| Apr 08, 2014
There are as many types of moving companies out there as there are types of homes. From large, nationally recognized chains like Allied to a team of college students in need of some extra cash, you can hire a wide range of movers to get your home’s contents from point A to point B.
Before you sign on with the cheapest moving option, it’s a good idea to sit down with your potential movers during an in-house estimate and ask these ten questions. 2. What kind of licenses and insurance do they have?
1. How long have they been in business? A good reputation carries a lot of weight in the moving industry—it means the movers have experience, are trustworthy, can stick to cross-country schedules, and haven’t encountered any major business difficulties. More experience also means they’ll be better equipped for special circumstances like elevators, homeowner’s association rules, etc.
Any moving company that crosses state lines should have a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which you can verify online. They should likewise be certified by the AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association). Insurance is also an important factor—probably the most important one there is for movers. Not only do their vehicles and business need to be insured, but there should be additional options for your personal possessions. 3. Where can I read reviews/hear personal feedback?
Although you can ask the movers how good they are, it’s better to find some third-party feedback. Ask for recommendations from happy customers, find out where you can read online reviews, or look for any awards the company has won in the past.
4. How are their estimates based? Is it per-room, by the pound, based on the quantity of furniture, determined by the number of miles traveled? Are the estimates binding, or can they change? There are many different ways to calculate moving costs, and it’s best if you know exactly how they’ll be determining yours.
5. Are there any hidden costs? Does the estimate include fuel charges? Does the day of the week or time of year you move play role in cost? Are there additional taxes or fees you’ll need to consider? What about the additional cost of insurance? Ask to see a sample invoice, if possible, as it will give you a better idea of all the costs that go into the final billing process.
6. Is packing and wrapping included? Full service movers will come supplied with boxes and bubble wrap and prepare to do the work for you. You might also opt for doing most of the work yourself to save money. Know how much you can expect to pay and for what services—including things like appliance preparation.
7. What is their cancellation policy? Weather and jobs and changes of schedule can impact the timeline you had planned. If you need to cancel or postpone your move for whatever reason, what does the moving company charge, if anything? How much of a window do you have for changing your mind or cancelling without being charged?
8. What does moving day look like? This question includes quite a few facets, so have your pen and paper ready. It’s a good idea to know:
9. What happens on the road?
- How many movers will be present the day of the move
- How long it will take them to wrap and pack up your belongings
- What they expect you to provide/do to assist
- How much preparation you need to do ahead of time
- When the departure and arrival are estimated to take place
- Whether or not you’ll be charged if the job goes over the anticipated time
Once the moving van pulls away, you’ll want to know what happens as the moving van begins its journey. You don’t need a full detailed itinerary, but you may be comforted to know where they plan on stopping and how long the trip will take—as well as what you can expect if there are delays.
10. What do they want to know from you? A good moving company won’t just answer your questions—they’ll have some of their own. It takes time and a personalized in-home visit to make an accurate estimate, and any moving company that provides you an option over the phone or without asking questions about your preferences/needs is probably one you should avoid.