Choosing Best Moving Company
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average adult moves about 11 times during their life.
That is quite a bit of moving, and yet somehow the process never seems to get any easier. For many of our clients, their 10th move day provokes nearly as much stress as their first move day.
Here at Prime Movers, we aim to change that! We firmly believe that choosing the best moving company and having a great move day experience should be the norm rather than the exception.
Here, we offer our favorite tips for choosing the right moving company to get you and your precious possessions safely and swiftly from point A to point B.
Accurately Guess-timate the Size of Your Move
A big part of choosing the right moving company is to accurately estimate the size and scope of your move, including providing details about your current home, access options to that home, levels, stairs, fragile and valuable possessions and packing supplies needed to protect them.
Taking the time to provide as much detail as possible in advance helps your movers plan ahead for tight entry/exits and multiple stories, bring the right sorts of protective supplies, send an appropriately-sized moving crew and choose the best truck to transport your belongings.
It also dictates what your move will cost and the amount of insurance you may need.
There is a hidden bonus for you for completing this assessment accurately: if you want to trim the costs of your move, you can plan ahead to donate belongings you don’t love and lighten your load – literally.
Check and Re-Check Your Mover’s Credentials Before You Hire
With an estimated 14 million households (one in nine!) crossing the nation annually, you can expect to have several moving companies eager to win your business.
When you are choosing a moving company, you want to pick the company that will still be that eager to assist you if problems arise during or after your move.
Have you ever heard of a “hostage load?” This is when movers hold belongings or vehicles hostage to extort more money out of their unwitting victims. How about “rogue movers” who show up, issue you a quote and then double it when you get to your destination?
The average move cost is around $5,000. The average insurance claim for loss, fraud, damage or destruction of property is $10,000.
These are just the facts but they don’t have to be your moving day facts!
So trust us when we tell you to look for these credentials in any moving company you choose to hire:
- The movers have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A or higher plus affiliations with other independent local business or trade associations.
- Website offers transparent display of recent customer ratings from independent third-party customer websites (Yelp, YP, Angie’s List, et al) – not just testimonials copied and pasted onto their own website page.
- Filled-out contract with all fees and payment terms spelled out up front (never ever sign a blank contract)!
- Movers accept payment upon delivery – NO cash paid up front!
- Clear written moving insurance and claims policy provided without you having to ask.
- Verification the moving company is licensed and insured to do business in your current and final state of residence.
- Independent internet search on the moving company name reveals no major complaints or issues.
- Moving company has a verifiable phone number, website, physical address, email.
- Customer service is always prompt, professional and polite.
- Be sure the movers will arrive in a company truck (NOT a rented moving truck) wearing company uniforms and that all logos and forms match the name of the original company you hired.
Understand Your Own Responsibilities and Rights As the Client
While our ever-more-mobile generation has undoubtedly spawned some fly-by-night moving companies, there are also cases where moving customers may not understand their own part in the move-day process.
When you are choosing a moving company, it is vital to participate actively in the communication to ensure the best experience for everyone.
Here, your responsibilities include these:
- Providing an accurate and detailed description of your move to your moving company (including stairs, gates, codes, et al).
- Learning in advance what movers can and cannot legally move for you and making extra arrangements as needed for disallowed items.
- Taking extra precautions for valuable or fragile belongings.
- Choosing the right level of insurance coverage for your needs.
- Carefully reading all documents and asking good questions before signing anything.
- Being present, on time and ready to participate on your actual move day.
- Making preparations to be present at each end of your move to supervise the process, sign off on any required documents and make payment.
Your informed and enthusiastic move day participation can go a long way towards ensuring a safe, speedy and solution-focused move that turns into a five-star review!
Choosing the best moving company definitely comes with its own learning curve. If this is your very first move, taking the time to learn the ropes, study your options, do the right research and make an informed choice will give you confidence for your next move.