The moving process can be extremely stressful. Packing up your possessions and leaving your home is difficult enough, but having to trust a bunch of strangers to move all of your stuff can really make the tension levels soar. Whether moving across town, or across the nation, following these simple steps to choose a good mover will earn your a little peace of mind.
The first step in selecting a mover is easy. Talk to your friends, relatives, neighbors, and business associates for personal recommendations and warnings about movers they’ve used in the past. Realtors can also offer you knowledgeable recommendations about local movers.
After making a list of these recommendations, call the moving companies and ask for their full company name, their “doing business as (DBA)” names, the number of years they’ve been in business, what insurance they offer, and their Department of Transportation (DOT) license number. For your own protection, only do business with moving companies that are licensed and insured.
Then, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and any other consumer organizations in your local area. Inquire about a mover’s complaint records and see how they’ve resolved any problems. Reputable movers should not have a claim filed against them. While any mover can experience a complaint, the good ones respond to their clients’ need and find acceptable solutions to problems.
Next, make a list of the moving companies with good reputations and find at least three movers with real offices at a physical address. Never, ever do business with a moving company that doesn’t have a real address because most of those are scammers. Now it’s time to stop by the movers on your list, dropping in without an appointment to check out their facilities. Equipment and buildings should be clean and well-maintained. It is a good sign when the employees are also neat and clean, and an even better sign if the workers take the time to answer your questions. If your questions are not answered in a friendly manner, take your business elsewhere.
Once you have your shortlist of a few potential moving companies, you need to find out what they’ll charge you for your move. Schedule on-site estimates, which should be provided at no cost. Remember that a trustworthy mover will not give estimates over the phone without seeing the items to be moved. There is a wide variety of rates used by moving companies. Some companies will charge you an hourly rate, some charge by total volume or weight, and still others charge by the types of furniture and goods that need to be moved.
Once you’ve received the estimates, it is time to make your choice. Remember you are trusting all of your possessions to this mover, so be sure to consider your gut feelings as well as the cost. After you’ve made your decision, you need to receive some sort of written agreement from the mover. All you need to do now is pack for moving day!