When using a moving company, you are placing all of your possessions in the hands of strangers. We’ve all heard the stories of lost or damaged items, hidden fees, and unexpected delays. How can you get your belongings to your new home on time, for the quoted amount, and without loss or damage? While you can't predict or avoid all potential pitfalls, you can prepare for them. Use this handy checklist to find the best company for your move:
___Call the companies in your area and ask for their DOT and MC license number.
___Type the DOT and MC license numbers into this database to make sure they are licensed and insured by the Department of Transportation.
___Get those reviews! Go to online review sites and social media sites such as Yelp, and check with the Better Business Bureau for their rating.
___Based on licensing, insurance, and reviews, narrow your list down to the top three companies.
___Call the top companies back and ask about their rates – do they charge per pound and a distance rate? If you are moving locally, ask if they offer an hourly rate.
___Get estimates. Estimates should only be given after a thorough inspection of the job and a lengthy discussion with many questions for you from the moving company. If they offer an estimate without first evaluating the job, take that company off your list.
___Get estimates in writing.
___Ask if the company uses subcontractors. If so, ask for a list of subcontractors they use and check out the drivers.
___Ask if there are extra fees or any hidden costs such as for long distances, fuel charges, or to move heavy or awkward items. Be sure to ask if there are fees to move furniture by elevator or stairs, especially if you are moving to an upper-level apartment or high-rise.
___Ask about their liability coverage.
___Make sure they have an inventory system or some way to keep track of your items – especially if your belongings will be sharing a truck.
___Do they guarantee their pickup and delivery dates?
___What procedures do they have in place for moving delicate or expensive items?
___Take pictures of your items before the movers arrive so they can't claim an item was already damaged before they handled it.
___Ask for references.
___What will the movers be responsible for packing up, and what will you have to tackle on your own?
___If you are supposed to handle the packing, do they provide the supplies?
___What is their cancellation policy, and what forms of payment do they accept?