How to choose the moving company: tips and steps
Finding the right moving company shouldn’t be hard. Recently we have published an article on how to avoid unlicensed movers, and why. In today’s article, we will help you figure out how to choose the moving company that would be right for you.
Word of mouth
Of course, Google and Yelp are helpful when selecting movers, but nothing is better than getting an opinion from someone you know personally. So ask around. Make a post on your Facebook or ask in a local Facebook group, talk to your friends and colleagues. Chances are some of them moved recently (or know someone who did), and they have some good recommendations to some horror stories to share. You can also ask your real estate agent, if you have one, for a recommendation. In this case, you might even get a discount.
Check movers’ license and insurance
If you’re looking for local movers – the best thing to do is check with Better Business Bureau or local consumer protection agency. For interstate moving company – check for the U.S. Department of Transportation’ issued DOT number. Note that the New York state requires intrastate commercial movers to obtain a DOT number as well. Also, consider checking if the moving company is certified by the American Moving & Storage Association’ ProMover program. It is a consumer-oriented protection and certification program, designed to fight unlicensed ‘rogue operators’.
Do a quick research
Check company’s credentials, make sure they actually have a local address, you can even go check out their office. Make sure the company’s name on their business cards is the same as what their employees state when picking up the phone. Find out if there’s another name the company ‘does business as’ and search online for any complaints. Additionally, check the consumer-oriented movingscam.com. It has a list of endorsed moving companies – full service, and ‘you load/we drive’.
Get more than one estimate
Extremely important when choosing your moving company is getting more than one opinion. Ask for an estimate from at least two, better three different companies. Any professional moving company will gladly give you a written estimate after an in-person inspection. Don’t trust over-the-phone estimates, as no company can give you a final price without seeing your possessions first. Also, while the estimator is in your home, ask as many questions as you can. For example, if the company will be moving you itself, and not hire subcontractors.
Review the estimate
For an in-state move, you can only get a non-binding (not guaranteed) estimate. Meaning that the final cost will be based on the actual weight of the shipment and services provided at the time of moving. Under this contract, at the time of the delivery, the movers cannot charge you more than the amount of estimate plus 10 percent. For the interstate move, you can get a binding estimate. It means that the price quoted in the estimate will be exactly the amount you pay at the end. Even if your belongings weigh more or less than estimated. Make sure the estimate you get has the mover’s signature and date.
Learn to spot the red flags
The movers ask for a large cash deposit before you move? Or the company states that it doesn’t accept credit cards or checks, but cash payments only. What if a company doesn’t operate brand name trucks, and use rental trucks instead? All these are red flags, and they should tell you to look for another company. Also, make sure you take a good look at the company’s representative, who’s coming to give you an estimate. You want him to look and sound professional, and be on time.
Moving can be hard and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You should feel safe and comfortable with the moving company you choose. We hope that our tips on how to select your movers will help you make the right choice.