Evaluating Your Options
Choosing a company to safely pack, move and possibly store your valuable possessions is an important decision.
Below are a few steps you can take to make sure you are selecting a reputable move.
Licensed and Insured
For the protection of consumers, the moving industry is federally regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. All Moving Companies are required to register with the Department of Transportation and must also obtain a license in the state(s) where they operate.
Working with a ‘rogue’ mover who does not comply with these requirements may seem like a way to spend less on your move, but it leaves you without any protections against price gouging, theft, or damage to your shipment.
As you are considering moving companies, be sure to visit the FMCSA “Safer” website to review license and safety information about the movers your are considering.
Moving companies open and close every day. After all, anyone can buy a truck, put up a website, and claim to be a ‘professional mover.’
Choosing a company that has been in business for many years will provide you with additional confidence in their ability to get the job done right. These are companies that attract and hire experienced employees who have dealt with a variety of moving challenges and know how to properly handle and protect your valuables throughout the moving process.
Referrals & Reviews
Personal referrals from friends and family are a great help in making your decision. A quick post to a social media site will usually provide you with a number of responses from people you know who have first-hand experience with movers in your area.
Review sites and online search tools are another useful option. These sites offer ‘star ratings’ and online reviews of movers, which will help you get a sense of how well (or not well) a company has satisfied clients in the past. And don’t forget the old school standard, the Better Business Bureau. A quick online search will let you know if your movers have any outstanding complaints.
Although an “over the phone” estimate is convenient, your move should be estimated by someone coming on-site for a walk-through of your property. Any number of factors can impact the time and cost of your move. Having a professional estimator evaluate your move in person will reduce the chance of a surprise on moving day. It also gives you the opportunity to meet a representative of the company, which can help you in deciding which company to choose and gives you a chance to get professional advice on making your move easier and less expensive.
Hiring a professional mover is a great convenience, but can also be costly. A quality, reputable mover will employ experienced staff, use the proper equipment and packing materials, and will take extra time to wrap and protect your valuables as they are loaded. All of this factors into the cost of your move.
A moving company that offers the lowest quote or hourly rate may seem attractive to your budget, but may not be the company best suited for making sure your valuables make it to their new destination without damage or loss. Companies that provide an extremely low quote to ‘win your business’ or who are vague about the total cost of the move will often attempt to collect a higher fee at the end of a move when your possessions are on their truck and you have little leverage.