The 2020 Guide on How to Choose a Moving Company
If you’re planning to relocate soon, you might have found yourself wondering how to choose a moving company that will transfer your household to a new home on time and without a single item damaged or missing. This process might be tedious and challenging, but you’ll need to put in some effort in order to save money and nerves in the end. After all, your precious belongings are at stake here.
Let’s have a look at what preliminary measures you should perform to find the right professional crew for your move and avoid scams you need to watch out for.
How to Choose a Moving Company – the First Step Is to Do Some Preliminary Research
If you’re thinking about hiring moving experts that operate solely over the internet, you should think twice. Instead of the unknown so-called “experts for all types of moves,” find reputable movers near you with proper skills and experience to help you move easily to your specific area.
The right professionals can tailor their services to suit your needs and address any specific challenges you might be facing. Of course, if you’re relocating across state borders, you should choose long-distance relocation professionals with excellent customer care who can understand your requirements, and, above all, boast a long list of positive reviews and satisfied customers.
Get Several In-Home Estimates
It’s important to get at least three written in-home estimates. Make sure that movers don’t only provide an evaluation online, over the phone, or calculate a suspiciously low amount. Only with a professional estimator in your home can you rest assured that the company is not a scam.
Get Familiar With the Types of Contracts and Estimates
Understanding the pros and cons of your evaluation model is essential to a successful move. That’s why you should never agree to a moving quote blindly or sign a contract without adequately researching the type of estimate offered first. When you receive a contract from your mover, it should provide you with absolutely clear information about what kind of evaluation they’re providing you with.
A Non-Binding Estimate
This kind of estimate is based on the weight or number of your belongings, and since it’s non-binding, it can be easily changed depending on the actual weight and number. In this case, if your final bills are higher, you’ll have to pay the original estimated price plus an extra ten percent on top at the time of delivery. So, if your possessions end up weighing more than expected, this is the scenario you can expect.
A Non-Binding to Exceed Estimate
This type of estimate is the most popular when it comes to interstate moves. By choosing it, you can rest assured that your shipment won’t be charged anything extra even if the weight exceeds the initial evaluation. And if the shipment happens to be lighter than originally estimated, you’ll need to pay only for the actual weight.
A Binding Estimate
The costs calculated in this kind of estimate are fixed and based on the approximate weight or number of your belongings. This service will cost you as initially quoted, meaning that if your cargo ends up weighing less than originally planned, you’ll have to pay the fixed cost. But, at the same time, your mover will not be allowed to increase the price, either.
Choose Only Licensed Movers
There are several ways to check how reliable your prospective movers are. By doing this initial screening of their background, you’ll make your life easier and enjoy hassle-free relocation down the line. So, visit the following websites pages or make phone calls to get a clearer picture of the reliability and level of professionalism of a removal company before you hire it:
- Visit the AMSA website (American Moving and Storage Association) and get a list of reputable removal companies.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the leading federal government agency providing safety of commercial motor vehicles with a mission to reduce any kind of fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
- Checking the DOT number and motor carrier numbers is a must when checking if the company is legitimate
- If your move is in-state, know that thirty-three states require from in-state movers to have a federal DOT number, so you should check your state status before relocation
- Your removal firm should be certified by the American Moving & Storage Association’s ProMover Program
- Check movingscam.com, a consumer-advocacy website
Check Reviews and Complaints
Reviews have a significant impact on a customer’s decision, and that’s why every successful company should take them seriously. Thanks to specialized websites such as the Better Business Bureau, you can find companies’ ratings and reviews. Also, comments on social media can be a great proof of the professionalism of movers. On the Department of Transportation’s website, you can review the company’s complaint history by using the mover search tool.
A Deposit Shouldn’t Be Required
Most movers won’t require any sort of payment until your possessions reach the desired address. In case it happens, you shouldn’t be asked for a deposit of more than 20 percent of the estimated cost of the move. A fraudulent mover may even hold your belongings hostage and demand more money. In these and similar cases, here are several useful tips you should consider:
- Contact the police
- File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- File a complaint to the American Moving & Storage Association if the mover is its member
- You can complain to your state or local consumer protection agency
Take Into Consideration Moving Insurance and Valuation Protection
When it comes to liability for the value of your possessions, all removal companies are required to assume it. There are two different levels, and you should be familiar with these liabilities, charges, and the amount of protection provided by each level.
Full Value Protection
This option means that if anything happens to any of your valuable items while being handled by your mover, they must repair it, pay for the cost of repairs, replace it with the same article, or pay for the cost of replacement.
Alternative Level of Liability
With this solution, you can get only minimal protection, meaning that you can’t get more than 60 cents per pound of article. If you choose this level of liability, you won’t be additionally charged, but you must sign the statement on the bill of lading as the sign of your approval.
If You Want to Move Long-Distance, Research Companies With Auto Shipping Services
You shouldn’t forget about one of the most valuable possessions you have – your vehicle. When it comes to relocating long-distance, the safest way to move your car is to find long-distance household movers who also offer auto transport in addition to moving services. With the right professionals, you can pick the method for shipping a car to another state that suits you and your budget the most.
Popular Ways of Shipping Cars Are Sometimes Not the Best Ones
Whether you prefer enclosed auto transport over an open carrier, you should find out what factors determine the price and how to choose a moving company with the best auto shipping services. So, if you want enclosed auto transport for the full protection or an exact pickup day, with a considerable distance, and your big vehicle requires more space in the carrier, you’ll have to be ready to pay more to get high-quality service.
On the other hand, an open carrier is usually the most popular and less expensive method. Still, if you want to protect your car from debris or unpredictable elements, you should consider safer options. And one additional tip: don’t forget about your insurance coverage in the event of an accident along the way.