Protect yourself from bad moving quotes in Oregon

This article was contributed by Ben Hoskins, Franchise Partner.
Protect yourself from bad moving quotes in Oregon

Did you know that it’s not necessarily in your best interest to go with the lowest moving quote you get in Oregon?

Because of the way Oregon State law works about moving rates and moving quotes, some movers knowingly submit low quotes to get work, but then charge more because they are required by law to charge for the time they work, leaving their customers caught in the middle.

What Oregon State law about moving quotes?

In Oregon, movers are required to:

  • Provide non-binding moving estimates and quotes, free of charge
  • Charge for the amount of time they worked, regardless of how much it exceeds the estimate you received.

The exact wording on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s website (which they post in all caps) is:

BINDING ESTIMATES OR GUARANTEES OF ACTUAL CHARGES ARE ILLEGAL ON INTRASTATE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN OREGON. FINAL CHARGES FOR MOVES MUST BE BASED UPON RATES PUBLISHED IN THE MOVER´S TARIFF AND APPROVED BY ODOT, REGARDLESS OF ANY ESTIMATE GIVEN BY THE MOVER PRIOR TO THE MOVE.

Oregon’s laws are different from those of other states

Oregon’s laws are different from the laws around moving rates and moving quotes in most states. In Washington for example, parties can agree to a fixed price estimate, and even without a fixed priced estimate movers are never allowed to charge more than 25% of their written estimate.

Be wary of unrealistically low moving estimates

Households should be wary of extremely low moving estimates. To protect consumers from unscrupulous parties that knowingly submit low bids to obtain work but then charge significantly higher amounts, the state of Oregon states on its website: “Do NOT select a mover based solely on the lowest estimate because estimates are not binding and may differ from the final cost.”

Also, victims of moving companies that employ these tactics are asked to report the movers to state authorities.

How to protect yourself from bad moving quotes

When you’re looking for a mover in Oregon, keep in mind that Oregon also regulates rates through a state tariff. This means that when you get an estimate for your move, all movers in Oregon will be charging a similar hourly rate. The big difference in quotes will be the amount of time the mover says they will take to move you.

When making a choice to hire a mover, you should think about the expected quality of service the mover will provide, and whether or not the time they quoted for the move seems realistic.

In addition, companies that seem professional, efficient, safe, and realistic will not only make the move more pleasant, but will generally limit the number of hours billed (through skilled employees and efficient systems) and damage to goods.