Things to look for in a moving company
It’s no joke. Moving is a pain in the neck, and that’s why you need to do your homework before hiring a mover. You want someone who will show up on time, treat your stuff with care (not just toss it around like they own the place), and not charge an arm and a leg for their services. Here are some things you should look out for when choosing a moving company:
The type of equipment they use
One of the first things you should check is the movers’ equipment (trucks, dollies, padding for furniture). Companies that offer a flat fee generally use old equipment that will damage your stuff. The best way to avoid this is to make sure they have insurance for damages. You can also ask about their equipment if it’s essential for you. If you need special accommodations like hand trucks or large moving blankets, verify whether they provide them or not.
Do they have a warranty on their work?
If you’re going with a flat rate company, make sure they can provide their work warranty. A good budget mover will have a minimum of one year warranty on their services and quality of service. They will also help you in case something goes wrong or if anything is damaged during the move.
A clean work environment
Another thing you should check is the mover’s work environment. Is it clean? Are they organized and ready to go when they arrive at your house or apartment? Do they have regular vehicles (no old beat-up trucks), or do they rent U-Hauls for moving day? And how will they be paying? Cash, check, credit cards, or personal checks? These are all questions you need to ask and look out for.
The customer service experience movers provide is excellent
Ask about the movers’ background, if they have any association or accreditation for their business. A Moving Astute’s list of top-rated long-distance movers will proudly show you their professional credentials so look them up when choosing your company. And, of course, ask the customer service representative many questions and verify that they are willing to give you an on-site estimate without charging you anything for it (you should pay only if you hire them).
A reasonable price
One of the most important things to look for in a moving company is its price. You will have several quotes from different movers, so make sure you know what you are getting into before signing any contracts or agreements. Ask about any hidden fees or charges that might be included in your quote (like fuel surcharge, tolls, etc.). And never go with a mover that doesn’t want to provide an on-site estimate first. That’s a sign they don’t want you to shop around and will try to take advantage of your situation.
They are insured and licensed
One thing you should always verify with your movers is insurance coverage. If they provide items like blankets and pads to protect your stuff, ask for their inventory sheets to know what is being packed (all furniture) and protected. And while speaking of insurance, make sure the company has valid license and liability coverage. These are all small things that can add up to a big headache later on.
A good track record
The best way to know a company’s reputation is to ask the customers. A good moving company will have positive reviews from previous customers. Also, try to find out how long they have been in business and if they are affiliated with any companies that can help you after the move (like storage facilities or real estate management companies).
A great mover will be polite, on time, and ready to work. Make sure you know what time they arrive (don’t assume the scheduled time is when they will show up) and how much experience they have. If the company has been around for a while, that’s a good sign of quality service. Your moving day should not take longer than 6 hours (unless it is an exceptional circumstance). If your movers tell you otherwise, there is likely something wrong with their planning or equipment management system. Always verify their credentials and talk to previous customers before signing any contracts with them.
Their employees are uniformed, friendly, and experienced
A company with a great reputation will have a team of uniformed, friendly, and experienced movers. Check their ID badges to make sure they are, in fact, employees and look for any strange tattoos or piercings. Make sure you communicate well with the customer service representative before moving day so there is no confusion on who will show up at your house, how many trucks they need etc. This person should answer all your questions and verify an accurate total move cost (not just estimate).
Your moving company is only as good as their word. Never sign a contract before verifying the complete move cost, inventory sheet, and insurance coverage.
And always go with your instincts! Don’t hire a mover that appears to be questionable or shady, and try not to get emotional about your situation. You need to do your research and look for signs of responsible, reliable movers who can offer you a reasonable total move cost without any hidden fees or charges. And don’t forget to ask all questions necessary so there are no surprises when it comes to moving day (or after). All those little things will add up to an excellent customer service experience.