Moving companies typically exist in two forms: flat rate and those that charge by the hour. The difference between the two is pretty much obvious - flat rate movers charge just one rate for the entire operation, while hourly rate movers will bill you for every hour on the job.
If you’re a little tight on the budget, you might want to consider getting flat rate movers since there will be no surprise charges upon the completion of your move; or maybe, you’re moving across the country and don’t want to do the math. Whatever the circumstance, it still pays to know the pros and cons of hiring flat rate movers.
A lot of people prefer hiring flat rate movers because of the convenience and ease they provide - and more. Take a look at some of them below.
No hidden charges. As mentioned above, flat rate movers bill you a fixed rate, so you’re spared the hassle of "surprise" moving expenses comes moving day. You know exactly how much you will pay, which gives you peace of mind financially - a very important factor, since no move is never stressful!
They’re great for long distance moves, and to areas that are pretty hard to locate. Since flat rate movers don’t charge by the hour, you will definitely get more value for your money. Besides, a long distance move, especially one that will take you from one end of the country to another, might come with plenty of possible hijinks, so with flat rate movers, you need not keep a worried eye on the clock at all times.
Flat rate movers are also good if you’ll be lugging big, bulky items - for example, to a third-floor condo unit in a building with no elevators. If you’re going to be transporting a lot of items, they’re good options as well.
Speedy work. Because they don’t get paid by the hour, flat rate movers are generally more efficient and will complete the work in shorter time, whereas hourly rate movers might take it “slowly” in order to rack up more billing hours.
Despite the convenience and ease that flat rate movers often bring, they don’t come without any disadvantages. Here are some examples.
Flat rate movers might not help you with the disassembling and assembling of your things. This is usually the case with them, so be prepared to DIY it comes moving day. There’s also the possibility of them dropping off the stuff literally right at your doorstep and speeding off. So do make sure that the signed contract includes the exact delivery details (i.e. drop-off points).
Their work might get sloppy. Since flat rate movers know they’re not being paid by the hour, they will, of course, want to finish work fast and early. That can be a good thing in most cases, but if you’re moving delicate items, there’s a chance that they might not worry about handling them with care as they’re more concerned about being quick and efficient, so to speak. Think twice before hiring flat rate movers if your move entails handling fragile stuff; and as with all transitions, do read the fine print before you finally sign the contract.
It’s not convenient - at first. Flat rate movers will need to go to your house and inspect the items for transport, so you will have to make time in your already busy schedule for that. Aside from that, be prepared to wait a while before you get a quotation or estimate since these movers will have to factor in distance, fuel, time, lodging (if the move will take more than a day), etc. But before you blow your top, bear in mind that your patience will reap you benefits and save you money and effort in the end. If you don’t want to be hassled, plan ahead and do your canvassing at least a month before your move.
Written by Margarita Hakobyan