What is Wheaton?
Wheaton World Wide Moving is a full-service moving company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Wheaton has been around for decades, with a history stretching back to 1945. It sets itself apart from the competition by living up to its “World Wide” name, offering full-service international moves through its sister company, as well as nationwide domestic moves. Wheaton has 350 moving agents across the country, covering most of the well populated places in the U.S.
Is Wheaton right for you?
- You can’t handle the move on your own.
- Full-service movers like Wheaton are a good choice for those who need more than just a rented truck or storage container.
- You’re moving from a heavily populated area.
- Wheaton is available nationwide … mostly. If you’re in a rural area, you may not be covered by one of their 350 local agents.
- You’re moving internationally on a generous budget.
- Those moving internationally can take advantage of Wheaton’s sister company for a concierge-style experience.
The long answer
Like other full-service moving companies, Wheaton operates through an agent system. The agents run their own business, and they find customers through Wheaton (and give it a portion of the profits). When looking for an agent, search locally; your agent for the move is the one near your current home, not your destination.
Wheaton is a full-service company, so they offer everything you need for your move, from packing and unpacking to loading and transportation.
There are about 350 Wheaton agents scattered throughout the U.S. Availability seems based on population density: if you’re in the Philadephia area (19 agents), you’ll have plenty of options. If you’re in Billings, Montana (0 agents), Wheaton may not be available to you.
If you’re moving internationally, Wheaton will refer you to Crown Relocation. Crown is in fact a sister company of Wheaton, owned by the same parent company. They handle international moves, and are something of a luxury moving option: expensive but effective. More on Crown in the “international moves” section.
- Household moves
- Corporate relocation
- International moves
- Military & government
- Specialized and commercial
You won’t find any numbers in this section, because each move is priced individually, making it impossible for us to predict your price. Keep in mind, though, that a full-service move like that offered by Wheaton is, on average, the most expensive moving option by far. If you’re looking for a bargain, use a truck rental or portable container service. If you want someone else to do the heavy lifting for you, then be ready to pay for it.
Also note that if you are moving during the peak season (usually May through September), you’ll pay more than at other times of the year.
Here are a few key points to understand before you start the quote process:
- If you visit Wheaton’s website, you’ll have the option of receiving an instant “ballpark estimate” or scheduling an in-home estimate. If you choose to get a ballpark estimate, understand that the price you see will almost certainly be lower than what you will actually pay, sometimes substantially lower.
- To get an accurate estimate, you must schedule an in-home visit from a local agent. You’ll choose whether to accept a binding or a non-binding quote. A binding quote is provided if you commit to, and sign an agreement with, that agent. The binding quote will be more accurate, and it will require more time and work on the part of the agent.
- A non-binding quote is similar to (but more accurate than) a ballpark estimate. The agent visits your home and provides an estimate, but doesn’t do a detailed inventory needed for a more accurate quote. If you decide to hire the agent, count on the price being adjusted upward.
If you move with Wheaton, it must be understood that, like all national full-service moving companies, you won’t likely work closely with Wheaton itself. Rather, you’re hiring and working with a local agent. Your experience will rest largely on how well the agent treats you.
It’s a bit like going to a chain restaurant: the menu is the same everywhere, but each location could be better or worse than another. Similarly, Wheaton is sure to have guidelines for all their agents, but ultimately the experience depends on which agent you choose. We recommend that you research potential agents thoroughly through online reviews or over the phone.
Wheaton offers two types of liability coverage: Limited Liability Protection and Full Replacement Value Protection.
- Limited Liability Protection comes at no extra charge and reimburses you for lost or damaged items at $0.60 per pound per item. Claims are based on the weight of the item, not its actual value. Wheaton generally is not liable for items you’ve packed yourself, unless there is an instance of gross negligence on the part of a loader or driver.
- Full Replacement Value Protection reimburses you based on the value you declare for your belongings. The base value for your belongings under this model is $6.00 per pound. This means that if your belongings are weighed at 10,000 pounds, they would be covered for $60,000. If you feel this is too low or too high, you can declare a different value. You can also adjust the deductible that would be applied. This coverage and deductible must be negotiated with your agent before your items are loaded into the truck.
Should you need to make a claim, you’ll have 180 days from the delivery of your items to file it. As with any moving liability coverage, your ability to successfully make a claim will depend largely on your documentation. Thoroughly document the state of your items, especially valuable items, before they enter the truck. Photograph them if possible. When your truck arrives at the destination, repeat the process, again with photos if possible. Do this in the presence of the driver. Should you need to make a claim, documentation will be invaluable.
Wheaton’s name includes the words “World Wide” but the company doesn’t offer international moves. Wheaton refers international movers to a different company: Crown Relocations. They are sister companies, owned by the same parent company. This won’t make much difference in either move, but it’s good to know why Wheaton refers you where they do.
The practices, rules, and regulations for international moves are different enough to merit an entire post (or ten) by itself, so we won’t try to review Crown here. Suffice it to say that their reputation is one of luxury. They are expensive, but they offer true concierge service, handling everything from moving precious art to helping register your kids at their new school.
The bottom line
Wheaton is a trusted name in the moving industry, with a strong reputation and history. There is little in its day-to-day operations that sets it apart from its competitors, but it performs well across each of our judging criteria. Movers have a solid choice in Wheaton.
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