Choosing a Moving Company
If home is where the heart is, then it only makes sense that the items that fill our homes – furniture, pictures, dishes, books, clothing, heirlooms, etc. – are very near and dear to us. The process of moving is difficult and stressful, but it can be even more so when you consider the logistics of packing and transporting your entire life. For some, renting a trailer, or relying on friends and family, is the best way to get their things to a new home; but for many others, a moving company is the only way to get all your items from one house to another.
It’s important to choose the right moving company when you are relocating. If your heirloom furniture, family photos, or priceless mementos of loved ones past are damaged in the move, your new life could start off on a very sad note. Here are a few tips for choosing the right moving company so that this never happens to you:
When you are first searching for moving companies online, or looking through recommendations from friends or family, it’s important to look for a few key services or features. Be sure that the company has a strict policy on inventorying moves, and that they are fully insured. Always choose a company that does an in-home estimate over a phone estimate if you can, because estimates in the moving business are notoriously underbid when done over the phone. If you are looking up reviews for a company online, be sure that you check for other names the company does business as (DBA). Look at the reviews for any additional business names as well. If at all possible, choose a company that does all moving itself (a “carrier”), rather than a company that hires third-party movers (a “broker”).
When the bidder or estimator comes to your home, be sure that you are totally transparent and honest about exactly what will need to be moved. You’ll also need to consider how far the truck will be parked away from your house or apartment, how many flights of stairs they made need to navigate, and any other special features that may make it more difficult (such as tight corners or small doorways). For the most part, packing services are needlessly expensive; unless the company has a special bundled price, you’ll probably be better off packing your items yourself, where you can ensure that your most precious items are well protected. Be sure that you ask the estimator to give you, in writing, a list of extra fees that will be a part of the final bill.
Be sure that your contract includes everything that you’ve ever spoken about with the estimator or a customer service representative in writing. All extra fees, as well as detailed pick up and delivery times should be listed. All of your belongings should be carefully and specifically inventoried on the contract, and you should also be sure that you’ve reviewed the policies for submitting claims on lost or damaged items. While packing services are generally not worth it, extra insurance often is. If there are are any discrepancies on the contract or with the service, be sure that you follow up in a timely manner so that you can seek legal recourse.
While the steps to hiring a moving company can mostly be summed up by doing your due diligence, and carefully reviewing all written material, it’s even more important to do so with a moving company. If you are careful with your choice, you could have the least stressful moving experience of your life, and begin your new life with all of your belongings intact, on time, and in great shape.