Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find many answers to common questions regarding the moving process. If you have additional questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is an Agent?
Wheaton Agents are individually owned and operated businesses located throughout the country. These Agents have met the service and quality standards set to become an Agent for Wheaton Van Lines.
Your local Wheaton Agent will be your personal moving consultant. They coordinate all aspects of your move, work with corporate headquarters and with the Wheaton Agent at your destination and remain your point of contact throughout the relocation process.
When is the best time to move?
The best time to move is when it’s right for you. However, there are some times of the year that are busier for the moving industry than others. The summer months (May – September) and the end of each month are periods of heavier demand.
When should I begin to contact companies about my upcoming move?
It is a good idea to contact the moving companies you are considering for your move with as much notice as possible. It is ideal to have companies provide an estimate five to six weeks prior to your desired move date. Try to select the moving company four weeks before your moving date. Be sure to sign the Estimate/Order for Service and confirm your packing, pick up and delivery dates.
What is an in-home estimate?
Your local Wheaton Agent will come to your home to complete a visual survey of the belongings you plan to move. Your local Agent has passed Wheaton’s rigorous training and certification program and will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of your belongings. Your estimate is based on a wide variety of factors, the two main ones being shipment weight and distance to destination. In addition, they will evaluate the need for professional services, such as packing and unpacking, appliance preparation, custom crating and storage.
The Agent will need to look in cabinets, closets, under beds and any other area that the items to be moved are not visible. In order to get an accurate estimate, all items that are going to be moved need to be taken into account. If you know that items you plan to move are out of view, point them out. In addition, if you have items you do not plan to move, point them out too.
Your Wheaton Agent will be able to pinpoint all of the potential costs and service requirements of your relocation. Removing guesswork from the equation gives you a reasonable, highly accurate estimate and gives Wheaton an educated, highly-satisfied customer.
What is a non-binding estimate?
A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final cost will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided and the tariff provisions in effect. To verify the weight of your shipment, the driver will weigh his trailer prior to loading your shipment and then reweigh his trailer once your shipment has been loaded.
What are the methods of payment Wheaton accepts for my move?
The tariff provisions require that the charges be paid in full, prior to your shipment being unloaded at destination. You can pay for your move at the time of delivery with cash, money order, traveler's check, certified check or cashier's check. Or, with prior credit approval, you can charge the cost of your move to your personal credit card. Wheaton gladly accepts the following credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.
What is an Order for Service?
An Order for Service is a signed written agreement made in advance with the moving company, authorizing them to move your goods.
What is a Bill of Lading?
A Bill of Lading is the written contract between you and the mover which lists the terms of the agreement (services, dates and actual charges, etc.). The Bill of Lading also serves as your receipt for your belongings.
What is an Inventory?
The inventory is the form that lists all of the items that you are shipping and their condition. Both you and the driver will sign the inventory after the shipment is loaded and unloaded. The inventory is also used to document any change in the condition of your items or any missing items at delivery.
Can I leave the items in my dresser drawers?
Yes, you can leave clothing in your dresser drawers if your shipment will not need storage. If you will need storage at one of Wheaton’s Agencies, we recommend that all items in your dresser drawers be packed. We also recommend that all non-clothing items be packed, regardless of your storage needs.
Will the driver load the boxes that I packed?
Yes, the driver will load the boxes that you packed as long as the driver deems them safe for transport. Please note, the liability coverage for boxes that you pack yourself is not the same as the liability coverage available to you for carrier packed boxes.
Can I pack and move my plants?
Typically, it is not advisable to move your plants. Most professional movers will only accept plants, if the shipment is not going more than 150 miles and/or delivery will be within 24 hours. In addition, if you are moving across state lines, check with federal and state regulations for quarantines or other restrictions. Several states even require that plants be inspected and declared "pest free."
How should I move my jewelry and other valuable items?
Wheaton recommends you do not pack or ship your fine jewelry, precious metals, important papers (titles, tax forms, bank books, deeds, etc.), medical and dental records, prescriptions, coins, currency, stock certificates, notes and bonds. These items should be carried with you during your move.
How should I prepare my appliances?
All major appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, stoves, etc.) should be properly disconnected before the mover’s arrival. An authorized service firm can disconnect and prepare each appliance for transport. All refrigerators and freezers should be defrosted, cleaned and dried before the movers arrive. For more information, visit our Moving tips page.
How will my mirrors and pictures be protected and packed?
Your local Wheaton Agent can pack all of your mirrors and pictures using specially designed cartons and wrapping materials to provide maximum protection for your goods.
What type of protection options do my belongings have during transport?
Wheaton offers different levels of valuation options for your belongings. These options are not insurance, but provide for protection of your goods during shipping.
What can I expect on moving day?
On moving day, you can relax and leave all of the hard work to the professionals. When your Wheaton driver arrives at your home, he will conduct an initial walk through of your home. This is a good opportunity to let the driver know what items will be shipped and which items will stay. This also allows the driver to visualize how your belongings will best fit in the truck.
The driver and his crew will then prepare your house by protecting the floors and doorways. Once loading is ready to begin, the driver will use the inventory form to document the items, and their condition, going on the truck. The driver and his crew will wrap furniture pads (specially designed blankets) around your furniture to protect it from scratches and other damage. Overstuffed furniture (couches, etc.) will be wrapped in stretch wrap to help prevent damage. Once an item is properly protected it will be loaded on the truck.
After your belongings are loaded on the truck the driver will ask you to sign some paperwork, including the Bill of Lading, High Value Inventory, and Inventory.
How will I know when my shipment is going to be delivered?
Your driver will contact you 48 hours prior to the delivery of your belongings. Ensure that the driver has your destination contact information prior to his departure from your origin residence.
Who do I contact if my shipment is delayed beyond my delivery dates?
In the unfortunate situation that your belongings will not be delivered within the delivery spread that is stated on the Bill of Lading, please contact our customer service department at 1-800-248-4810. A customer service representative will be able to answer your questions and provide delivery updates.
Who do I contact if my household goods were damaged during my move?
If you had items damaged during the move, please contact Wheaton’s claims department at 1-800-932-7799. A claims adjuster will be assigned and he or she will review the claim and contact you, if necessary, with any further instructions. Please take note of the following details on the claims process:
- All claims must be filed in writing, within nine months of the date of delivery to residence. If your goods were placed into storage-in-transit, and remain in storage in excess of 180 days, you have nine months from the date of conversion to permanent storage in which to file a claim.
- Please do not discard or repair any items without prior authorization from this office, as we reserve the right to inspect all claimed items.
- If you are claiming any damaged items which were packed, please indicate whether or not the carton was damaged. Please also save the packing material and carton for our inspection.
- Please describe the nature and location of damages for each article claimed, and furnish repair estimates whenever possible to support the claim.
- Please provide the manufacturer’s name, the model, and the serial number of any appliances or electronics equipment claimed as missing or damaged.
- Copies of original purchase receipts should be submitted with your claim for items requiring replacement.
- Please make certain that all items you wish to claim are included on your claim form, and that the claim form does constitute your complete and entire claim.