Just like finding the city and neighborhood to relocate to, hiring a moving company can be an overwhelming task. You want to make sure you get the right company and things are done properly. If you are afraid of making mistakes and landing in the wrong hands, then here is a guide that you should follow.
- Know how far you will be moving
Before you set out to find a mover, it is better to determine the kind of move you will be embarking on. Is it an interstate or intrastate move? How far will you be going? This is important so you will only go for a mover that covers the places you are dealing with.
- Begin by asking around
Ask family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations. You will feel more comfortable using a company that someone close to you has had experience with and recommends. You can also ask local real estate agents.
- Do some online research
Most companies have websites, and ideally, every company should. On the website you should be able to get information on their services, methods of operation, places they cover, contact information, and even testimonials from clients. And while still online, you can do some background check on the company, like finding out their rating with the Better Business Bureau. See if you can find reviews from online review sites like Yelp. Movingscam.com is a consumer-advocacy site where you can find blacklist of companies with many complaints from consumers.
- Ask for references
Ask the company to give you contact of past customers who can serve as references. You should call these people and find out details of their experience while moving with the company.
- Confirm company’s reliability
Be sure the company is licensed and insured, which makes it legal for them to operate in the business. Obtain the company’s licensing and insurance information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and make sure you see their USDOT Number.
- Request for an in-house estimate
Get at least two companies to send representatives to evaluate your belongings and give you an estimate of what it will cost. It is preferable to ask for a binding estimate, though there are varying laws in different states on binding and non-binding estimates. So you need to check up what the law says. Also, be sure to show everything that will be moved.
- Settle on extra charges
So you don’t get alarmed when you see the final amount, you should clear up on all extra charges that apply on different services that may come up in the course of the move, like packing and unpacking items, lifting certain items up the stairs, using additional packing supplies, etc. All these give you a clue to how the company charges and let you make your decision. If you want additional insurance, you should also inquire on what it entails.
- Compare estimates
Review the estimates from different companies carefully. While you would want something affordable, be wary of companies whose estimates are extremely low. It could mean so many things. When you have one or two that stand out, you can do more checks on them to make a final choice.
- Get the records straight
If you have finally settled for a company, you should do final clarifications on the details of the move. Confirm the date of the move and when your belongings will be delivered. You should get an order of service and a bill of lading, which must be signed by a representative of your movers, with date. Also obtain contact information for reaching the movers while they are in transit.
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