How to Choose a Reliable Moving Company
With a global economy development and the need to search for greener pasture in different parts of the world, moving to new places and settling down elsewhere is an opportunity explored by many individuals and families.
While opportunities present themselves in a multitude of locations, moving to a particular location can be challenging and hectic at times. For a single household, it can be less stressful and straightforward. However, for a complete family, there are numerous challenges to deal with.
One of these challenges to tackle is choosing the best and reliable movers for your move. In order to find a moving company with economic costing and service charges, one needs to focus on research and should be knowledgeable regarding the companies to handle his ones move.
The reason to go through this kind of rigorous search is that – it will pay off during one’s moving process. This article will explore ways in which one can take the opportunity to understand the market dynamic of moving companies and on those bases select options in which people can benefit from professional and reputable moving companies and not the other way around.
In this article
Why Researching a Reliable Mover? – A Case Study
The reason for such attentive and stringent research is because of a real-life event, which happened to a US citizen wanting to move his family and belongings to the state of Texas.
The resident of Las Vegas Schneider Jhones, who is a professional model and PR (Public Relations) expert researched a moving company and found the cheapest company agreeing to take the task at hand for a price of 1700 USD.
As an advance service fee, which was half of the amount (50%) of the total committed, the moving company delayed the move constantly and did not bother to answer the client’s needs or his requirements.
This type of behavior and attitude resulted in delays of the client’s move. Finally, Mr. Jhones decided to release his belongings from the company and demanded his advance back, which again took time and was a long ordeal to follow on.
However, it implies that the company he selected was not reliable and did not facilitate the client request properly and refused to make any financial returns.
Overall, Mr. Jhones had to incur a cost of $4000, which was more than what he had expected it to be. Is that the kind of experience you pray for? Hence, there is a need to choose a reliable and reputable national moving companies for the move.
These experiences are worthy of taking as points from which one can learn from and better take inspiration and not be a victim of any of them.
Moving companies intend to trap the client by first taking an advance cheque, and when it is time to serve the client on the basis of that very financial point, which is expected of every mover, they show their colors.
Choosing a Reliable Mover for your Move
There are various techniques of choosing a reliable mover among tens of them that would submit quote. Many put much value on charges, but can that guarantee good service?
Below tips will help choose the best moving company for your move:
1. Local Expertise
If you are adamant about a local company when selecting a moving company, then it is the best option to consider.
One of the reasons for choosing a local moving company is that you cannot be tricked or fooled in any way as the company will fear defamation of loss of reputation in the vicinity and business as a whole.
This way you can ensure reliability and assurance of good operations from the business as well.
Before paying any company advances or rushing to make any sort of financial deals, one should consider all options and have a list of estimates received by every company.
This way you can have an idea of which company to choose and which can be more economical and a better option overall.
However, avoid putting much value on price, as some movers may submit low quotes to win your bid without considering other options.
If you intend to move somewhere farther or cross country or locations between states or provinces, then you should first recognize the authenticity and reliability of the company.
The mover that is assigned to you must have a number issued to him by the Department of Transportation.
Furthermore, having a reference from a person previously received moving services from the company can be an even better opportunity before choosing the moving company. That way you can inquire regarding the company’s shortcomings and advantages as well.
Customers’ feedbacks and reviews are vital for a business as it forms a basis for more businesses and word of mouth promotions. If they tend to give bad experiences to other customers then they would not have any more contracts in their direction.
Therefore, it is also advisable to check for reviews and feedbacks from customers who have already used the service. Thanks to platform like Moving Feedback, where you can read about various moving companies
4. Deposit Crisis
As we observed in the case above, Mr. Jhones was required to deposit half the amount to the company and then what happened to him was very unprofessional and hectic as well. One should be careful when choosing a moving company.
The amount of deposit that is required by the mover should be put into consideration when choosing your mover. A moving company should not ask for a deposit of more than twenty (20%) of the total estimated cost for the move.
Moreover, if the company takes your belongings hostage, then the client should be advised to contact the police immediately.
11 Steps to Hiring a Moving Company
The steps involved in finding a good moving company can be tough. However, with a little research, you won’t regret it. You can save some money and possibly avoid moving scams when you shop around.
Below are 11 steps to guide you through the process:
1. Get Recommendations
Talk to friends, family, and colleagues at work, and real estate agents in your area. Check the phonebook to see cheap moving companies that are closer to you. You may need a moving estimate of the amount to prepare for your move.
Do not trust any moving estimate given by a mover who hasn’t come to your house to see your goods. You can collect quotes online but make you insist on physical inspection for final estimate. Avoid the assumption that popular movers are the best.
Avoid requesting an estimate from websites without traces or pass history. Locate the moving company yourself and avoid many moving scams relate to some of these websites. And avoid using non-reputable brokers to find a mover for your move as they do not follow the laws binding moving companies.
