The logistics of planning a move can be challenging. Among the biggest challenges is finding the right movers. You should take the time to ensure that you are hiring the best moving company. The following tips will help you explore your options and compare your top choices.
- Use Personal and Online Referrals
The best way to find a quality company for any service is to ask your friends and family. This is a useful tip whether you need to find a new doctor, hair stylist, or mover. You may know someone that recently moved. Ask whether they were satisfied with the movers that they hired and ask for their name or business information.
You may also find referrals by talking to people that regularly work with movers, such as realtors. These individuals often have more experience with local moving companies and may provide additional recommendations.
Besides personal referrals, you should search online. You can visit Yelp for customer reviews. There are also many other websites that provide objective reviews, including the most popular social media networks.
- Create a List of Moving Companies
As you begin to get referrals, either from friends or online, you should start creating a list of moving companies in the area. Try to find at least half a dozen moving companies to review and research.
The only information you need right now is the names of the moving companies. The next several tips will help you narrow down the list and select the best mover. As you review these companies, you can write down your notes on the same piece of paper or in a computer document to keep track of your research.
- Visit Moving Company Websites
The next tip is to review the moving company’s website. You can find valuable information about a business by navigating through their website. However, small businesses cannot always afford the best web design and development services. While you should not judge the quality of the service on the quality of the website, you should look for certain details.
When browsing the website look for their address, phone number, and other contact information. These are details that are easily verifiable and let you know that you are likely dealing with a legitimate company.
The website should also include certification details, including accreditation from the American Moving and Storage Association. Federal law also requires movers to offer two types of insurance – full value coverage and released value coverage. These details may also be included in the website.
If you cannot find the information discussed on the website, you may remove the company from your list of possible movers.
- Get Multiple Moving Estimates
After getting referrals and reviewing the websites, you are ready to start calling the movers. You should get at least three moving estimates from local moving companies. These online moving quotes are free and allow you to compare multiple estimates before choosing a mover.
Movers are not required to provide estimates. However, most moving companies offer these estimates to remain competitive. There are two types of moving estimates that you may receive – binding and non-binding estimates.
A binding estimate must be requested and may include an additional charge. With a binding estimate, the mover cannot charge more than the estimate for the services covered in the estimate. If you choose to add extra services, the mover may require that you pay upon delivery.
A non-binding estimate is the standard estimate most people receive. The non-binding estimate is provided to give you a general idea of the costs and is not a guarantee of the final cost.
When you call for a free estimate, the moving company should arrange for an employee to visit your home and evaluate your possessions. To provide an accurate price quote, the movers need to visually inspect the items that you plan to move. This also provides an opportunity to ask the movers any questions that you have about their services, including insurance options and any hidden costs.
- Pay Attention to Red Flags
There are several indicators of a disreputable business that you should pay attention to. These red flags are warnings signs that the company may be dishonest and untrustworthy. The first signs are found on their website. You should have no problem finding a phone number and physical address for the company.
Beware if they offer a free quote over the phone–this is also a red flag. A reputable business will wait until they evaluate the belongings that you need to move before providing a quote. This is done in-person with a trip to your home to determine the scope of the job.
Another warning sign includes companies that arrive with a rental vehicle instead of their own moving truck or van. If a business needs to rent a vehicle, they may be a temporary business that is simply looking for quick cash before disappearing.
- Understand Your Right and Responsibilities
Movers give customers a small pamphlet that explains your right and responsibilities. Along with insurance options, Federal law requires that moving companies provide this pamphlet to all customers. If you do not receive the pamphlet, the movers may be trying to hide something about their services.
The pamphlet also addresses a lot of the questions that homeowners frequently have about the moving process. It is prepared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safty Administration (FMCSA) and covers your rights when receiving moving services, including extra services. The extra services that may be available include space reservation, expedited service, and exclusive use of a vehicle.
- Know What You Are Paying For
The last tip is to understand the details of the price estimate that you receive. Remember that an estimate is not the finalized price. You should ask about any hidden fees or charges that may apply to your move. This may include fees for moving insurance. Review these details before signing a contract to avoid any surprises on the final bill.
These moving tips should help you find the best moving company for your next move. Always perform research before hiring a company. This applies to movers and any other service. You should start with online and personal referrals and then begin reviewing websites and getting in-home price quotes.