In general there are two types of estimates: Binding Estimates and Non-binding
Binding estimates in clear words is a flat price. Binding estimate must be in writing and a copy must be available to customer before the move . It must be clearly describe the shipment and all services provided. If you sign and agree to a binding estimates you are responsible for paying all charges by agreed payment form between the customer and the moving company. If for any reason customer is unable to pay at time of shipment delivery, the full amount of the binding estimates, the mover may place your shipment in storage at customer expense until the charges as writing on the binding estimates are paid. Binding estimates could change only if extra service is required from the mover ,such as extra items that not writing on the original binding moving estimates or special packing, long carry on delivery or shuttle service etc. So make sure you understand and read carefully your writing binding estimate to make sure it will cover all services you might need.
NON BINDING ESTIMATES
A non binding estimate is provided by the mover to give a general idea of cost of the move .
These estimate are good when a customer is not sure exactly what they are moving or what kind of services they will need. Non binding estimate must be in writing and clearly describe the pick up address and delivery address and all required services that will be needed .
If you are given a non binding estimate, the mover is entitled to charge you no more than 10 percent of the original estimate. You will have at least 30 days after delivery to pay the remaining balance.
If you require the mover to provide more services than those on your writing non binding estimate, the moving company may demand full payment for those services at time of delivery.
Moving companies have a few ways to calculate and charge customers. Long distance movers and local movers will charge differently. But most important is you must read carefully the paper work and make sure all services that you will need are clearly described and will provided by the movers, under the conditions of your moving estimate