Questions to Ask Before Hiring Movers

Questions to Ask a Moving Company
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What to Ask Moving Companies Before Hiring One

When you are looking to hire moving companies, you are at risk of things going wrong or unfair business practices happening to you. Since, typically, people don't move that often, it is understandable that you might not know the right questions to ask moving companies. Not knowing what to ask a mover isn't unusual at all. What you'll learn by the time you're done are the questions to ask movers so that you get the best prices and service for your move. With something as significant as moving your life's possessions, it makes sense to put in the time and effort.

Are the movers licensed?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should license commercial vehicle operators. It makes sure that the service provided is safe for customers and means that the business isn’t going to be a scam. The moving company should provide U.S. DOT and MC numbers on its website for you to enter into the FMCSA database. While this lets you check for yourself if the company is legitimate, it doesn’t ensure you will get a great deal from the movers.

Are the movers really brokers?

Some companies that offer moving services could actually be brokers that outsource jobs to other businesses. They will post your job on a marketplace where carriers can bid for the work. This could mean lower prices for you, but there are some negatives to it. The movers that take your job may not have spoken to the broker, and there could be some misunderstanding about what you require as a consequence. This can lead to greater expenses than expected being added to your bill. If you work with a carrier directly, you should receive a more reliable service, though it could cost you more. To complicate matters, there are also hybrid companies that handle some of your move with their own staff and outsource the rest. This can often happen for specialty services like auto transportation or more unusual moving requirements.

What is the insurance coverage provided?

Moving companies have to give their customers a basic liability coverage service for free. However, this will only cover 30 cents per pound for local moves and 60 cents for moves to another state. While that insurance cover is free, it could leave you out of pocket should something go wrong. You can purchase full value protection that gives you the market value of anything damaged during the move. This will be an extra charge, and this service isn’t available from every moving company.

What happens if you need to claim for damages?

If some of your possessions are damaged or disappear during your move, how do you claim costs? You should find out what the claims process is so that you know what you will need to do should the worst happen.

Does the company run background checks?

When you hire movers, it means that strangers are going to have access to your possessions. But are these people checked by the moving companies? To give you more peace of mind for your move, it can help to find this out before moving day. If they don’t run checks, it could be difficult to trust the company.

Is their delivery date guaranteed?

If your moving company only gives you an estimate of when your stuff will arrive, you could find yourself in a difficult position waiting in your new home without being able to unpack. The delivery date will only be guaranteed if you have it in writing, and the small print could give them ways out even then. While things could always go wrong, like a truck breaking down, of course, make sure you have a guaranteed date.

Do they offer to track your things?

If you are moving long-distance, it can help to have tracking for your stuff. You are likely to get to your new home before the movers, and keeping up to date with how much longer you need to wait will be useful. More and more, moving companies provide GPS tracking for their trucks so that you can keep an up-to-the-minute check on your shipment. Even if they don’t provide this service, you might be able to call the company for updates. If tracking is something you might need, ask if it is offered before choosing your movers.

Do the movers promise to stick to their estimate?

One of the essential questions to ask movers is whether their estimate is what you will really end up paying. If this isn't the case, you could find out that your bill starts to grow on moving day. When the movers carry your items into the back of their truck, it's a bit late to change companies. So that you don't find yourself in this situation, you should only work with a business that provides binding estimates. It would help if you also were wary about hidden fees the company could charge you. Just asking the sales representative may not reveal these hidden charges, unfortunately. While you can carefully read the company's terms, checking online feedback can often be an easier way to find out if the movers are hiding extra charges. Professional moving companies are very expensive which is why many folks decide to do a DIY move and rent a moving truck instead.

What payment methods do they offer?

The cost of using movers will be expensive, so you need to be ready to pay the bill when it is due. Not all movers will take credit cards or checks for payment. If you pay with cash, they may offer a discount; check their payment requirements ahead of time.

Can you get a discount on your move?

When choosing which moving company to use, find out if they offer discounts. It is common for companies to offer military or senior discounts, and you could get a cheaper deal if you are an AAA member, too. Ask if you aren’t sure what discounts are available.

Are there cancellation charges?

There could be many reasons that would lead you to have to cancel your moving day. Things can fall through, or you could change your mind. Whatever the reason, you should check the company’s rules on cancellation. The company might allow you to cancel without charging you if you do it far enough in advance. But if you need to cancel at the last minute, you can expect to pay some fees. This could mean that you lose your deposit, but other charges could be on top of that. If you have any doubts about whether you will actually move or not, you should find out what the company's terms are. With so many things to do before moving day, you need to make sure you get the selection of your moving company right.

Final Thoughts on Moving Questions

Moving is a significant decision. It is critical to make sure you are hiring one of the best moving companies that treat your things like they are their own. By asking smart moving questions, you will increase your odds of hiring the right company for your move. Hopefully, you have found these questions to ask the moving company to be useful.

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