Anyone can buy a truck, put up a website and claim to be a 'professional mover.' So how can you make sure the company you hire will take care of your valuable stuff and not take you for a ride?
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 mover…
Mover's license and insurance
All moving companies are required to have a registered DOT number and be licensed and insured in the state(s) where they operate. This information and details on each moving company’s safety ratings, insurance and other important information is available through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Click here to research companies by their name or DOT number.
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, anything larger than a one-bedroom home should be estimated by someone coming on site for a walk-through of your property. Any number of factors can impact the amount of time and cost of your move. Having a professional come on site to estimate your move 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 decide if they are a company you are comfortable working with for your move.
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 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.