It isn’t always easy to look for a reliable moving company through the business bureau.
However, the process does not need to be complicated.
Whether you’re moving to the next town over or to the other side of the country, relocation can be one of the most stressful events of your life.
Professional movers can help with unwanted problems, and in particularly unlucky situations, they can even help protect your belongings.
There are many moving scams offered by a local mover.
To avoid this, you can achieve peace of mind by hiring a quality moving company you can trust to deliver your belongings from point A to point B with no problems.
We have some tips for you to consider when you choose a moving company:
Look for family members or friends’ recommendations
Recommendations from family and friends whose opinions you value can factor heavily in your ultimate decision.
Depending on what they say, you can consider different moving companies when you compare quotes and run a background check before deciding to hire them.
When people focus less on the good and more on the bad and the ugly, it’s a sign to pass on partnering with that mover.
You can also ask them these questions before receiving a written estimate from different companies:
- What did they like about the moving company?
- What was the determining factor in their decision to choose this company?
- What services did they request from the mover?
- Were there any hiccups in the moving process?
- Was there anything they didn’t like about the service?
- Would they use this moving company again?
These are all useful questions to help create a complete picture of their moving experience from start to finish.
If your family and friends were satisfied with the service they received, it’s likely you will be, too.
Hire the moving company, not via a broker
Unless you are hiring for long-distance moves, you should always hire a moving company instead of a broker.
A moving broker is not licensed to transport your belongings; rather, they book your move and then sell that booking information to a moving company.
There is inherently more risk when working with a moving broker, the riskiest factor being the inability to choose the company that will actually be transporting your possessions.
It will also be difficult to assign liability to either of the parties in the event of damage or loss as both the broker and the mover typically point fingers at each other.
Finally, the moving estimate provided by a broker can be horribly inaccurate as they are often handled over the phone.
Needless to say, partnering with a moving company instead of a broker ensures you will have full confidence in the team you’ve personally selected.
Research several companies
While this may seem like the most obvious tip of the bunch, it’s one of the most important.
Good movers who are established will do their due diligence by making sure information about them is easy to look for.
It’s logical to infer that the more established a business is, the more information you should be able to find online about them.
A moving company should be open and honest about who they are, how much experience they have, why they are qualified to help you, and how their customers perceive them.
Movers that are transparent about their business practices tend to be more trustworthy than those who are not.
Ensure your moving contracts contain insurance protection
A mover won’t have up-to-date (or any) insurance if they’re a part-time mover, are unable to afford it, or have simply neglected to get it.
If your moving needs are more complex, you need to hire reputable movers with insurance.
Items such as heavy furniture, gym equipment, pool table, fragile items, and expensive artwork should be insured to ensure they remain protected.
It is also important for movers also be insured when moving.
If a worker is hurt on your property and your mover is uninsured, then you could be held legally liable for all medical costs which is a bill you definitely don’t want to foot.
To avoid such a costly situation, ask your moving company to provide proof of insurance issued by their insurance carrier in the form of an “Insurance Certificate.”
Any licensed and reputable mover should happily provide you with proof of their current policy.
If they’re reluctant to share or provide outdated information, you should choose another company.
Look at all the moving companies’ online reviews
You can do more research on what moving companies offer other than on their official websites.
Study their activities and comments on their social media accounts or look online to read reviews.
A reputable moving company should have a satisfactory rating supported by a record of responding to and resolving any complaints.
To keep your research relevant, sort reviews to show the most recent.
To look for red flags, sort reviews to the lowest rating to read reviews on the services rendered.
Most companies, especially larger ones, are expected to have a couple of bad reviews (in fact, approach with caution if all reviews are rated 5 stars; this could be an indicator of fake reviews), so don’t let those carry too much weight in your decision.
The goal is to find a moving company with a large percentage of glowing reviews that also responds respectfully to negative reviews and attempts to rectify the situation.
A red flag is raised when a significant portion of customers experienced similar issues and are unsatisfied.
Get an In-Home Estimate
One of the major telltale signs of quality service offered by movers includes doing an in-home estimate.
The right moving company will do a home visit to double-check all the items you provided so they can see for themselves the belongings that need to be shipped.
An in-home estimate allows the mover to understand the full scope of the task and decide how many boxes and moving supplies they can expect to prepare for the next move.
In addition to cost, the amount of manpower needed to load and unload the trucks as well as drive them must be determined.
This assessment also presents an additional opportunity to save money and further familiarize yourself with the mover and inquire about the employees who will be responsible for handling your possessions.
If the estimate for the local move or long-distance move is given by email or during a phone call without having evaluated the moving load is likely not to be accurate.
It could result in unexpected delays during your moving day.
This could be due to moving companies reserving the wrong size truck or employing a too-small moving crew.
You also are likely to end up paying much more than was initially quoted due to these errors.
If a mover does not offer an in-home estimate or refuses to complete one, they are not a reputable moving company.
Request a Cost Breakdown of the Estimate
After completing the in-home estimate, you should request a cost breakdown.
For same-state or in-state moves, the moving day will be much simpler for movers to complete.
However, for long-distance moves, most reputable moving companies charge based on the weight of the shipment as opposed to the number of cubic feet the cargo occupies.
Charging by cubic feet is easily abused by dishonest moving companies who significantly overcharge unsuspecting customers.
Therefore, it is important to only partner with movers who charge per pound.
If storage services are required, tell them to put it into the quotation as well so you know how much it costs.
Other items that should be included in the breakdown include packing materials, movers costs (if more tips are required), moving licensed and insured, and other charges.
Every moving company will quote a different price, so it’s vital to know how companies calculated the number.
It’s especially handy when comparing estimates from multiple movers.
Although the individual estimates will differ, they should fall within the same ballpark if estimated for the same shipment weight and services.