Essential Questions to Ask Movers When Relocating Cross Country

If you’re considering a move to a new state, it’s important to do your research and prepare the right questions to ask movers in order to choose the best relocation company. Not all teams are equally reliable and skilled, and some may even try to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. We can help you determine what you need to know to ensure your belongings are in good hands.

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August 17, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips

Is the Company Licensed and Insured Is One of the Essential Questions to Ask Movers

One of the best ways to avoid relocation scams and dealing with dishonest and unprofessional teams is to find out whether the company is licensed and insured – on your to-do list, it must be a priority. The United States Department of Transportation should give a license number to each professional interstate relations company. You can use this US DOT number on the FMCSA’s website to check a company’s license and insurance status and also to track possible online complaints history.

Aside from the valid license, a company must also be insured, so any damages that may occur during a move can be covered. Each team should also be registered with the proper authorities and have all of the necessary permits.

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What Kind of Long-Distance Moving Services does Your Company Offer?

Not all companies offer the same long-distance moving services, and it’s important never to presume a team can provide all of the services you require. Otherwise, you may create a lot of unnecessary problems for yourself down the road. Here is the list of services professionals can provide, in general:

But for every business that provides one of the aforementioned services, there is a team that does not. If any of these services are essential to your relocation to a new home, you should confirm that a company you’re considering offers that service.

Packing Services

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Auto Transport

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Storage Services

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Can Your Cross-Country Moving Company Provide Any References?

No reliable relocation company should have any problem providing recommendations from past customers. These references can help you to verify the quality of the company’s services and give you some peace of mind as you prepare for your big move. To get the most comprehensive picture of a company, be sure to ask for a mix of recent and older references. This will give you a good sense of how the team you want to hire has performed over time.

When you contact references, be sure to ask about the following topics:

  • The overall quality of the move,
  • The condition of the belongings when they arrived,
  • The level of professionalism,
  • The price of the services

Looking for The Company’s Online Reviews

If you want to be completely sure you’re hiring the best team, you should check the reviews on independent websites. The first place to start when searching for reviews is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check to see if the BBB accredits the company. This means that the company has agreed to follow certain standards, including resolving customer complaints in a timely and fair manner.

When you’re looking for moving reviews, it’s important to keep an open mind. Not every company is going to have 100% positive reviews. But if you see a lot of negative reviews, it’s probably best to avoid that company. On the other hand, note that some reviews can be fabricated to help scammers and unprofessional attract more customers. Here are some valuable tips on how to spot fake reviews;

How Does Your Long-Distance Moving Company Form an Estimate?

Many companies set their prices based on the weight or length of the customer’s relocation inventory. However, remember that these prices can be manipulated in favor of dishonest movers. They may give one estimate at the beginning of your cooperation but raise the price afterward because your belongings weigh more or occupy more space than what they’ve calculated.

Working with a team that offers legally binding estimates can help you avoid any pricing problems in the future. Binding estimates guarantee that your cost won’t go up as long as everything goes according to plan throughout your move. If you don’t add more items to your inventory and don’t decide to get an additional service at the last moment, the final price of the move should not differ from the quote.

Ask About All Charges and Avoid Hidden Fees

Hidden expenses are bound to worsen the anxiety about relocation, so ensure you get all the information about the fees you must pay. This includes things like fuel surcharges, insurance fees, and even potential environmental taxes. Many companies will give you an estimate that sounds great, only to tack on a bunch of hidden fees at the last minute. Don’t let this happen to you!

Additionally, be sure to get all charges in writing before you sign any contracts, and don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deal. At the same time, if your contract includes some fees you did not agree upon, don’t sign it – just remember to read it top to bottom, including the fine print.

Long-distance mover relocating a large box
Note that some professionals charge extra if your current residence has more than one flight of stairs

Which Items Professionals Won’t Move?

There are some items that can be harmful to drivers or your belongings, which is why they can’t be transported in relocation trucks. Here’s a list of some of the most common items movers won’t move or pack:

  • Hazardous materials, like chemicals, cleaners, oils, or paints,
  • Perishable items, such as food,
  • Weapons, such as firearms or knives.
  • Flammable items like gasoline or propane tanks,
  • Explosives, such as fireworks or ammunition,
  • Living things, like plants and animals,
  • Illegal substances.