2. Do Formal Screening
Some moving companies prevent themselves from being evaluated by the Better Business Bureau by conducting business under different names.
Make sure the moving company has local offices as well as information regarding licensing and insurance. Their staff should respond to the phone with the full name of the company.
Find out if the company has other business names aside from the one you know and their federal license numbers. Go online to unveil any complaints about the moving company.
Contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s consumer complaints number at 888-368-7238 to know more about the mover’s history.
Also, check movingscam.com to figure out if the company is a scam. You will find many rogue movers on the blacklist of these websites, as well as tips and things to know about the moving world. You can also check the Rip-off Report for the moving company’s name.
3. Meet the Companies Directly for Moving Quotes
Although broker websites will give you the best information on moving pricing, they won’t be able to provide you with details of your move, such as the movers’ plans, and other information that will help simplify your move. Meet the company directly, inform them of your moving needs, and request for moving quote.
If you are not certain that your budget can accommodate many services, request for a range of moving services from your least requirement.
You can discover the distance of your move and the amount of truck space (in cubic-ft.) using a moving cost calculator. Conduct your research, collect moving quotes, and make comparisons among movers.
4. Get an In-Home Moving Estimate for the Exact Items
Show the estimator that comes to your home all the items you want to move in the kitchen, bathroom, backyard, garage, closet, basement, and so on.
Your foreman has the right to challenge your original estimate before loading if he/she feels that your stuff is more than what was initially calculated.
Request a comprehensive in-home estimate from your moving companies. The moving quote should be based on the list of items they see when walking through your home.
Make sure they are able to check everywhere that contains things that you are moving to. Unlike an online moving estimate, an in-home estimate is capable of showing you a more accurate overall cost of your move.
They are usually accurate than the estimate you receive online, even though some of the movers require that you send them photos or videos of all the items you are moving in order to get a moving quote.
If you are worried about something on your moving quote, then don’t feel reluctant to ask. Don’t wait until after completion of your move when a refund is no more possible.
Your moving company should be able to give an in-depth explanation on any moving terms used on the moving quote that seems confusing to you so you can understand to the fullest what is covered by the quote for your move. Moving estimates should be free. You can fully pay for most moves after completion.
5. Review the Estimate
The moving estimate may be served as documents that serve as your request for service as well as the bill of lading when signed by you and your moving company agent.
Together with the inventory made when your belongings are loaded, these documents are the major documents any moving company should give you.
Make sure there is an inscription of “binding estimate” on the top of the document, including the signature of the mover with a date at the lower part.
For a long-distance move, the type and amount of goods you are moving should be clearly stated, including the distance to your new residence, the pickup and delivery time, and any extra services and supplies you get from the movers.
In case you need additional insurance from your moving company, which is more than the regular $.60 per pound covered by movers, then make sure you understand the details and costs of the coverage.
For a move within the state which doesn’t allow a binding estimate, you should still make sure to get a written moving estimate that includes rate by the hour and other extra costs you may be charged for moving supplies, driving time, tolls and others. You can call your mover for clarity on any confusing part of the moving quote.
6. Compare the Various Bids received
Be vigilant of any mover that offers a too low rate than other companies. Check higher offers to see how the additional costs are being calculated. Contact the company for clarification if you seem lost.
If you are getting many reasonable moving quotes from movers, its time t take a step to negotiate further to get the most possible best rate.
Movers will work with you on pricing because of the competition in the moving market. Make sure that the moving company sends you a clear written moving estimate if possible, and don’t enter an agreement for their words.
7. Choose the Moving Company that convince you most
Now, take a closer look at the movers. Take the information you’ve collected online. The cheapest mover is not always the ideal for your move, and you need always to remember this as you are leaving your home in someone else’s hands.
Have a talk with the company’s rep on the phone and, if possible, physically. Go online again and read reviews, search for testimonials, and do everything necessary to prepare for decision making. If you found everything nice on paper and also feel convinced with a company, then it is your ride.
8. Confirm if Movers have the required License and Insurance
This is a very important question to provide an answer to. You will find most company’s license numbers on their website, but if not found, be sure to ask them. You should also take the time to figure out their insurance policy and coverage.
You don’t want your belongings damaged with no insurance protection on it. You will uncover a lot of information on any company if you have their correct DOT number. Below are things to look for:
- The name, phone number and the address of the company. Do they correspond with the one you received from the company?
- The field that states ‘out-of-service’ located at the upper left of the page should indicate NO.
- The power units and drivers field display the number of trucks and drivers the moving company has. A moving company that claims to perform a hundred moves monthly but has just two moving trucks should not be taken seriously.
