YOUR MOVING GUIDE
The best move you will ever make.
1. Ask Family & Friends for Recommendations
Recommendations from family and friends whose opinions you value can factor heavily in your ultimate decision. People don’t hold back their opinions – especially if they’ve had a bad experience with a company. Follow up with these questions to gather more details:
- What did they like about the moving company?
- What was the determining factor in their decision to choose this company?
- What services did they request from the mover?
- Would they use this moving company again?
2. Confirm They are a Mover, NOT a Broker
To find a mover you can really trust, confirm you’re entering into an agreement with a real moving company, not a broker. A moving broker is not licensed to transport your belongings. There is inherently more risk when working with a moving broker, the riskiest factor being the inability to choose the company that will actually be transporting your possessions. Finally, cost estimates from a broker can be horribly inaccurate as they are handled over the phone- the real cost oftentimes is considerably higher. Needless to say, partnering with a moving company instead of a broker ensures you will have full confidence in the team you’ve personally selected.
3. Research the Moving Company (Who Are They?)
While this may seem like the most obvious tip of the bunch, it’s one of the most important. Always thoroughly investigate any and all moving companies you are considering. You need to know who they are if you’re going to trust them with your possessions.
4. Consult Federal & State Resources
Just because a company claims to be legit, doesn’t mean they actually are. Consult additional federal and state resources to make sure the company is legitimate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has compiled a database of interstate movers that provides details about the location of the moving company’s headquarters and contact information. It also specifies whether or not they are properly licensed and registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as offers a history of any customer or safety complaints when applicable.
5. Verify the Mover is Licensed and Insured
All reputable movers must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and have the proper workers’ compensation insurance. Never employ a moving company that is not licensed and/or not insured. To avoid such a costly situation, ask your moving company to provide proof of insurance issued by their insurance carrier in the form of an “Insurance Certificate.” Any reputable mover should happily provide you with proof of their current policy.
6. Reviews Matter – Check Them Out
While recommendations from family and friends are helpful, it’s also beneficial to check what the internet has to say. Read what previous customers posted about their moving experience on various review platforms. Check if they’re BBB accredited and browse their profile for unresolved customer complaints. A reputable moving company should have a satisfactory rating supported by a record of responding to and resolving any complaints.
7. Visit Their Office to Meet Them in Person
Now that you have thoroughly vetted the moving company online, it’s time to take your research offline. Stop by their office for a visit if it`s near you. A trustworthy mover should have a physical address at which they handle business and will warmly welcome your visit to discuss how the services they offer can help you in your move. Avoid moving companies that do not list a business address as it may be difficult to track them down in the event of a problem.
8. Get an In-Home Estimate
In order for a mover to calculate an accurate estimate, they must see for themselves the belongings that need to be shipped. An in-home estimate allows the mover to understand the full scope of the task. In addition to cost, the amount of manpower needed to load and unload the trucks as well as drive them must be determined. If a mover does not offer an in-home estimate or refuses to complete one, they are not a reputable moving company.
9. Request a Cost Breakdown of the Estimate
So you have a completed in-home estimate – now what? Request a cost breakdown. Every moving company will quote a different price, so it’s vital to know how companies calculated the number. Although the individual estimates will differ, they should fall within the same ballpark if estimated for the same shipment weight and services. A quote that’s significantly less may seem like a good deal at first, but it could be a sign of subpar service. Requesting and comparing this information helps you make the final decision on which mover you trust to transport your possessions to your new home.
10. Assess Their Transparency on Responsibility & Accountability
Lastly, when moving between states, a moving company is required to give you this booklet: Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. The booklet breaks down the terms and conditions of moving contracts as well as actions you should take to resolve issues that may arise. It further outlines services and documents your mover is required to provide. This includes written estimates for every shipment, their process for handling claims, and liability coverage in the event of lost or damaged items.