Tips for moving your house – Part 1

Moving Houses
Moving Houses

Shifting houses is hard. And it’s even harder if you are not well prepared. Recently, I had to move from Bangalore to Faridabad. It’s been about a month now that I have shifted to my new house, but I really can’t say that we have settled in yet. Many would think, moving houses is an easy task. Enquire and finalize a Movers & Packers, finalize a date and you are done. That’s probably true for a bachelor. But if you have a family, I would suggest you plan for it at least a month in advance.

In this post, I will only write about things that you will need to know about choosing a moving company. I will also do follow-up posts covering other aspects of moving your house and how you can plan it so that you are not frustrated in your new home.

1. Choose a Movers and Packers company

This is probably the hardest part. Choosing a vendor is not at all easy or straight-forward. This business is still quite unorganized and most of them will disappoint you. If you go by their reviews, you won’t find even a single reliable vendor who you can trust with your items. Once you call them, they will ask for an appointment to survey your house and give an estimate. They would just talk and talk, give you an estimate and give you all possible assurances.

You might get very cheap estimates, and some might quote you exorbitant prices. Do not always go for the cheapest or the costliest one expecting them to give you a trouble-free experience. Read reviews about them on the internet. You should never shortlist a company if it has less than 50 reviews(good or bad). If they mention something which is not written in their terms and conditions, ask them to give it in writing.

Note: 80% of their words are plain lies. Please don’t believe their words. Ask for written commitments and terms and conditions. Never go by their words.

2. Household items: Avail insurance or not

For household items, the insurance amount that you normally have to pay is 3% of the declared value of items. They would force you to declare a higher value for your items so that they can earn commission from the insurance companies, it at all they insure your items.

What could go wrong here? Well, as I said earlier, don’t believe these guys. I would suggest not to spend anything on insurance. But if you still want to, make sure you first get your insurance policy from them before the shifting date. Go through all the terms and conditions before you let them touch any of your belongings.

Note: For me, they took insurance charges from me on the day of the shifting, and never gave me any insurance policy details even after following up with them for weeks. Some items were damaged during transit, and I was never able to claim anything. What they probably did? They pocketed all the insurance premium that I had paid, about 6000 INR.

3. Payment schedule for the Movers and Packers

Most of them ask for 80% payment on the day of shifting. 20% or so needs to be paid when you get the delivery. Although this is a highly unfair payment schedule for you, there’s nothing much you can do here. They will accept all methods of payment: Cheque, Cash, Online Transfer etc, which is quite convenient.

Note: Keep all your estimates, payment receipts and other documents related to this in safe custody. It is very easy to misplace these documents while moving.

4. Full-Loading or Part-Loading

Full-load is obviously going to be costly in theory, where the vehicle which loads your items is the one that is going to deliver it, and it would only contain your items. Part-load is usually cheaper since a single truck can contain household items of multiple persons who are moving.

Part-load can be riskier because:

  1. Your items can be easily mixed up with others’.
  2. Your items can be damaged since they will be loaded and unloaded multiple times due to change of trucks or carriers which ply to different destinations.

If they are promising you a “Full Load” carrier, make sure you note down the number of the carrier that leaves your house. Verify at your destination if it’s the same carrier.

Note: For me, they promised a single carrier for my items, but when they finally delivered the goods, I realized that I had been taken for a ride. I lost 2 items in transit, which they haven’t been able to track down yet. The carrier wasn’t the same one which had picked up my items. And I did see several damages on various items, which clearly suggested that they have been loaded and unloaded multiple times.

5. Moving your car or driving

It is a tough decision. It was for me. But if you are adventurous, I would suggest that you drive it to your new house yourself. Trusting your car with these guys is very risky. Driving could be tiring and costly, but it can also be economical since you would save on your air tickets. However, if you are still shifting your car through any moving company, please take care of the following.

  1. Insurance or not: Please refer above where I have talked about insuring your household goods.
  2. Take note of your odometer. Although, this doesn’t make any difference. If they need to misuse your vehicle, they will drive it around by taking out the cables attached to the wheels.
  3. Take note the fuel in the tank. If there’s a big difference, ask them to explain.
  4. Please mark the tires in front of them which cannot be easily tampered or reproduced. I have heard about incidents where they steal your new tyres and replace them with old ones.
  5. Do not leave any accessories inside the car.
  6. Take note of all current damages and scratches. Take lots of pictures of your car, both inside and outside.

