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This is Ginger

A warm greeting for customers, a welcoming smile, a wagging tail…

First impressions count.  This is Ginger.

She greeted me at Kuhn’s Plumbing Supply store in Pearl River  New York and engaged me for a few minutes till the proprietor returned to the counter.  Ginger knows her customers who are dog people. I heard it ran in her family.  Her mother used to fill the same role at the store.

We appreciate our customers.  Even the ones that don’t speak dog. We’ll give you a smile over the phone and if our general info is agreeable to you, we’ll gladly set a time for a no-obligation in person estimate.  Our effort is to do our job well and keep our customers informed and calm.  

It’s what we’ve been doing since 1978.

~Lenny

How Much Will My Move Cost?

How much will my move cost is one of the most common questions that our customers ask us. And of course, we aim to give them as precise an estimate as we possibly can. The best way to get an accurate estimate for your moving costs is to schedule one of our estimators to come to your place, meet you, and see what’s there to be moved.

If you’d like to start with a more general overview, we can also do that if you give us as much information as you can about your move. Most of what we list here would be discussed during an in-person estimate.

Here is what we typically need to know:

  • Is this a business of residential move?
  • What kind of building are you moving from? And what kind of building is your new one?
    • Are they walk-ups or elevator buildings?
    • Does service access include a ramp, flight of stairs, or the required use of multiple elevators?
  • Will you be needing short- or long-term storage in addition to moving services?
  • Do your buildings have any restrictions around when you can move?
    • For example, are moving hours restricted to week days, or are weekends OK too?
    • Do you need to reserve an elevator?
    • Will the movers need to provide a certificate of insurance?
  • Will you pack your own boxes, or would you like movers to pack for you?
  • How many rooms of belongings do you have? Is there a basement storage area?
  • How many people are living or working there?
  • How long have you been at your present space?
  • Are there any items to be moved that will require special handling (i.e., piano, major appliances, art, mirrors, computers, office partitions, console printers, safes)?
  • Are there any other special considerations like needing a child’s room set up first, specific placement of work stations, desks, shelving, etc.?

Of course, all of this is without talking about the furniture you have. We will want an idea of that, too.

A good mover will ask about these things, either in person, or on the phone.  As you can see, doing this by email will quickly get tedious.

While we gain a sense of the scale of your move, you will get a sense of the importance we place on understanding you so we can best work together.

Flat Rate May Deliver Cut Rate Quality

Why Flat Rate Moving Services May Deliver Cut Rate Quality

Last week, we answered one of the most common questions we get: How much will my move cost? This week we’re answering another question customers often ask us: Why doesn’t Rainbow Movers offer flat rates for our services?

One of the biggest reasons is because we believe we can offer excellent customer service at a fair price and still pay a living wage to our employees.

Moving companies that offer flat rates often pay their movers a percentage of what they charge rather than an hourly wage.  If the flat rate is estimated well, everything may turn out OK for the movers.

But if the flat rate is meant to undercut the realistic estimates of other movers (which is often the case), the employees of the flat rate company will suffer.  Only generous tips from customers will make up for lost wages.  Unfortunately, movers don’t always get good tips.  Crews can end up working at or under minimum wage.

Because of this, flat rate moving companies don’t often have experienced crews who are loyal to the company. Instead, they’re more likely to have less experienced guys on their trucks who may also be less concerned about the quality of their work.

In this situation, the movers also understand that the more time they spend on a job the lower their hourly rate will be.  For the movers to rush the job may mean that your delicate belongings may not be handled so delicately.

The advantage of working with Rainbow Movers is that we give you an honest and realistic job estimate, based on a clear discussion of the conditions of each move. In most cases, we will guarantee that the job will not go over the estimate. We hope it will end up costing less, and often it does.  But on occasions where the conditions change, our customers understand and appreciate that even though their costs will change as well, the quality of our work will not.

Here is a scenario where our approach led to a better result:

Recently, a repeat customer called us and asked us for an estimate to move a relative’s bedroom furniture from one house to another, and then some things from that 2nd house to her own house. We estimated the costs based on this information.

