Whether you are moving out of your home, apartment or office, there are a number of things that must be done. One of the most important is finding a good moving company.
With millions of people moving every year, it’s really a minor miracle that so many of them go smoothly; however, some scams do occur. To help avoid them, it is good to keep in mind the following tips.
Get Organized. Make sure you take into account all the things you will be moving and what is fragile and what is not. Some of your items might require special packing to secure it’s safety in the move. It’s one thing to do a quick move across town, but if you’re doing a complete and total move across the country, that requires more planning, planning that should be taken seriously considering these are your worldly possessions. In order to your minimize costs, you want to do it right the first time.
Create an video inventory of your items. While a reputable moving company will often take a quick inventory of all your belongings in order to determine the bulk and weight of your move, it is not detailed. It is a good idea to walk room by room, taking a video of items. Be sure to do this slowly, taking detailed angles of valuable furniture as well. I something is missing or damaged, it helps to have a record of it.
Finding moving companies. A lot of times people begin by asking their family and friends, and maybe some neighbors. But what if you don’t know anyone well enough? You could grab the phone book or yellow pages and sift through a bunch of moving companies that you know nothing about and pick the wrong moving company. Numerous people use online directories like SmartGuy.com, which lists thousands of local professionals, many with ratings you can verify.
Look into references and past work. Ask for a list of past clientele from each moving company and contact them to see how said moving company performed, how long it took them and if they experienced any issues or setbacks working with the moving company. It is also recommended to look and see if they have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating or a SmartGuy rating. You can also enter the moving company’s name followed by the words “rip off” or “scam” and see if anything shows up.
Years in business. Ask how long they have been in business under that name. Some companies have avoided being assessed by the Better Business Bureau by doing business under a variety of different names. Be sure the company has a local address and information about licensing and insurance. You might want to see if there are any other names the company “does business as,” as well as their state and federal license numbers.
Avoid expensive packing costs. Too keep the costs down, it might be better to pack much of your belongings yourself; otherwise, you may pay inflated prices for boxes and packing materials, not to mention their time and labor costs. If, however, you do pack them yourself, the mover generally isn’t responsible for damage to them.
Get a detailed estimate in advance. Ask for a complete written detailed estimate from each of the moving companies. The moving company estimate should include a summary of labor, the number of movers on the job, and details of the scope of the job. Keep in mind, may movers charge extra if you live in a two-story house or are moving into one. Similarly, if your moving from or into a high rise apartment, you’ll likely be charged extra for the movers’ having to negotiate stairs and elevators. The point is you need to make sure all of this is discussed and negotiated before and placed in writing.
Request a complete and detailed contract. Make sure everything that is discussed pertaining to the job/move is in writing. The contract needs to include all the moving company’s information, including: name, address, office and cell numbers, and license number, plus whatever details were in the estimate. It is of the utmost importance that the contract clearly states what is and is not included in the job. Also, get a copy of the moving company’s liability and workers’ compensation insurance certificates. Be careful If they tell you that they don’t have coverage. If something goes wrong, you could be responsible. For example, if a worker gets hurt or your belonging get damaged or destroyed.
Minimal deposit. Quality movers should’t require or even ask for a large deposit before moving. Since most are paid by the hour, it is in both parties interests to pay upon delivery. If you pay in advance, you have less control over the timing and quality of the move. When you do pay, it is a good idea to use a credit card, as this will help protect you from possible fraudulent activity.
Moving insurance and valuation protection. Most moving companies carry some liability for the value of the goods they transport. However, there are different types and levels of coverage.
Report any problems asap. You usually only have a limited time to report any and all problems to the moving company and file an insurance claim. So, it's not a good idea to leave some of the boxes unopened. Better to check them right after the move, even if you close them again and store them away.
Moving from one place of residence to another can be a seamless transition; however, if you or the company you hire does not take the right steps, it can result in aggravation and a considerable expense. Better to invest some time finding a good moving company that picking a random name out of a phone book.