For moving a car, they generally would ask for your RC in original and the Insurance Policy document in duplicate. That’s normal.

It is very easy to skip all these things. You would probably be very busy when they come to pick up your car. So, please plan for all these points well in advance.

Note: For me, my driver’s seat cover was torn at 2 places. The toolkit was missing. My car phone charger was gone. Tires seemed to be replaced by old ones, although I am not very sure about this. The fuel tank was almost empty. The delivery guy at least had the courtesy to remind me that I had an almost empty tank: it was half-tank when I had handed over the keys to them.

These are the things that you should definitely plan for and keep in mind. Also, check with your friends. Most of them would probably know a moving company which they might have used before.

This is only the first part of your preparation, and probably the most important one. If you happen to succesfully choose a great moving company, by luck or by research, 90% of your hassles are gone. In the follow-up posts, I will talk about other things that you need to keep in mind.

Passenger Name Change – IRCTC

IRCTC - Passenger Name Change
IRCTC – Passenger Name Change

This post is about IRCTC – Passenger Name Change Rule. Confirmed tickets can be transferred to blood relations, i.e, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband and wife.

Recently, I had to transfer a confirmed ticket from my sisters name to my fathers name. I knew about this rule that tickets can be transferred between blood relations. So I set out on the journey. As per the rule, the ticket can be transferred to any of the following relation, father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, husband or wife. Not everyone is aware of this rule, not even the railway employees. When I asked about the IRCTC – Passenger Name Change rule to one of the employees, he scolded me and said it wasn’t possible.

 

The IRCTC website doesn’t tell about the process. Although its not a very long process, if you don’t know about it, you can end up making multiple trips to the railway station. Here are the two official links which briefly talk about the Passenger Name Change process, but they don’t contain enough information. www.indianrail.gov.in  www.irctc.co.in

The change if name or transfer of ticket cannot be done online. You have to complete the whole process at the nearest railway station/railway reservation office.

You would also need a few documents for the whole process to be smooth and completed in a matter of minutes. And some planning of course.

Documents needed

  1. Original E-Ticket/I-Ticket
  2. Letter from the original traveller mentioning the intent and other details like PNR number, train number and relation to the person who will be traveling instead.
  3. Original ID proof of the 1st traveller.
  4. Original ID proof of the 2nd traveller.
  5. Original Document which proves the relationship of both.
  6. 2 copies of each of the above documents. (You would need 1, but just to be safe)

With all these documents, you will need to go to the nearest Railway Reservation Office at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. I was very very lucky, to get it done just before the 24 hour window was over. Thanks to the helpful staff of Indian Railways.

Note: Check all your documents properly. Name, Age and other details should match on the ticket and on the proofs that you are going to present. If they don’t match, your request might be rejected.

Process (In Bangalore City Railway Station, but should be similar elsewhere also)

  1. Take all your documents and go the the Deputy Station master. He will verify all the documents. If satisfied with everything, he will put his seal and signature on your application. He will ask you to go the the Station Master.
  2. The Station Master will again verify your documents and check if they are in order. You will get another seal and signature on your application.
  3. Take the application to the Chief Reservation Supervisor, who will verify your documents yet again. Once he is happy, he will directly make the change of name on his computer for the given PNR. Also, he will strike out the old name and enter the new name on the ticket/e-slip itself, and put his seal and signature.

With this ticket you can proceed with your journey. The whole process shouldn’t take more than an hour if you plan properly.

  1. Try to submit your request 48 hours before the scheduled departure, just in case you are asked to provide more proofs/documents or clarifications. For me, there was a difference in the age of the 1st traveller on the ticket and on the proof that I had submitted. Although my application was accepted, but it wasn’t that easy to convince them that I wasn’t a tout. Also, I went once to the station 2 days before, and found that the Station Master was on leave, and that nothing could be done that day.
  2. Plan to visit the station at a time where you are most likely to find all the 3 persons in office. The Dy. Station Master, Station Master and the Chief Reservation Supervisor are mostly out of their offices, doing rounds of the station. So, may be you will have to take their phone number from their offices, and call them on their mobile if you have been waiting for a very long time.
  3. Passenger Name Change can be done for any train and any class of ticket.
  4. The application need not be submitted in person. Neither of the travelers are required to be present. A third person can get all the required documents, and complete the formalities.