| Sep 05, 2013
If there was one thing that made me the most nervous about picking up and moving halfway across the country, it was finding a moving company I could trust. Relying so heavily on a company and people you don’t know to protect, pack and move your belongings can be difficult, especially if you like to be in control like I do!
We were moving cross-country due to a job change and my husband’s company was providing relocation assistance but receiving estimates from moving companies and selecting a mover fell into our hands.
Here’s the action checklist my family used when narrowing down our list of choices.
Get at Least Three Quotes: Don’t go with the first moving company you find on Google, no matter how much time it might save you. Pick a few companies and if they’re reputable, they should:
- Come to your home and do an on-site review
- Provide a written, guaranteed estimate
- Encourage you to ask questions
- Supply references and credentials
Determine How Well They Communicate: Communication is key when choosing a moving company. Response times to your requests should be short and handled in a professional manner. And of course, you should always walk away from any conversation feeling better about your move. This level of comfort my husband had with each rep was a huge factor in which company we ultimately selected.
Compare Prices: Of course, money is almost always going to play a role in your decision-making process. Moving is an expensive undertaking, and anywhere you can cut costs is going to help. Beware of false economy, though. Know what kind of value you’re getting for your dollar (for example, is insurance and extra protection covered in the quote? are you guaranteed a delivery date?), and count those kinds of features into the balance.
Watch Out for Red Flags: Although every moving company operates a little differently, there are some universal warning signs it’s a good idea to look out for. These include:
- Quotes that are much higher or much lower than the competition
- Customer service representatives who are difficult to get hold of
- Unclear delivery times or appointments
- Negative online reviews (rely on reputable sites like BBB.org)
- A promise that they don’t need to visit your home in person to provide a quote or service
- No online presence or website
- No physical address you can visit
- No official documentation such as insurance or a DOT number
If you are moving across states you are likely going to talk to a local moving company (or agent) that is supported by a larger van line, such as Allied. Through your decision making process, make sure you consider both your local agent and the larger van line. You can also ask about the destination agent (the moving company at your destination that will likely be helping with unloading).
And for those who are moving with a relocation package, make sure you discuss with your employer moving budgets, number of required quotes and what are the ultimate deciding factors in choosing a company. In our instance the employer did not require us to select the lowest quote; our personal judgment was also a factor. Therefore we ended up selecting a quote we felt was reasonable and accurate based on comparables and from the company we trusted the most. The lowest quote’s estimate was noticeably different than our others which set off a red flag.
We ended up selecting Allied Van Lines and their Chicago area agent, Reebie Storage & Moving. Our decision and our move was made prior to my work here with Allied and our Family on the Move series. So not only did we end up receiving great service from the mover we selected, it led me here to all of you!