If you’re moving for the first time or have little experience in moving house, you may have heard nightmarish relocation stories of dishonest movers wreaking havoc right and left, so it’s perfectly understandable that you proceed to choose your relocation service provider with extra caution. And while you’re shopping for a moving company to take care of your fast-approaching move, you do want to make sure you hire the services of professional and reliable movers who know exactly what it takes to move your household goods from point A to point B without any delays, hassles or problems whatsoever.
Make sure you ask your movers the following important questions and get satisfactory answers before deciding to go with a certain moving company.
Are you registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)?
The very first step of your research is to ask your potential movers about their licensing and insurance information. All reputable moving companies are properly licensed to operate by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and should have a valid USDOT number issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Remember to never say “YES” to a moving company that lacks such a license number. You can check a mover’s USDOT number yourself.
Do you perform in-home estimation of the moving costs?
If you’ve contacted a reliable moving company, their answer should be positive. Reputable movers will be willing to assess your household in person so that they can come up with a precise quote. If a mover refuses to send down a professional for in-house visual inspection and gives you an estimate over the phone or online, then you can’t know for sure if their hidden purpose is not to secure your moving job by offering you a very low initial estimate and then jack up the price on moving day. So, look only for movers who do provide in-home moving estimates.
What additional charges are included in the estimate?
You should request and receive a binding estimate in writing from your movers. Study the estimate carefully and see what it says about additional services and their corresponding prices. If no additional charges are clearly stated, don’t forget to ask your moving company about any extra services (long carry charges, flight charges, parking charges, storage charges, etc.) you may end up paying for in the end without prior knowledge.
What type of insurance do you offer?
You’ll receive basic limited liability protection when you sign your moving contract but that basic protection may not be the right one in your case. Although it is offered for free, the coverage rate is mere 60 cents per pound per article, so don’t forget to ask your movers about other types of insurance (for example, Full Value Protection) they can offer you for a reasonable price. Of course, you can always contact a third party insurance provider for your move, especially if you are transporting household items of high monetary or sentimental value.
What payment methods do you offer?
Make sure you ask your moving company about how you are expected to pay your final moving bill. Legitimate and reputable moving companies should offer their customers a variety of payment methods. Stay away from movers who demand cash-only payments (scam alert!) or large pre-move deposits (deposits should not be more than 10%-20% of the final sum) because these are bad business practices and can mean that you have been unfortunate enough to be dealing with dishonest movers.
Do you offer any discounts or promotions?
Although this question may sound a bit superfluous, trust us that it is not. Don’t assume that if your movers had a way to make your move cheaper, they would have offered it already. You’d be surprised to find out how the “Ask and you shall receive” approach can work miracles with your selected movers. And, the best of all – you’ve got nothing to lose by asking them if they have any current discounts or ongoing promotions or anything else that will bring down the final sum. On the contrary, you can only end up keeping more dollars in your own pocket, so ASK AWAY!
Get satisfactory answers to these 6 important questions from your movers and you’re off to a good start. However, you’re going to need more great moving tips for a strong relocation finish as well, so be sure to also check the best way to move to another state and best way to move locally.