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Important Questions To Ask Professional Movers

Published by Chris Townsend

Important Questions To Ask Professional Movers

Local moves can be just as stressful as cross-state moves. Your entire home needs to be organized, packed and transported safely to the new location. Of course, this massive task requires the help of professionals.

But hiring a local moving service isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. You can’t simply pick up the phone and get some people to come in and start packing your stuff. Instead, you need to get properly informed about the service provider and ensure their methods are in line with your requirements.

A thorough interview is the best way to find out all you need to know. In this article, we’ll list the most important questions you should ask to choose the best local movers.

What to Look for in a Local Moving Company

The most important consideration regarding the local moving service will be its trustworthiness. If you’re hiring local moving people to handle your belongings, you’ll need to know they can do the job reliably and smoothly.

But what makes a moving service provider trustworthy? In essence, it’s knowing that they’ll do what they’re hired for without issues. This means the company needs to have ample experience in the field, all the necessary equipment, and an honest, professional attitude towards the job.

Furthermore, you’ll want to find a company that has all of these traits. A good attitude won’t go a long way if your moving packers and loaders don’t know what they’re doing or lack the right tools.

It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to keep an eye out for potential scammers. Fraud is more common in local moving than you’d think. There are unscrupulous companies looking to make a quick buck that, unsurprisingly, couldn’t care less about customer satisfaction.

Asking the right questions during the interview will help you single out the best options and avoid unsuitable companies.

6 Questions To Ask Your Moving Company

Do They Have Experience?

It’s not necessary to find a company that’s been around for decades. However, you also don’t want a moving service that opened yesterday.

Ideally, your moving company should have several years of experience. While this doesn’t have to equate to the highest quality, existing in the moving industry for longer means the company’s doing something right.

Local moving is very competitive wherever you are, and companies with satisfied customers will, in most cases, outlast others. Additionally, a long-standing moving business will likely have more proof of its quality of work.

Is the Company Licensed?

If you’re wondering where to find local movers, a professional association is an answer. Associations make sure their members are compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. Hence, they’ll have the right licenses with professional state and federal agencies.

For many quality moving companies, local move jobs aren’t the only area they cover. Rather, they might have a broader range of operations. All genuine companies that provide such services will have a USDOT number, proving they’re registered at the FMCSA or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Luckily, FMCSA has a registry of issued numbers you can look up online. If the company you’re considering can be found there, it’s further proof that you’re dealing with a legitimate mover.

Is Insurance Protection Covered Completely?

There are two aspects of insurance and liability you should check with your local moving service.

The first, of course, relates to your property. The basic protection you get won’t cover the full value of the items shipped, and what coverage exists will be based on item weight rather than cost.

Professional movers will have further liability options available. They’ll be able to offer you complete cost-based protection for your belongings, ensuring full liability for any damaged item.

The second aspect has to do with the company employees. Generally speaking, it’s not your concern whether the employees have proper coverage. However, this might become a concern if a worker gets injured while on your property. If there’s no worker’s compensation or employee insurance in place, you might end up liable for such injuries.

Does the Company Have the Right Equipment?

It comes as no surprise that, in local moving, van or truck rides are a given. But you have to ensure the company has vehicles of sufficient size and carrying the capacity to make the transport seamless. Furthermore, the service provider should have any additional equipment at hand.

The moving essentials include dollies, hoisting gear, and specialized equipment for your specific circumstances.

It’s quite common that moving companies can’t meet every request using their own resources. In that case, they might hire a subcontractor that has the necessary gear for the job. If your company of choice uses subcontractors, you’ll need to check their references as well.

Moving Equipment

Is the Moving Crew Professional?

You shouldn’t be surprised to find out that some moving companies employ a temporary workforce. This is a regular occurrence in the industry, especially during busier months. It’s a way for companies to compensate for high demand.

Unfortunately, the workers that fill in most often aren’t industry professionals. They might lack experience and the required know-how, which can lead to unnecessary complications, material damage, or even injury.

If you want to avoid all that, it would be best to request for the moving crew to be composed of professionals.

What References Does the Company Have?

There’s no better proof of quality than testimonials from satisfied customers. If the company you’re negotiating with does good work, you shouldn’t have problems finding positive reviews online.

In addition, you should ask if the mover can provide some references and recommendations. If they can check if there’s any recent positive feedback. Company structure can change over time. Praise from five years ago, therefore, might not be the best guarantee of how things are now.

Once you’re certain who you’re dealing with, it’s time to get to what is probably the crucial part: the pricing.

