Let’s face it: Moving is stressful. With multiple components to schedule and organize, it’s no wonder that moving is consistently ranked among some of the most stressful life events.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Hiring a professional moving company takes much of the burden of moving off your shoulders and makes the experience less stressful.
But how do you choose a moving company? With so many available options, knowing how to pick a reputable, reliable mover is critical. These steps will help you hire a moving company that’ll save you stress.
Referrals, Reviews, and Credentials
When it comes to choosing movers, there’s nothing like getting a personal recommendation. Start your search by asking family, friends, and co-workers for referrals. If they’ve had a good moving experience — or a not-so-great experience — ask for details.
Next, check online reviews, but don’t just limit yourself to reviews published on a moving company’s website. Instead, look at sites like Yelp, Google, Better Business Bureau, or the U.S. Department of Transportation.
While you’re on the USDOT site, you can check to see if an interstate moving company is licensed. Movers that make in-state moves should be insured and licensed, too; check for a DOT license and insurance information.
Now that you’ve created a list of reputable moving companies ask for estimates. You’ll want to compare at least three.
An in-person estimate will be more accurate, as the company will do a walk-through and see precisely what they would be moving. A good mover will ask questions about what you plan to take and what you will leave behind.
Look for Red Flags
Keep your eyes open for red flags during the estimate process. These may include movers that show up late, seem unprofessional, or have recently changed their company name. Extremely low bids are another red flag and may indicate a scam or lack of experience.
Unless they must rent special equipment for your move, moving companies should have their own vehicles. A rental truck can be a warning signal.
Finally, beware of moving companies that request a large deposit upfront. In most cases, payment is due after the move is complete. If movers request a large deposit (more than 20 percent) or ask for cash, that’s a big red flag. Always pay with a credit card.
Get Everything in Writing
Once you’ve chosen a mover, get your contract in writing. You’ll want to make sure that terms are laid out in the agreement, including:
- Estimate and prices
- How overages and additional fees are handled
- When payment is due
- Insurance policies
- Pick up and delivery dates
- Inventory/list of belongings
What to Do if There’s a Problem
What if you run into issues with your mover or have complaints? In most cases, you have up to nine months to report any problems and file an insurance claim, so don’t wait too long to go through your belongings and check for damage.
You may file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. For interstate moves, you can contact the Federal Motor Carry Safety Administration. If the company belongs to the American Moving & Storage Association, you can file a complaint there.
While moving is stressful, a good moving company can make it less so. These tips will help you find the right company for your move. Contact us today for a quote. We can work to make your move more manageable.