Moving across the street or across the country can be stressful even in the best circumstances. If things go wrong, then it can get downright ugly in a hurry. The best way to protect yourself is to vet the moving company you plan to use thoroughly and to educate yourself on the ins and outs of moving before packing your first box. How can you tell if the moving company you plan to hire is on the up-and-up and/or properly skilled?
1. The company communicates honestly, politely, and in a timely manner.
This might seem to be obvious. Many people, however, just chalk up bad customer service to a “bad day” or some other specious reason. A moving company should know its services and hire representatives who can correctly position the services and mention all of the options you have. These representatives should also call when they say they’re going to call. If the company sets a call appointment and then blows it off, then that company is likely to do the same when it comes to bigger things. The company should also provide a written estimate and have a history of honoring previous estimates. You can check that history on either the Better Business Bureau or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration websites.
2. The company should carry at least the minimum required insurance.
Federal law mandates that a moving company cover the value of your items, which is called valuation and is not true replacement insurance. Valuation just means that you will receive a predetermined value for any lost goods. The minimum level is $0.60 per pound of the lost or damaged goods. A reputable moving company will not only conform to this law but will also likely recommend other insurance providers with whom you can secure the kind of insurance you need to cover your items against any mishaps.
3. Get the most for your money.
Make sure the products and services you purchase fit what you need. If you don’t have a vehicle, be careful that the moving company doesn’t charge for vehicle transportation. If you need storage, make sure that the company provides what you need. Ask if packing materials, moving blankets, and boxes are included. If you just happen to live in New York City and are only moving a few blocks, make use of this newfangled approach. Don’t laugh. It works! Shop around too. Companies want your business, and reputable companies will go the “extra mile” to earn your business instead of trying to trick you.
Above all, never sign anything unless you have a complete and clear understanding of what you’re signing. Ask for an explanation of anything you don’t understand. Good luck and get there safely!