Questions To Ask Professional Movers Regarding Final Moving Costs

Talking about moving prices isn’t a matter of getting services on the cheap. Instead, your primary concern should be to avoid unnecessary, hidden, or otherwise unexpected costs.

Can You Get a Binding Estimate?

The best way to get a good estimate is to have a moving company representative come to your home. If you can arrange this with the mover, they can assess the upcoming job on-site and offer you a fairly precise quote.

This is the time when you should discuss specific, detailed information and particular requirements. You should approach this conversation with the utmost attention and mention anything that might play a role in the final price.

Once you’ve worked out all of the ins and outs, the representative should give you a final offer. It would be best to get this in writing with the essential information included in the document. Also, make sure to get your copy of the estimate.

If you can’t arrange for a written estimate or even an on-site review, that will be a cause for concern. Companies that give out quotes without inspecting the intricacies of each individual job usually end up charging a significantly higher amount than previously stated.

What Is and Isn’t an Extra Service?

Certain elements of local moves might not count as special requests, but could be considered an extra service. For instance, a company may charge extra for packing, parking, furniture disassembly, or handling particularly inconvenient items.

Furthermore, the mover might charge you for the time spent traveling between the company and your home.

In the spirit of staying away from unpleasant surprises, you should make it clear which services count as extra, as well as how much they cost. Once you know that, you can try to get as many extra services out of the way.

For example, you can remove a packing service fee simply by packing your belongings yourself. Or, to avoid any parking-related issues, you might reserve a spot for the moving company vehicle. This could be a crucial consideration when hiring local movers with a truck.

What About the Deposit?

The moving company will likely ask for a deposit before the job. This is common practice that ensures the mover doesn’t organize their resources only to face late cancellation.

The maximum deposit you should agree upon should be no more than 20% of the final expense. Additionally, it will be crucial to ensure that the deposit is refundable in particular situations. In other words, you’ll need to get informed about the cancellation policy and how it relates to your deposit.

Since assurances go both ways, you should ask whether the mover has reimbursement policies in case your move can’t be performed as agreed or the company is late for the job. You should know what happens if your local truck movers don’t show up at the specified time.

security deposit for movers

How Do They Handle Inventory?

Inventory is very important, both in terms of pricing and the safety of your belongings. Your moving company will likely take stock of the entire shipment, but how they go about it will be of particular concern.

It’s best to request that the mover do a full inventory. This should include all of the items, how many boxes will be moved, the value and size of each item, and the current condition of every part of the shipment.

Even if the company performs such a detailed inventory, you should make your own just to be safe. Besides the inventory itself, make sure to take plenty of photos to serve as eventual proof of the shipped items and their initial condition.

What’s the Exact Charging Process?

In most cases, professional packers and loaders will have an hourly rate. However, calculating the final expense might be more complex than multiplying the time spent with that rate.

The company might have different rates for jobs that require more workers, and your shipment’s weight could be a factor in pricing as well. You should work out all of those details before coming to an agreement.

Additionally, ask if the mover has a minimum charge. Usually, companies will charge a base price equivalent to several hours of work even if the job takes less time than that. This isn’t irregular, but it’s worth knowing beforehand.

Do Any Discounts Apply to You?

Like many other businesses, moving companies often offer discounts. These can be seasonal or apply if certain conditions are met.

For example, the company could give you a discount based on the number of items being moved, family size, or family member age. Students may also receive discounts from some movers. If you find a professional company that offers a considerable discount, you might have one of the best local moving solutions on your hands.

What Are the Acceptable Payment Methods?

How you’ll pay your local apartment movers will be more than mere convenience.

A reliable company will have different payment methods available, including cashier checks and credit cards. In other words, they’ll provide you with a traceable and taxable way of paying.

If the company states that they only accept cash, this should be a big red flag. They might be trying to avoid taxation or leave you without proof of payment.

After you’ve discussed all of the important aspects of the move, you could ask a few additional practical questions.

For example, ask if the company has anything against you packing your belongings. They might have strict specifications for the type of packaging used or the number of individual packages.

Lastly, get clarity on how much time it will take to move all of your items. In some cases, the job might be done in a single day. But in others, it could take several days.

Find the Best Moving Service

Not every company you encounter will be able to provide a satisfying answer to the questions presented here. But once you find a mover that can, you’ll know your belongings are in safe hands. If you’ve started searching for the best local movers, Three Movers might be just the company for you. Visit our website to learn more about us and get a free quote right now.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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