Still, note that a company you’ve decided to hire may have some additional prohibited items – so make sure you know all about it before you start packing for a move.

Tanks filled with flammable gas
Give away items professionals can't move or dispose of them appropriately

What Are Payment Options Your Long-Distance Movers Provide?

Most teams provide a variety of payment options to help you achieve a stress-free move. People who want to relocate to a new state often use credit cards (since these moves aren’t cheap), but some companies also accept debit cards or electronic checks. Still, be aware of companies that accept only cash or require a large cash deposit since it’s not a traceable payment method. This could be a sign that the company is not legitimate.

Keep in mind that some reputable companies require a deposit to be paid upfront to ensure the move will be completed, while others may not require any payment until the day of the move. Be sure to ask your chosen mover about their payment policies and what forms of payment they accept before you start organizing a move.

Check if Cross-Country Movers Offer Some Discounts

Many professionals provide special offers and discounts, especially for senior citizens and military workers. These discounts are provided by businesses to attract more clients. Hence they are frequently well-publicized. However, it never hurts to make it one of the moving company questions for a team that doesn’t make its discounts clear.

Additionally, note that many teams offer seasonal discounts, especially if you wish to move outside of the relocation season. Therefore, if you’re planning to move in winter, for example, keep in mind that you’ll be able to save on relocation costs. At the same time, discounts may be available if you plan to combine more services from one team’s offer.

Does Your Long-Distance Company Offer Shipment Tracking?

Not knowing when your shipment will arrive can cause a lot of unnecessary relocation stress, especially if you did not prepare a bag with the relocation essentials properly. Fortunately, some professionals provide shipment tracking as an additional service, allowing you to get up-to-date information on your belongings.

There are several possible ways to track shipments. Some teams provide GPS monitoring through the website, while others demand a more straightforward action, such as contacting customer support service and asking for an update. That is why one of the questions to ask moving companies must be not only if they provide shipment tracking but also how exactly you’ll be able to track your goods.

Does the Company Guarantee Delivery Dates?

All reputable relocation teams provide estimates for when your belongings should be shipped to your home. However, unless those dates are guaranteed, your goods may arrive late, and you won’t be left with any kind of compensation for that delay. On the other hand, a mover who promises to deliver your shipment by a certain date is making a written commitment to do so.

Of course, not every part of the move is predictable, and even when you have a set delivery date, the relocation trucks might occasionally be late. Your mover must compensate you for a portion of relocation costs if a delay occurs. Even though your furniture won’t arrive any sooner as a result of this, a discounted move is still hard to beat.

Relocation truck on the road during cross-country moving
Guaranteed delivery date can help you plan your days after the move better

What Happens if You Need to Cancel the Cross-Country Move?

There are numerous valid reasons for postponing your move. Perhaps you didn’t get the job in the new city, or maybe you simply came to the conclusion that you prefer it where you are right now. In case you have to cancel, you must find out your options.

Some businesses won’t charge you to cancel your move if you inform them well in advance, and some of them will even allow you to postpone or cancel the move the day prior to your move without incurring any fees. Most teams, however, will hold your deposit, and there can even be additional charges for cancellation if you do it closer to the relocation date. Therefore, before you finalize any contracts, find out the cancellation policy of your chosen team – especially if there’s a possibility that you won’t be completing the relocation.

Long-distance movers relocating furniture
Different companies can have different cancellation policies

When You Get All the Answers, the Move Will Be Easy and Stress-Free

Planning a move to another city can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many things to do, it’s easy to feel like you’re in over your head. That is why most people opt for getting professional help. However, you can’t just google long-distance movers near me and end up taking a blind pick.

One of the most important things to do before the move is to gather all the information you need about your potential companies. Once you do, you’ll be able to choose a team that will help you move efficiently and safely. So take your time, do your research – if you do it right, there is no doubt that a smooth and problem-free move is ahead of you.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

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