A few more questions to ask a potential moving company:
Services Provided: What services is the moving company providing? Does the cost cover all your moving needs including packing? Clearly defining ahead of time what work you or the company will be doing is detrimental in your planning, scheduling and budgeting of a move.
Legality: Is the moving company licensed and insured? Ask them for their P.U.C. and DOT numbers. Ask them to also to provide you with additional information on worker’s compensation too, especially if you are doing a local move.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking, you can also look for it online as it is required that the mover lists their PUC license number and their U.S. DOT number visibly on their website’s homepage. If you feel that you are not getting the answers you are looking for this typically is a red flag and chances are they are not a reputable company or worse a broker that will sell your move.
Survey: If you are moving across town or across the country, you should be offered free in-home estimate. This will allow the mover to know exactly what is being moved and to see potential items or access issues that may add to your move cost. If they do not offer an in-home estimate, this is a red-flag.
Written Estimate: How is the estimate calculated? Is the estimate based by the pound or by the hour? Ask these questions to ensure you have a clear understanding of what to expect for the cost of your move. If something seems too good to be true; most likely it is just that, too good to be true. What happens if your moving details change? When is the cancellation cut-off, is there a penalty for cancelling and are there any fees associated with postponing or changing your moving dates? Read your estimate carefully, look for what is not included as well as wheat is included in the estimated cost.
Hidden Costs: Inquire about taxes, add-on fees or potential over-costs before you hire movers. Whatever services are agreed upon, make sure you have it in writing and that you thoroughly read your contract before signing. Does the quote include packing? If you opt for full-service moving services movers not only take the work off your plate, they also supply the moving supplies. If you don’t opt for the full-service moving services, then make sure you know what packing is covered—or not covered and also know that you will be responsible for the moving supplies.
Valuation: Always, always, always make sure you have a clear understanding of valuation (insurance) and what it means for you in the unfortunate event of damage.
Deposits and Payment: A reputable moving company will either not ask for a deposit or only require a small deposit of $100 or less. If a moving company is asking for 50% up front, this is a huge red flag. Payment for a long distance move based on weight, they payment is generally required before they deliver to your new residence. A local move is paid at the end of the day. Ask if they take credit cards or require final payment in cash. If they require cash payments, this is also a red flag. Even a food truck takes a debit card these days.
History: How long has this location of the company been in business? Experience is key when shopping for a moving company. We recommend searching for a company that is has experience in your type of move. Does the mover specialize or offer all the services you require in your move.
Testimonials: A reputable moving company will be able to provide you with a referral or direct you to posted on-line reviews. Tip: Not all reviews are created equal. In a world where social media allows instant feedback, its not often easy for someone to decipher what is a genuine testimonial, a competitor or someone writing their review in the “heat of the moment.