For a country with well over 320 million inhabitants, it should come as no surprise that millions of them move from one place to another every single year; as in, a big move in which the contents of their homes are emptied out and transported to a new location, for a new life.
Things to Look For in a Moving Company
You may very well be one of those millions any particular year, and this is who this article is for.
Moving is not considered fun by anyone, which is why professional companies dedicated to this are such big businesses.
Here, we aim to apprise you of the most important things to look for in a moving company, so that your transition can be as smooth and seamless as possible.
1. Make Sure The Movers Are Licensed
There are plenty of potential licenses that a moving company can show you – but only one of these is truly important: licensure from the United States Department of Transportation.
Without this, you are taking a big risk with your valuables. Ask to see their USDOT number and do a quick internet check to make sure it is valid before you move forward.
If you like, you can also search for their company with the Better Business Bureau.
2. True Professionals Take a Moving Inventory
Basically, the moving company will send an estimator to your property in order to take an inventory of your stuff; this will facilitate the calculation of moving costs based on weight.
Sometimes they may perform this check virtually—either way; it should be a reliable feature. It is in their best interest to do this thoroughly so as to provide you with an accurate estimate of moving costs based on weight.
3. The Eye Test On Their Equipment
Despite the popular saying, you should always judge a book by its cover. At least, you should start the judgment with that: if the moving equipment looks to be good quality, then it almost certainly is precisely that.
This will of course facilitate proper transport, and there’s little chance of equipment breaking down and causing delays to your destination. A company that doesn’t take care of its equipment is likely delinquent in other ways, too.
4. Check For Company Name Changes
The reason for this is fairly obvious, as it is a well-known fact that companies will list themselves in the industry-standard Better Business Bureau by a multitude of different names over the years if they garner bad reviews.
Name changes, however, are a matter of public record—just check the address against their federal and state license numbers.
For the coup de grace, call the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and inquire as to the history of the moving company that you’re considering.
5. Outstanding Customer Service
This will entail a lot of things; chief among them is reliability because it has such a broad scope.
When making what could otherwise be a stressful move, it’s a huge breath of fresh air to have a moving company that has a history of delivering your valuables safely and on time.
The customer service should be helpful and prompt, with someone available to address your concerns for the entirety of the listed business hours.
6. Do They Have Hidden Fees?
You want to avoid moving companies that inflate and hide prices—for obvious reasons. The chief way to do this is to compare their costs for packing your stuff vs. the cost of doing it yourself—otherwise, you could end up paying significantly higher prices.
If the time saved is worth it for you, then it may be a good idea to pay for the extra labor of packing your items. Even so, make certain you know the level of experience of the packers, to make sure they don’t pack haphazardly.
7. Check Their Recommendations
Recommendations don’t lie—especially if there are enough of them, and you can find them on multiple outlets.
Check the moving company’s Facebook page and other social media accounts to make sure the users are real and not paid actors. Check the BBB listing at the same time you’re checking for licensure and reviews.
If you cannot find recommendations, this is almost as bad as having bad recommendations. When people use a good service, news travels by word of mouth (written form) to their family and friends.
Avoid companies that don’t have any recommendations.
8. Do They Require a Sizable Deposit Before Services?
If so, then you should avoid this moving company at all costs—no matter how good their other services are claimed to be.
The standard procedure for good companies is to request payment once your valuables arrive (or a very short period afterwards). You would be taking a huge risk by paying too much beforehand, and may never set eyes on your belongings again.
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive article on things to look for in a moving company, but it is intended to start you off well and make sure your back is covered.
Good luck on the big move!