15 Questions to Ask Moving Companies Before Choosing One
Everyone's heard moving horror stories of valuables being damaged or stolen. Maybe the movers were three hours late, or perhaps they drove over the neighbor's flower garden while pulling out of the driveway. When you hear stories like this, it’s easy to throw in the towel and say you'll just do it yourself. In most cases, you can avoid such scenarios if you simply do your research ahead of time.
Don't Base Your Decision On Price
You’re probably saying to yourself, "How am I not supposed to base my decision on price? I'm on a budget!" We get it, most people do have a budget, so this doesn't mean price won't be a factor. It simply means to not pick the cheapest company you find because it could end up costing a lot more in the long run. You may find that there are several other moving companies in your price range if you do a little digging. Maybe a company you assume you can't afford will fit in your budget, particularly if you schedule your move on a slow day (we recommend mid-month, mid-week). These questions should help you decide:
Top 15 Questions to Ask Moving Companies Before Choosing
1. How many years have you been in business? A company doesn't need to have been founded a decade ago, but it should be established long enough to have a track record.
2. Do you have references? The company should be able to provide references. Take the time to contact them, if it will make you feel more comfortable.
3. How do you determine cost? Do you charge by the hour or weight?
4. Is your moving company licensed, bonded, and insured? It is important that you ask for proof if it isn't offered.
5. Is this a binding estimate? If the estimate is non-binding, you may end up with extra fees.
6. Do you have liability insurance? In the event that your belongings are damaged or the moving truck is in an accident, you want to make sure there's liability coverage.
7. Are the movers covered by workers' compensation? You probably assume movers would automatically have workers' compensation, right? This is a strenuous job, so surely every moving company has liability insurance on its employees. Well, not necessarily. There are some smaller companies that may not. Will you be responsible if they are injured while loading up your piano?
8. Do you offer packing services?
9. Are there any extra fees I should know about? You may be charged extra if you live up multiple flights of stairs or if the movers have to park a significant distance from the door.
10. Are there sub-charges for fuel? Find out if you need to pay every time they stop at the gas station. This mostly applies to long distance moves.
11. Who will do the loading and unloading? Find out how many movers you will have. Do they have routine physicals to make sure they can handle the work?
12. How often are your moving vehicles serviced? Although vehicle problems can happen even with a strict maintenance schedule, there's less risk when they are properly maintained.
13. Is there an additional fee for oversized items? You can expect to pay more for pianos, pool tables, and other heavy items in general. But, what about your oversized sectional or 7-foot bean bag that isn’t heavy, but awkward to load?
14. What documentation will I receive? Will I receive a contract, receipts, or any type of move plan?
15. Will I be charged extra if the moving truck arrives before me? What type of storage fee will I be charged?