Moving can be a very stressful ordeal, partly because you must entrust your worldly belongings to a moving company. There is no shortage of moving horror stories, from damaged family heirlooms to rude people handlings your personal items. These horror stories can be avoided by taking steps to find the right mover.
Know Your Rights
Before you begin searching for a moving company, you should read the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This booklet will provide you with valuable information, such as about valuation and insurance and what happens if your belongings are damaged or lost.
Starting the Search for a Moving Company
Before you start interviewing moving companies, talk to friends or colleagues who have recently moved. You should not only ask for mover recommendations, but also their experience – such as whether they encountered any hidden fees for you to be on the lookout for or what extra services they found useful. Then you can start contacting any recommended moving companies. Plan on contacting multiple companies to get quotes, so look for recommendations at online review sites as well.
Avoiding Moving Fraud
Luckily, cases of moving fraud are becoming rarer because of consumer awareness and the many online sites which let you check the reputation of a moving business. Still, it is important to do your homework. Start by checking to see if the mover is registered with the Better Business Bureau and whether there are any complaints against them. Then look at customer reviews on websites like Yelp. You will also want to note whether the movers are doing the job themselves or whether they are actually brokers who act as middlemen and will outsource your job to another company.
Ask Detailed Questions about Services
There is a lot of variation between moving services, so never assume that something is included. For example, “full-packing services” might mean that the movers pack all of your belongings and unpack them in their appropriate places in your new home. Or, it could mean that the movers only pack certain items and unpacking might cost extra.
Getting a Quote for Moving Services
A reputable moving company will always come to your home or business to provide you with a quote. Again, make sure you understand exactly what services are included in the quote.
Consider the Worst Possible Scenario
Even though moving catastrophes are rare, you should still consider the worst possible scenario – such as if the truck is in an accident and all your belongings are destroyed. What will the movers’ insurance cover in these cases? What valuation options do they have? Do they offer optional insurance for your items? Reading the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet will help you understand this better.