How to Choose a Reputable Moving Company
Are you inspired and even intrigued by your move? Of course, you are. You start an exciting chapter of your life in a new space. You move to a new apartment, house, or office, and life becomes full of fresh colors and experiences. This is a cinematic picture of a moving day that everyone imagines. But in real life, instead of a romantic or adventure movie, you have a real horror with zombie movers who break your favorite TV or the piano that your son loves.
Luckily, you are the director of your movie. And a scenario directly depends on preparation and choosing the right cast, which is a reputable moving company.
Moving is always a stressful experience, so every stage and detail should be thoroughly planned when choosing a moving company. If you don’t want to convulsively google “how to find the best movers now” on the last day, start your research beforehand to find the best quality moving services.
Type of Movers You Need
Every move is individual and requires personalized services. You should think about all the details and the stuff you need for hiring reliable movers. It’s better to sit and write down all the points that should be met by a reliable mover. Answer all the questions to get a full picture of your future move:
- Do you need a local or long-distance move?
- Do you have fragile items or special equipment that should be moved with special attention or with the help of experts? For example, musical instruments, sporting equipment, glassware, plasma TV, delicate electronic devices, etc.
- Do you need packing or unpacking services?
- Do you need storage services?
- Do you need additional services to disassemble and reassemble furniture?
Every detail is important to your research and final choice, so take into account everything.
Find Potential Movers
If you don’t know how to choose a moving company, you can start with word of mouth. Contact your relatives, friends, or colleagues who have already had a moving experience. It means that they’ve already spent some time finding a moving company and could give some recommendations. Besides, you can focus on your own research and choose the top 3 or 5 companies and their advantages according to your particular moving requirements. It’s better to make a list or table with the information about the top 5 companies that you’ll find. You have to find:
- company’s reputation;
- scope of services that the company provides;
- how many years the company has been providing moving services;
- licenses and insurance;
- all the channels of communication between the company and clients.
Check Their Online Reviews, Licenses, and Complaint History
Primarily, your research should cover online reviews and complaint history. After you select top potential companies, take your time and check online reviews on different platforms like Yelp, Google, or the Better Business Bureau. Take into account that if a company has all 5-star reviews like “Best quality moving services!!! 5 stars,” they could be fake or fabricated. So pay attention to those reviews in which people tell in detail about their moving experience, maybe even mention some difficulties, etc.
Of course, pay special attention to licenses. You can search for a company’s Department of Transportation (DOT) number. As a rule, it should be provided for no additional charge upon request. With a DOT number, you can check federal registration, insurance, and even complaint history on the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Since the DOT number usually refers to interstate but not local movers, you can find the complaint history of local movers using an online search. To identify reputable moving companies, you can use Better Business Bureau, online review platforms, or surf the website movingscam.com which helps people find reputable moving companies since 2001.
Request Estimates and Compare Them
The next step is estimates and their comparison. Request estimates from top companies that you highlighted during the research. Of course, it’s easier to make all the estimates via phone and get your estimate in your email.
But even in the case of the most detailed phone estimate, an in-person one is still the best choice if your move is large. Make sure you discuss the details of a future move during the estimate: small elevator or even its absence, packing and unpacking services, moving supplies, truck size, parking permit, etc.
Don’t Fall Victim to Moving Scams
During your research and estimates, pay attention to some red flags that can mark a moving scam:
- Don’t be caught with low prices that don’t meet the scope of work. A reliable mover cannot be unbelievably cheap;
- As a rule, reliable movers don’t request payment until a move finishes. Try not to pay ahead or if a company requires it anyway, make sure it isn’t a large deposit that exceeds 20-25%;
- Check which services are included in the price in order to avoid extra charges. For example, SOS Moving Company has packing services included in the hourly rate, and the price depends solely on the time it takes to complete a move.
Trust Your Gut and Make a Choice
A reputable moving company makes a positive impression on all channels of communication. Starting from the website and ending with estimates, you should feel that your belongings will be in the safe hands of reliable movers. Take notice of website support, manners and behavior of experts and movers, punctuality, and estimates process. Listen to your gut, and you’ll understand how to choose a good moving company.
Get Everything in Writing and Thoroughly Read Your Agreement
When you finally select the most reliable moving company, you have to get everything in writing. Read the agreement in detail while paying attention to all the questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and discuss all the paragraphs that worry you.
Double-check the payment and terms, insurance policy, and what it covers. To assure your belongings are totally protected, you can choose extra payment to get full insurance. The agreement should be a clear picture of all the processes: from signing the documents to the moment you pay and say goodbye to your movers.
To enjoy your move, you need to work hard beforehand. You have to think about how to choose a reputable moving company and spend some time on every stage to do it. Of course, the process is time-consuming. But doing it once, you’ll get a smooth moving experience for now and a reliable mover for the future.