Don't get taken for a ride by a mover
By Echo Montgomery Garrett

(MONEY Magazine) – The peak months for household moves are approaching, driving up the blood pressure of Americans planning to relocate. Lousy movers are a perennial source of aggravation, of course. But there is one new source of irritation: Last year's tax law scrapped some key moving write-offs for 1994. Here are examples of the most common mover woes and how to handle them: -- The mover demands an extra $300 to haul your boxes up three steps. When you get a written estimate, make sure all charges are listed. It's up to you to tell the mover, for example, the number of levels at your old and new home. -- Your baby grand piano doesn't sound so grand after the move. When improper handling cracked Jim and Terry Prather's $9,000 piano in 1989 during their move from Houston to New York City, they spent almost nine months writing complaint letters before receiving $5,000 from the mover. Avoid a similar problem by watching the loading and unloading. And examine all furniture carefully before signing a receipt at the end. -- The movers arrive three hours late. Call the company once its truck is 30 minutes late. If you incur extra expenses because of the delay, demand compensation. If you're not satisfied, complain to your local consumer agency or, for an out-of-state move, the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, D.C.