How To Choose A Professional Moving Company

How To Choose A Professional Moving Company

Imagine a scenario where you've chosen a moving company, set up pickup and delivery dates, and signed a legally binding contract with the movers. Still, on the day you're standing in your new place, and all your possessions are locked inside a moving truck parked out front because your movers have piled on hidden charges to your lading bill and are holding your things hostage.

Unfortunately, such instances are common, and you need to be extra careful while hiring a professional moving company that won't add to your problems. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Do Your Homework

First, you should get into some informal research to check out local moving companies that have a reputation for quality work. You can ask your friends for recommendations or warnings based on personal experiences. I also call references offered by moving companies to verify the service personally.

A tactic that helps me narrow down my choices is going through tons of online reviews about the moving companies I've shortlisted. Ultimately, I prefer to go with the moving company with the least number of complaints against them.

Get Multiple Estimates

During my recent interstate move, I learned that the charges levied are dependent on the weight of the items, the distance, packing, and other logistics. Hence, it would help if you always acquired multiple estimates before making your final decision.

I prefer at-home appointments with a relocation consultant who observes my assets and offers a comprehensive estimate and highly cost-efficient suggestions. It also helps me negotiate better packages with my moving company. However, you should always clarify the binding/nonbinding nature of the estimate and never accept one over the phone.

Inform Your Movers

Since last-moment additions to the moving inventory can drastically drive up the final payable amount, I always inform my movers of every item that needs moving before getting an estimate. You should also ensure that the mover is aware of any local restrictions at your new place that may affect the move, like parking, service lift, particular timings, etc.

Buy Moving Insurance

Your home insurance only covers your belongings when they're inside your home. So it would be best if you always considered moving insurance, especially for long-distance moves. Also, I always pay the optional packing charge and ask my movers to pack up, insuring my belongings against damages caused by improper packing.

Although there are several kinds of moving insurance packages, you should know that the moving company is only liable for a certain maximum payable amount based on the shipment weight in almost all of them.

Clarify The Contract

The Bill of Lading is a legal contract between you and the moving company. Therefore, you should read it carefully and understand all the conditions before signing. You must also keep a signed copy handy in case of trouble. Once the contract is signed, it will be effective as soon as you pay the signing amount.

Your Bill of Lading should mention your name, locations, mover's address, payment installments and methods, pickup time, ETA, minimum and maximum payable amounts, detailed rates and charges, mover's liability, and protection claims. Also, you should always read the offer document carefully before signing.

Relocation scams are not uncommon, but thoroughly examining your moving contract and understanding the intricacies will ensure that you avoid them. I always trust my gut and patiently clarify every point that looks fishy to ensure that my moving company can't hold my things hostage for some hidden extra costs.

Make The Winter Move

Moving companies offer lower prices during the winter months between October and April like off-season for relocation. However, you should call for estimates and sign a contract well in advance if you're moving in the busiest month for movers, the summer.

I also use simple tricks like leaving out a few moving estimates in plain view when the movers visit for pre-contract assessments. It helps me keep them on their toes and inspires them to offer better prices and complimentary benefits to beat the prospective competition.

Choose A Professional Moving Company

I always like to ensure that the moving company I've picked for the job is legit before finalizing the deal. So I pay them a surprise visit at their office location to check whether all the moving parts are up to the mark or not personally. Clearly labeled trucks in good condition, uniformed moving professionals, well-maintained office premises, relevant certifications or authorizations, and polite staff are some positive indicators that you've chosen a professional moving company for the job.

Additionally, suppose your plans include a long-distance move, most probably to a different state. In that case, you should make sure that the moving company you've picked is authorized for interstate relocation under the relevant federal moving laws.

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