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What to Look for When You Hire a Mover

Published by Chris Townsend

What to Look for When You Hire a Mover

So, you have decided to move and now you need to find a moving company to help with your project. But how do you know that the moving company that you are choosing is the right one? There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for a mover, from good signs to red flags.

To help make the process easier on you, we compiled a list of things to look for when you want to hire a mover.

Things to Look for in a Mover

A history of successful moving projects

There's something to be said for helping a new company, but hiring a moving company that has been in business for at least a few years is frequently the best option. You should be able to get a broad notion of their track record in terms of being on time, keeping fees fair, and preserving the condition of their belongings based on information you find online. If the business comes well recommended by friends, then you could consider working with them even if they aren’t new. But you are still taking a potential risk.

Positive Reviews

When you've narrowed down a few businesses to investigate, read internet reviews to discover more about them. People usually submit reviews if they've had a particularly excellent or poor experience, and both of these factors are crucial to know before using a moving company. You can simply browse moving reviews on Moving.com to learn about other people's experiences with a firm, and it may even reveal some key elements you wouldn't have known about otherwise.

Opinions from Friends and/or family

While Google may not be the most dependable location to begin your search for a moving company, your friends and loved ones most certainly are. Reach out to people you know who have used moving firms in your region and inquire about their experiences and who they would recommend. It's conceivable that someone you know had a poor experience with a firm that is generally well-regarded, or that they were slammed with a slew of unexpected expenses that aren't posted on the company's website. Similarly, someone could have had a great encounter with a new firm that doesn't have a significant web presence. You could get some valuable information from friends and relatives that you won't discover online if you start with them.

Clear rates and no hidden fees

When you phone a mover to schedule a service, they'll quote you a price depending on the number of hours and movers you'll require. Keep in mind that this is a base pricing that does not include any additional packing materials, potentially higher rates for moving large, heavy products, or other optional extras. On the phone, moving firms can't offer you a specific quote, but they can give you an idea of how much you'll pay. Always inquire about what constitutes an additional price, and if the firm refuses to provide the information, go on to someone else.

That they provide the services you need

Every move is unique. You must ensure that the moving company you pick can fit all of your belongings, whether you are relocating a four-bedroom house or a studio apartment. Consider your specific requirements, and then ask the necessary questions to guarantee you're selecting the best option. Some things to think about are:

  • The business should be able to offer you more packing materials if needed.
  • If the firm is accessible within a time span that matches your demands and can guarantee pickup and delivery dates and hours that are suitable for you, it is a good sign.
  • That the moving company has enough space in the truck to fit all your furniture and boxes.
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Their insurance policy and license

Never use an unlicensed or uninsured moving company. Anyone may buy a vehicle and call themselves a moving business, but only those that are properly licensed and insured are legally obligated to secure your belongings.

Movers must register with the US Department of Transportation for interstate relocation, after which they will be assigned a unique USDOT number. By scanning this database, offered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you can confirm that a company has a legitimate DOT number as well as insurance. Intrastate movers are subject to state-by-state regulations; however, most states do have licensing requirements. Look up your state's intrastate license rules and make sure your moving firm follows them.

You should verify a mover on the Better Business Bureau as well as through customer reviews, to ensure that you have trustworthy information about them. You can also check online on the ProMovers List of the American Trucking Associations. They have a list of movers divided by state that have been previously vetted and verified.

Things to avoid when looking to hire a mover

Rogue moving companies

Every year, millions of individuals relocate, and while moving business fraud affects a tiny fraction of those who relocate, it is not unheard of. Look up their service records, verify their license is active, and ensure they have a genuine physical location to ensure a moving business is real (and not just a P.O. box). You should also be suspicious of any mover that requests a deposit, especially if the amount is greater than 20%. Additional recommendations for ensuring that you pick a genuine moving business may be found at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

There’s a lot of fish in the moving market sea, so you don’t need to settle for the first one you find. You will have a lot of choices to pick from when it comes to good moving companies. Make sure that they provide exactly what you need, and that they have the track record to back it up.

Companies that have changed names before

Some businesses operate behind a number of aliases to avoid being investigated by the Better Business Bureau. Check for a local location as well as information on licensing and insurance. Their staff should answer the phone using the company's full name. Find out whether the firm operates under any other names and what their state and federal licensing numbers are. Look up the company's name on the internet to check if there are any complaints. You should call the complaints line for consumers of the Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA) to verify the history of the mover. You can reach them by dialing 888-368-7238.

Paying large deposits

A moving company that is worth its salt won’t ask you for a big deposit or that you pay everything in cash. You should only pay when the item is delivered. You have no control over when you will see your items if you pay in advance. When paying, use a credit card to help protect yourself from any fraud.

Movers that don’t want to do an inspection

An estimator who conducts a short walk-through without taking note of what you want to relocate is likely to be off the mark. Your on-site inspector should verify the items you are looking to transport in order to provide you with an accurate estimate. You’ll need to let them know what would go on the truck and what wouldn’t. Specifically, the items that you no longer need or want to get rid of.

A respectable moving company will inventory all of your possessions and assess the bulk and weight of the relocation, either in person or via a virtual survey. The moving inspector should go through all of your storage options with you, including drawers, cupboards, bookcases, and garages. The weight of your belongings and the amount of space they take up in the truck determine a big part of the moving company's charge. Make sure you understand and that this estimate is as precise as possible.

A blank moving contract or one without all the details of the move

A blank contract should never be signed. Make a written record of everything. Your pick-up and delivery dates, as well as the mover's estimate and any additional expenses, should all be noted. Check your contract for a list of all of your things. You can't expect your laptop to be in the box when the driver comes if it isn't tagged on the inventory form you sign before he departs. You won't be able to make a claim for something that isn't on the inventory list.

Final Thoughts

Looking for a moving company isn’t always easy. You need to do a lot of research, compare rates and estimates, and verify the information the mover gives you is accurate and that their licenses are up to date. However, not doing all of this would be much worse as you could find yourself with a really bad moving experience on moving day, or even worse being scammed.

If you want to work with a reputable moving company, consider choosing Three Men And A Truck. Our experience, history of successful moves, and reviews speak for us.

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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