Moving across town or across the country can be a very stressful time. The more prepared you are for the move, the less stressful the process can be. Last year, we shared some moving tips to help your move go smoother. One of the biggest items on your moving “To Do” list is finding the best moving company to transport your belongings to your new home. If you are in need of a moving company there are many things that you can do to make sure that the movers are reputable and will provide a great service to you and your family during your hectic time.
1. Start planning your move early. If you are able to, give movers at least 6-8 week notice before you need to be moved. The busiest time for the moving industry is from late May to early September (This is also the busiest time for the self storage industry!). They are also very busy at the end of each month. If you plan ahead and are able to be flexible with the mover, you can schedule the tie that you will need for your move.
2. Ask friends, co-workers, real estate agents and family for recommendations for a moving company. The best recommendation is word-of-mouth. You can also check online sites such as The Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and Yelp! for reviews of moving companies in your town.
3. Check out the moving company’s website for information about the company. Make sure that the movers have a regular street address, accreditation, affiliations (such as American Moving and Storage Association membership) and licensing information. The company should be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
4. Confirm that the company is fully insured by having cargo insurance.
5. Call a few different moving companies and ask to in-home estimates on the cost to move your belongings. Compare the costs of the companies to one another. If a company is “low balling” a cost, be cautious. Also, do not give your business to companies that will only give you a moving quote over the phone or online without seeing the items that need to be moved. These companies are often not reputable and will add hidden costs through the moving process.
6. Ask questions of the moving companies and get the answers to your questions written down with their price quotes.
7. When you are in the “shopping” process for a mover, the moving company should give you a “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” pamphlet. This is a federally mandated regulation for customers that could be moving out-of-state. If you don’t receive that, check the status of the moving company with the Better Business Bureau.
Keep an eye out for “rogue moving companies”. These companies are scamming customers into paying large fees and have little to no insurance to cover the items that are being transported. The “rogue movers” will not have a street address or licensing information on their website, will only give over the phone or on-line quotes, ask for a large deposit in advance and they will actually show up with a rental company truck instead of a “real” moving truck. Do not do business with these companies! Look for reputable, well-known and well received moving companies. If you follow the tips shown above, your moving experience could be less stressful.