Using the services of a professional mover gives clients access to an array of benefits. The most important one is to know that valuable belongings will be treated and transported in the best possible way. The quality of the service, however, is heavily dependent on the experience and the reputation of the moving company.
Differentiating between moving companies is far from an easy task, especially if you’ve never used such services in the past. Doing a bit of preliminary research and using the right criteria will take the guesswork out of the equation and result in the shortlisting of the best moving companies for the job.
Referrals and Recommendations
To make things easier at the beginning of the process, you should look for personal and online recommendations. People who have used the services of a moving company in the past can help you narrow it down to a few tested possibilities.
Local real estate agents that you’ve worked with can also provide tons of useful information about moving companies and the quality of their services.
Don’t underestimate the importance of online information either. Social media and platforms like Yelp are excellent. They feature reviews written by dozens of people who have worked with the respective mover. When opting for online information, you should always assess the trustworthiness of a testimonial. Keep in mind that some reviews may be written by marketing teams while others will be crafted by the competition.
Licensing and Insurance
Good moving companies are both licensed and insured.
Licensed interstate movers should all have a license issued by the US Department of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA website has a convenient tool you can use for the purpose of making sure a moving company you’re interested in has the right license.
Insurance is the next big thing to check. The insurance is in place to protect the customer in the case of a loss, damage or an injury that a mover experiences when doing the job. You should never make a compromise with these two requirements.
Get a Written Quote
Once you’ve identified a few moving companies that you’re interested in, you should obtain a moving quote from each one.
The more detailed the quote is, the better. It should include the company’s full name and contact information, licensing information, the specifics of the job, the time-frame for execution and the cost. Some quotes also include provisions for extraordinary circumstances.
All of the costs should be listed in this offer. A company that leaves some room for hidden or additional charges is not following ethical industry practices.
A quote should always be made available in writing. Beware of an offer that’s delivered via the phone or in person. If you don’t have anything in writing, the chances are that the moving company will eventually change the original terms and conditions.
The Red Flags
There are several red flags you should be aware of when interacting with moving companies.
You should never offer a deposit before the completion of the job. Legitimate movers don’t ask for any sum to be paid in advance. If you’re being asked for a large sum up front, the chances are that you’re dealing with a moving scam.
The same applies to a company that doesn’t have an active license or a physical address you can go to. Reputable movers need to provide their potential clients with all of the information that they require.
A mover that gives you an estimate without doing an onsite inspection should also be avoided. A few additional red flags to keep your eyes open for include a mover that asks you to sign a blank document, a company that determines the cost of transportation after loading and a company that has an office or a warehouse in a rather poor condition.