Whether an interstate move or moving across town, transferring a household of belongings from one place to another is a highly stressful life experience. A professional moving company will certainly reduce the manual work a move takes, but choosing the right professional movers is critical to either relieving the burden of a move, or adding to the stress. Selecting a reliable and trustworthy professional moving company, and avoiding moving scams, is critical to the success of a move.
When getting a written estimate, movers will come to the apartment or house to personally inventory and assess the belongings. Based on an estimated weight and the distance of the move, a cost estimate will be provided. Never get an estimate over the telephone. All credible professional moving companies provide on-site written estimates. Do not simply rely on the phone book or Internet listings when deciding which moving companies to consider. Ask friends, neighbors, and local real estate agents for moving company recommendations because reputation means everything in the moving business.
Quality is one aspect that should never be compromised especially if you have to move from one place to another and to get the best movers in town is a difficult task as your choice is very limited though some like local moving Edmonton have set the bar pretty high with their credentials.
Here are 10 important questions to ask when evaluating professional moving companies:
Is the estimate binding or non-binding?
A non-binding estimate can vary based on the final weight of the shipment and a binding estimate is guaranteed regardless of the final shipment weight. The 110 percent rule governs that movers are required by law to deliver a shipment for no more than 10% above the price of a non-binding estimate.
Are there additional fees for specific items or services?
Hidden charges are the most common complaint against moving companies. Ask if they charge for each flight or stairs or for short-term storage. Ask if there is an extra charge if evenings, weekends, or large, delicate items such as a piano, grandfather clock, or flat screen TV.
What documents will the company provide before loading?
By law, a professional moving company must furnish an inventory sheet, an order-of-service, a bill-of-lading, and the weight if it is a shipment based on a non-binding estimate. The consumer has the right to witness the weighing and ask for a re-weigh.
Is your moving company licensed? What are your DOT and MC numbers?
State and federal licensing and insurance requirements must be adhered to by professional moving companies. The DOT and MC numbers can be used to verify that the moving company is adequately insured and properly licensed.
Have any complaints been filed against the company?
This information is essential in finding out if the movers in your locale are reputable. Complaints or a lack thereof can be verified with the Better Business Bureau or other local consumer advocacy agencies.
Are the items in my shipment insured throughout the entire move?
A minimal amount of insurance is provided free of charge and the standard rate of insurance by professional moving companies is sixty cents per pound. The law requires companies provide this valuation coverage and it usually would not compensate completely for a damaged item. Additional insurance can be purchased from the moving company. Many renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance policies cover household belongings during a move, so check with your insurance company.
What is your responsibility for items that might become damaged during the move?
It is important to understand the different levels of liability for loss or damage to goods during a move. All moving companies are required to assume some liability but levels vary from Released Value, to Declared Value, to Lump Sum Value, to Full Value Protection. Also, liability can vary based on who packed the goods. Typically the moving company is not liable if the consumer packed.
How long has your company been in business?
Longevity is a sign of positive business health. Three years in business is the recommended industry minimum to be considered a stable professional moving company.
Do you have references from recent customers?
Actually speaking with a reference yourself can be extremely insightful in evaluating moving companies. Ask these former customers if the movers were timely and on schedule for delivery, if there were any unexpected charges or problems during the move, if the movers were safe and protective with their goods, and ask if they were satisfied with the moving company’s job.
Do you have a booklet for me?
All moving companies are required by law to give to prospective customers the booklet, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” If the movers being evaluated do not have this booklet, send them moving!
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers an informative website called Protect Your Move, to help consumers avoid moving scams and fraud, choose the right professional moving company, and coordinate a successful move.