Moving can be rather stressful and expensive, and can quickly become a nightmare if precautions are not taken to ensure the opposite. So, how do you know how to pick a moving company that you can trust with all your belongings?
1. Step away from your computer
Before conducting on-line research, you need to conduct actual research away from the laptop and Internet. Sure, most reputable movers will have a website, but start by going through your phonebook to identify at least three companies that have offices near you. You can also contact your real estate agent for leads.
As much as you can, opt for movers who have been in business longer – a decade or more, and don’t choose any brokers. Set appointments for the three companies to come to your house for an analysis of your moving needs. Ask them if they’ll be moving themselves or subcontracting to another moving company. Stick only with those who will move you themselves.
Visit their office to ensure that they are who they say and their trucks are appropriately and permanently branded with the business name. Check out their storage facilities if you’ll need to use them. There have been cases where rogue movers come with magnetic signs attached to rental trucks; we’re not being paranoid.
2. Weighing the price quotations
Most movers give estimates according to the stuff they see in your home and the distance to be moved. Ask as many questions about differences in pricing and the exact services covered within the quotation. Ask them to break down the costs so you have an idea what you’re paying for insurance and other factors for instance.
Do not work with movers who give quotes according to cubic feet, and do not sign any paperwork that is blank. Ensure all terms written in the contract have been fully explained – don’t think that you’re wasting their time; it’s your right to be fully apprised of what you’re getting into. The movers are legally required to present you with a booklet outlining your rights and responsibilities in the moving process.
3. Now go on-line
Get as many details about the movers as you can: their business names, how long they’ve been in business, references you can talk to about their services, phone numbers, business location, business license numbers, email addresses, company website etc.
Armed with these details for your three contenders, it’s time to go back on-line. In many places you can verify information given about companies on-line, through official government registries as well as consumer review sites. if you cannot find company information on-line, you can contact the Official office of the Registrar and ask for the company’s copy of the memorandum and articles.
Verify all the details given, including the business license numbers. Confirm that they have insurance. Once you have that down, the hardest part is finished. Next, check out the website and consumer review sites (independent). You can look on their Google My Business pages where previous customers may leave reviews.
If there aren’t any details, you can post your own message asking whether anybody has worked with those particular movers and what their experience was like. These message boards are usually quite active, and you should get a response in no time.
4. Making the call
Armed with all the information, you are now in good stead to make your final decision. If any other persons apart from staff of the moving company your spoke to show up to move you, fire them immediately. And finally, this is worth reiterating: know what paperwork you are signing.