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The president of a national web site offers tips to help you avoid a bad moving experience.

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

This month our Seven-On-Your-Side office has talked with dozens of people who have negative moving experiences to share.

What can you do to keep from joining that unhappy club? One web site has some suggestions.

Jeff Walker lives in Illinois. He hasn't watched any of our reports featuring bad moving experiences this month. But he doubts there is anything we've showed you that he hasn't seen.

That's because since 2001 Walker has been writing about and educating consumers about moving...and movers...on the web site www.movingscam.com.

He says one of the biggest mistakes people make is hiring a mover based on a quote over the phone without the mover ever visiting their home. That's called a non-binding estimate...and it can lead to trouble.

"The nice thing about a guaranteed not to exceed quote is that you know how much you are going to pay pretty much up front,” says Walker. “Now there might be a little tacked on at the end but generally speaking it's not going to be something you can't afford."

And www.movingscam.com advises that you get not just one binding, in-home estimate but three.

They should all be in writing and Walker says there should be no charge.

Request, read and keep a bill of lading from your mover. It will include all the details of your move. Don't sign it until you agree with it.

Ask about insurance...and the option to increase insurance if very valuable items will be moved.

And ask that you estimate be calculated by the pound. An average move costs about a dollar a pound.

"If they give you an estimate it is usually in cubic feet,” says Walker. “The reason they do that is because it is really hard for the consumer to understand what a cubic foot looks like."

The number one piece of advice that Walker gives people about to choose a moving company is to do your homework before you hire. Check ratings, read complaints and rely on good references. Because once all your stuff is loaded...it's too late.

Walker says he and his brother started www.movingscam.com after a move from Virginia to Nevada became a six-month nightmare.

Air date: May 18th, 2017

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