When we got to the relative’s place, we found out that instead of just moving bedroom furniture, we were being asked to move most of the furniture in the house, and none of the things in and on the furniture were packed.  And another delivery location was added for a few items after the delivery to our customer.   Our crew notified our office, and we contacted the customer.  All agreed we could handle the changes.

Our guys, who have worked with us for decades, did the job well and were able to make all the deliveries in an unexpectedly long day.  Had we all known what would have been involved, we’d have scheduled a larger crew, the movers and our customer could have gone to bed at a reasonable hour, and the cost would have been the same.

Because the movers had experience working together, they could confidently rely on each other.  The unexpected changes increased the costs to our customer, but also increased her appreciation for our work.

Questions to Ask Your Moving Company

You’re planning your move, and you want to get the best moving company lined up.  You have your list of movers to call, and you are ready to pick up the phone and start dialing.  Here is a list of five questions you need to ask before you make your final decision:

1.    How long have you been in business?
Like most service organizations, if the moving company has been around for more than five years, they probably know what they are doing.  It is a competitive industry, and when you are performing services that are so personal (moving someone’s home and possessions) and doing it well, there will likely be positive reviews and a strong referral base.  So the longer a company has been in service, the better.

2.   Are you licensed and insured?

From our experience, odds are remote that your move will encounter major difficulties or damages.  But your mover needs to be prepared and covered for any and all eventualities.  Sometimes there are external factors, like other drivers or unforeseen weather, which can disrupt your move.  So make sure the moving company you select has all the coverage and licenses it needs to give you peace of mind.

3.  How do you develop your cost estimates and is there a ceiling?

Unfortunately, there are moving companies out there who will give you a low estimate to get your business and then slap you with a final cost that is double or even triple the original estimate. Companies that operate in this manner are likely to have generated bad feelings and complaints, which you can check out with the various rating websites, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or NY State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

To best arrive at costs, the moving company should come see your home or office so that they know both the quantity and qualities of things to be moved, and have a chance to see what the service access to your building is like.  It is also the best way to determine the packing materials that will be needed to safely and efficiently prepare for and complete your move, whether you do your own packing, or decide to have the movers pack for you. And they should have a policy on final price.  If they trust their own estimates, they should be fine with putting a ceiling on any cost overruns, barring any significant change in plans.

4. What happens if anything changes before or even during the move (ie. the unexpected)?

The moving company should be happy and prepared to work with you to firm up the plans prior to the move.  If plans change in advance, the mover should be able to provide a new cost estimate quickly and efficiently.  Plans can also change without much notice, and an experienced mover on your side is an important asset.

If your moving plans do change in minor or major way, you want confidence that the mover will still get the job done without creating additional headaches for anyone.  Communication is key.  It is easier to adapt to the new realities of the moment if mutual trust has been established between you and your mover.  A good mover and a prepared customer can work together as a matter of course in the run-up to moving day.  Then, if you are unable to sell your couch or piano as planned, if you need to put some things in storage or make an extra stop, the mover can make it happen.  The change may result in a little more time required for the move, or a bit more cost.  But it will not be a problem for an experienced moving company.

5.  What questions do you have for me?

You’re the one asking all the questions, right?  Well, there are certain things a mover should want to know about you.  Key dates and locations, and an idea of what you will be moving are basic.  But a more experienced mover will ask about details before giving you a price.  Will you want us to help you pack things into boxes, or unpack when you get to your new destination?  If you are packing yourself, would you like an idea of the types and costs of packing materials?  Would you like guidance on packing?  Would you like us to deliver materials prior to your move?  Do you have any large or particularly fragile pieces to move?  We’ve seen a lot of things in our experience since 1978, and we ask a lot of questions.  We cannot always foresee every detail of a move, but we do our best to take stock of as many as we can and incorporate them into our plan for your move.

The moving company you choose should be one that answers all these questions, and any others you have, to your satisfaction.  Feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like.  We are always happy to provide any information that will relieve any stress for our customers.  It relieves the stress for us too.  We like it when the job is done with no damage to anyone or anything so we all can go on happily with our lives.  Happy is good!