- There should be an X beside Interstate at the Carrier Classification if moving to another state
- There should be an X beside Household goods under the Cargo Carried
- Going down, you should be worried if the moving company’s average is greater than the national average displayed in the inspection/crashes section. Any review in the Safety Rating section should be satisfactory.
- Click on the FMCSA licensing and insurance website link at the lower part of the page. To locate the Motor Carrier Details page below the column ‘authority type, click on the Report button or HTML below View Details where you will find three listings: ‘common, ‘contract’, and ‘broker’. You get to know if the moving company’s authority is active from the ‘authority status’ column located to the right. At least there should be ‘common’ on the list as active with ‘No’ below ‘Application pending’.
- There should be a Yes under Household items in the next table downward.
- There is insurance information in the bottom table. A mover is required to provide cargo insurance and bodily injured and property damage insurance, which goes for a minimum of $750,000. You should be able to find BIPD at a minimum of $750,000 and Cargo indicating “Yes” under the Insurance on file heading.
- You can contact the FMCSA to collect information on a company’s licensing status at 202-366-9805 and insurance at 202-385-2423.
9. Verify People’s Complaints against the Company
Contact the Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints direct line at FMCSA on 888-368-7239, which is available 24/7 and ask about the complaint against your mover. You can also visit the company’s address and personally check the facilities.
10. Review your Moving Document
Finally, read all your agreements and documentation received from your movers carefully. Read everything before you sign it to avoid being stuck in a moving agreement, which is difficult to get out of. Avoid signing a blank agreement, and be sure to understand the entire conditions of the agreement before you sign.
Make sure all your moving plans, details, and costs are given in writing to know exactly what the movers are coming to do on a moving day. Note, let the moving go at your own pace and do not give in to pressure to speed up your move or engage with any uncomfortable activity.
11. Now you can pick a Moving Company
Now, you can pick the company for your move. You should feel confident about the movers you’ve researched. Check the dates and other details of your relocation and ensure you receive a signed order for service and bill of lading.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding a great mover can be an easy process if you follow the following useful tips for choosing a reputable mover:
- Research movers Online.
- Read Reviews on Moving Company.
- Get an In-Home Estimate.
- Ask for a possibility of additional fees
- Review Your Moving document.
- Book your move
Booking your moving company as soon as you can is a good idea, but generally, doing it between 4 to 8 weeks in advance is perfect.
The simple answer to this is that moving on a weekday from Monday to Thursday is good. This is because you can get better rates from movers during the week as demand is usually normal around that time.
Hourly rate is charged by local moving companies, so the average cost of a local move when you hire moving companies will typically cost from $90 to $120 per hour. When moving within a town, then moving labor only will cost between $60 and $80 per hour with moving truck rental excluded.
No reputable moving company will request a huge amount as a deposit before they move you. You usually pay on the delivery of your stuff. You have no control over when your items will get to you again when you pay upfront. And make sure you use credit card payment when paying to give you a chance to fight against fraud.
Consider tipping your movers between $4 and $5 per hour per mover if they’ve done a satisfying job for you. For example, if you hire a crew of 3 local movers to complete 8 hours local moving job, then you may end up tipping them $40 per mover per day which is still nice, normal, and standard tip for moving companies.
Your household goods should be delivered within a week from your exact moving date if you are moving to a nearby state. A long-distance move may see your belongings delivered between 3 to 22 days from your actual moving date.
You will be charged by a long-distance moving company based on three important factors such as the weight of the goods to be transferred, the distance (mileage) to your new home, and the types of extra services you get such as furniture assembly and disassembly, packing, temporary storage, and so on.
Although every company differs, you may be charged a per pound and per-mile rate. Prices are not the same, but the average rate throughout the country for a long-distance relocation is $.50 per pound and about $.70 per mile.
Local movers charge about $25 by the hour per mover. Three movers should not take more than six hours to move two-bedroom apartments locally, so labor alone would cost $450. The price can move up to $3,500 when moving on a long distance for an average weight of 5000 pounds.
Any move below 50 miles is generally called a local move while moving the same distance within the state is considered an interstate move. A local move is usually charged by the hour and includes charges for extra moving services.
The first choice is to avoid the obligation and expect the company to let go eventually. Another option, in fact, a better one is to negotiate for a lower or waiver of the obligation to repay with someone who can cut you some slack on the payable amount.
Below are some things to consider if you plan to leave before your contracted period expires: request that the new moving company makes you a whole and pay for your move. If you are very skilful and possess great talent and dislike your current job, you may be able to convince a new employer to pay out your moving contract for you.
Your financial institution, your insurer, and other organizations that offer you essential services need to be updated about your big move and update your new address on their records.
Choosing a moving company is not technical or in any way difficult. It only requires focused research on your part and a bit of luck going your way. Following all the significant points mentioned above with caution, you are guaranteed of choosing a reliable one. Stay tuned to this page for more informative posts!