay based on whatever the actual weight of the move was. It can go up or down from the original estimate.

    This is why it is important to review your moving quote before proceeding with your move. You need to be aware of and understand everything you will be charged for, and you need to be sure you are getting the type of estimate that is the most beneficial and cost-effective. Moving is a big enough project, so getting what you pay for, and avoiding unnecessary fees is a simple but important step towards making sure your move is less hectic.

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  • Sub-Contracting

    We've all heard the saying “Two is company, but three is a crowd." Normally an idiom such as this refers to personal relationships, but it is applicable in the business world as well: Specifically the moving and storage business. In today's blog we will be discussing sub-contractors and how they can affect your upcoming move.

    When you are getting a moving quote, it is important to ask the moving company if they sub-contract any of their jobs to another mover. When a sub-contractor is brought in to perform all or part of a move, it can complicate the whole process. Bringing in a third party is not an inherently bad idea, but it certainly can increase the chances of a communication breakdown, making your move more stressful than it needs to be.

    If your moving company is planning on using a sub-contractor, then there are a few important questions you should ask before moving forward. Firstly, why is the use of the sub-contractor necessary? What is the sub-contractor offering that the initial moving company isn't? Most importantly, do the answers to these first two questions carry enough weight to justify another company being brought in? Secondly, as noted in our blog post about D.O.T. numbers, do your research to obtain the sub-contractors registration information. Your moving company should be able to provide this information for you, but doing your own search doesn't hurt. Lastly, while doing your research you should inquire about any insurance offered by both the moving company and the sub-contractor. Should something go wrong during your move, you don't want to be left with damaged goods and an uninsured sub-contractor.

    For any relocation to be successful, you need to trust the people handling your move. To avoid any unforeseen complications, it is best to only trust sub-contractors who are associated with national van lines. Most of these companies will have badges on their websites noting that they are “an agent for” a particular van line, such as Stevens Worldwide. Getting a moving quote sounds like a simple enough task, but to be certain you are getting the highest quality service and protection during your move, these simple steps can help make your move a seamless one.

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  • Movers D.O.T. Number

    As we continue to discuss all of the important things one must consider when getting a moving quote, it is important to be certain that when you choose a moving company, that you are making an informed decision. Today's blog has to do with ensuring that when you choose a moving company for your upcoming relocation, you should always ask for your mover's D.O.T. number.

    A D.O.T. number is assigned to a moving company when they register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and its purpose is to help identify the company and track their audits, inspections, compliance reviews, and crash investigations. All interstate moving and storage companies that transport cargo are required to be registered and obtain a D.O.T. number, and 32 out of 50 states require registration with a number even if they are intrastate movers only. If the moving company exists solely as a broker or does not use vehicles to ship goods, then generally they do not need to acquire a D.O.T. number.

    In order to receive a D.O.T. number, a first-time applicant is put through an 18-month probationary period before their registered status becomes permanent. During this trial period, the mover must pass a safety program. Per the FMCSA, “This program requires new entrants to pass a safety audit and maintain acceptable roadside safety performance”. You may ask your mover to provide their D.O.T. number for you, or you can look it up for yourself on the FMCSA website.

    By obtaining your moving company's D.O.T. number, you are protecting yourself from choosing a disreputable moving company. This number proves not only is your mover a licensed company, but that they also employ safe and responsible moving practices. It's another small but important step to ensure that your move is handled with the utmost quality and care, and that you get what you pay for.

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  • In-Home Moving Estimate

    In today's blog we will be discussing one of the important things to consider when getting a moving quote:  Always getting an in-home quote.  Life is hectic enough even without the stress of planning a move, and because of this, many people believe that getting an online moving quote will save them some precious time.  The appeal is obvious.  Everything is faster and more convenient online, but the truth is if you want to start your move off right, an in-home quote is more efficient and more accurate.  

    The problem with  online quotes is that they simply are untrustworthy.  These estimates are not as in depth as in-home quotes, and as a result they are rarely accurate.  Not to mention, it can be illegal if you are moving across state lines.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees all interstate moving in the U.S., and per regulation 375.303 for motor carriers, “You must conduct a physical survey of the household goods to be transported and provide the prospective individual shipper with a written estimate, based on the physical survey, of the charges for the transportation and all related services.”  The moving company must also present a written estimate to the client and indicate whether it is a binding or non-binding estimate.  "Binding" meaning both the customer and company are bound by a price that they agree upon in advance, while "non-binding" means the final charge may be different than the initial estimate.  Moving companies may not charge a fee for non-binding estimates.  According to the FMCSA, there are only two exceptions to the physical survey rule.  The first is if the goods being moved are beyond a 50-mile radius of the moving agent who is preparing the move.  The second is if the customer decides to waive the need for a physical survey.  This waiver must be in writing and kept by the moving company for their records.  These laws prevent companies from enticing customers with low estimates only to demand more money once the move is underway.  

    You eliminate these risks when you choose an in-home quote.  With an in-home quote, a representative from the moving company visits your home and together you go through and analyze all of the goods and equipment to be moved, estimating their weight and volume to arrive at an estimate.  This is why the in-home option is better.  This process is precise.  It has the attention to detail necessary to not only get an accurate quote but to also stay compliant with the law.  So remember, when you are thinking of getting a moving estimate, always get an in-home quote.  This appointment will take no longer than 30-45 minutes, which is time well spent if it means getting your move done right.

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  • Tips for finding the right moving company from afar

    Tips for finding the right moving company from afar

    Whether it's organizing a household move once you've already left for or settling the estate of a deceased relative, trying to remotely find the best long distance moving company is a difficult task. Without meeting them in person and asking local friends about their credibility, you might feel like getting suitable relocation movers is impossible.

    It doesn't have to be, however. With a few simple tips, you can be sure that you are hiring nationwide movers, no matter where you are.

    License and registration
    All interstate movers are required to be registered with the federal government. This license - along with a U.S. Department of Transportation number - will allow you to ensure that they are credible and up-to-date with the law. Ask them to scan or fax a copy of their license so you can see for yourself. Not only will this give you the information you need, it will show them that you are serious about security.

    Better Business Bureau
    Whatever state the movers are based in, there will be a Better Business Bureau through which you can research their reputation. This is an important way to see how their previous customers have felt about the service they received. A company with a lot of complaints is not one to be trusted. Use this information to ensure that your out of state movers are not only trustworthy but a pleasure to do business with.

    Research insurance
    From afar, it is easy to lose sleep over the thought of a damaged or lost piece of your property. Some of your belongings are priceless and sentimental, and without seeing a mover pack them, you might begin to worry that something could happen to them without your knowledge. Openly discussing the company's insurance options will help you display to them the importance of your possessions. Be specific and ask questions to ensure that you have all the information you need.

    Find locals
    If your research with the company's local Better Business Bureau isn't to your satisfaction, do some more local research. Online you can likely find some discussion of their reputation. Or, if you know anyone in the area, ask them. Speaking directly to people who know them will help you feel more confident in your decision.

    National companies
    If you are moving out of state, consider employing a national moving company. Not only will it be easier to research, you might be able to personally meet with someone who works for the company, even if it's not your actual mover.

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