Moving and relocation costs can make your head spin especially when you think about hiring moving companies. Whether you are planning on hiring movers, local or international, or you just need movers to help you pack, it doesn’t have to be a moving nightmare. When looking for a reliable moving company, you have to be prepared. Research all about the things you need to ask and what to watch out for. Which are the signs that might tell you the moving company you contacted is not legitimate? Make sure you think ahead and avoid common moving mistakes on the way.
When hiring movers, first step is finding local movers near you. Ask your friends if they had experience with a moving company, they might give you their advice. When you find a moving company that you are interested in hiring, make sure you ask them all about their conditions. Here are some important questions to ask your movers.
Company’s general information
When hiring movers ask about a company name, street address and web page. This is important because you can easily find company’s online information and their services. In some cases, you can get a rough estimate on your moving expenses on company’s online website calculator. Contact information are necessary – when hiring a moving company you should be able to reach them at any time.
TIP! If the moving company doesn’t provide you with these basic information, it could be one of the signs that the moving company is fraudulent.
Licence and licence number
Asking the moving company about license is very important. If the company doesn’t have a license or it doesn’t want to provide the information it may suggest that the company is fraudulent. When they do give you their license number you can always get more information online about the company and check its validity.
When hiring a moving company and receiving the documents regarding the move (the contract and the estimates), check the documents yourself. You should be able to see if the license number on the documents are matching the information company gave you at the beginning. If not, that’s the reason to believe that the company could be fraudulent.
Your company could subcontract other movers
It is always good to know if the moving company is employing other companies to move your things. They might also contract them to assist during the move. If that is the case with your moving company, you should check subcontractors’ licenses too. Being unaware of the other company involved in your move can cost you a lot more money.
Before hiring movers, check the estimation process
Different moving companies have different policies on estimating your moving expenses and giving you quotes. Some want to see all your possessions before offering a quote. Others offer quotes without a home estimate. For large and long distance moves, moving companies usually offer a free estimate of the cost. It is recommended that you get an on-sight estimate before closing the deal with your moving company.
There are two types of quotes that professional moving companies offer:
- NON-BINDING QUOTES – The “ballpark” estimate projection of the price that is not definite. It is usually provided by talking to the moving company’s operator while he asks general questions about the stuff you want to move. Company will try to get the idea of how many things you have and how many hours of work it will take to move everything. Remember that this is not a final price of the move. There is a possibility for the company to charge you more if more work hours or more things to move are needed. Also, there could be some hidden expenses that your non-binding quotes do not cover, such as: fuel surcharge, mileage, taxes or other additional fees.
- BINDING QUOTES – the written estimate that your moving company’s expert provides. It is usually provided on site and that price is final. There are no hidden fees or other costs that you have to consider or be frightened of. You usually get a copy of the binding quotes from a professional.
TIP! If your move is a long distance or an international one, try to get more estimates from different movers. Doing that will give you a clearer view on the general cost of the move and help you be safer with your choice. Sometimes moving companies offer small price that you are too happy about but it may be a sign that a moving company could be fraudulent.
Ask about moving rates, fees and payment method
Asking about basic rates is important. Shorter moves are usually charged per hour and long distance moves are charged by the distance and weight of the stuff you move. Ask if there are additional charges for moving oversize things, going up and down the stairs etc. The payment method is also important because your movers usually ask for a deposit. You should arrange for a payment method in advance. Don’t trust the moving company that only accepts cash payments!
TIP! When hiring movers, your friend for help. He can make a call to the company and ask for the estimate using the same parameters. If the movers don’t provide the same or similar estimate to your friend, the company is probably not to be trusted.
Do they offer packing services?
Packing services are usually provided by the moving company but that is not always the case. You should ask about what kind of items they use to pack your things, how they pack fragile items, big furniture etc.
Find out all about moving insurance
There are two types of moving insurance:
- Full Value Protection is the replacement value of all your goods in the entire shipment.
- Released Value covers up to 60 percent per pound of the value of the article.
You can also get the insurance with the third-party insurance company. You would have to do it yourself. If that’s the case, your moving company has to fulfill released value insurance that is standard part of the contract.
Ask the company to explain dispute settlement program
It is crucial to understand your rights and possible actions if something goes wrong during the move. Some of your things might get lost, broken or damaged. Before you understand your rights in this matter completely, you shouldn’t sign a contract with your movers. Moving company must accept to explain every aspect of settlement program.
Ask about estimated delivery date
Every moving company should give you an estimated delivery date so you can organize. You should be up front and set the terms in the agreement of possible change in a delivery date. If that happens the charge of the move may vary. If it’s the movers fault you should settle the matter as noted in your contract.
Check for references
Asking for references is a smart thing to do. Former customers usually tell you all about the experience of the service provided by the moving company. This will help you in the process of hiring movers that are best for you and pick a reliable moving company.