What questions should you ask moving companies before hiring?
When you’re shopping to hire a moving company, you’ll find tons of moving companies online and offline claiming to be the best. Rather than take their words for it, do a bit of research to figure out which company is actually right for you.
One of the easiest ways to find the right moving company is to ask the right questions before you hire. The responses you get from the movers will help you determine who to hire or not. So, what questions should you ask to find and hire the right moving company?
Question To Ask Movers Before Hiring Any
The following questions will help you learn more about any mover you intend to hire so you can opt for the best:
Is the Moving Company you are speaking to a Mover or a Broker?
Brokers often depict themselves as movers, but they are absolutely different from movers. Brokers may easily match you up with movers close to you. But brokers are not often involved in the moving process.
Brokers are hardly involved in damages, lost, or any other hiccups you may experience before, during or after a move. Contact the movers directly, and speak with them. You can use this tool to find moving companies in your area.
Does the moving company have proper licenses to operate?
When you have the chance to speak directly with a mover, ask the mover about their registration number. All authentic movers must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), called a USDOT number (US Department of Transportation Number).
However, if the movers only operate within one state, they may not be FMCSA registered. You may check to confirm the status of the movers on the FMCSA website.
How much will it cost to carry out your move?
Find out about the estimates and rates of the movers. Different types of moves are priced differently. Local moves or short-distance moves might be based on hours it takes to complete the move.
You can use this free moving cost calculator to figure out your moving costs before asking movers. You can use the information you get as a guide when you start asking movers about your moving costs.
In case of a cross-country move or an interstate move, movers’ estimates must be based on weight for a long-distance move. If a mover tries to give you rates based on cubic feet, don’t accept that rate. It’s always better to get a price based on the weight of your items.
Ask the movers for an estimate in writing, and request for a personal copy. The estimate must reflect all charges involved in the move. You and the movers must sign for it to be a deal. The estimate must reflect the payment method and indicate a date.
Always try to get a Binding Estimate, Non-Binding estimates leave a lot of room for price hikes and changes. Secure yourself by getting a fixed binding estimate. If you find anything you don’t understand in the estimate, ask for clarifications.
If you still don’t understand after clarifications don’t sign. Only sign when you understand every aspect of the estimate. Moving cost is one of the key questions to ask before hiring any moving company.
Will there be any additional fees or charges?
Some moving companies ask for additional fees, while some others have hidden fees. Movers ask for additional fees for different reasons, mostly based on the mover’s mode of operations. Inquiring about extra charges is a key question to ask before hiring any moving company.
Some movers may ask for additional fees for a long-distance move across places that are difficult to access. Movers may request for additional fees for moving delicate items that involve a third party. Or if the truck is parked far from your residence, and it takes a longer distance and time to load.
Some movers have hidden charges which you may not be aware of. Ask the movers you intend to hire about their hidden charges and additional fees if they have any. Know exactly what you’re in for before you sign any deal.
Will your items stay and be delivered on the same truck?
If you intend to make a long distance move, some movers may transfer your belongings to another truck to complete the move. Such transfers increase the risk of loss and damage to household goods.
Ask the movers you intend to hire about their mode of operations for long distance moves. If you’re not interested in extra transfer of your stuff, you may avoid movers with such a policy.
Does the moving company offer Moving Insurance?
The safety of your belongings during the move is important. Find out about insurance from the movers you intend to hire. Most movers offer insurance at extra costs. Many insurance policies are based on the weight of your items.
It’s important for you to evaluate the value of your belongings, and what the insurance policy will provide if your items are damaged or lost during the move. Before you opt for moving insurance, see your home insurance if it offers extra coverage for moving. Before you hire any mover, find out about the insurance they offer, and what it cost to buy one.
What kind of payment options does the company take?
Before hiring movers, find out about their payment options. Don’t hire moving companies that only accept cash. You may end up with a rogue mover. In all, observe the response you get when you ask these questions. Compare responses of different movers and make your choice after careful analysis.
Can the moving company provide every moving service you need?
Some moving companies only specialize in providing certain moving services. So, rather than conclude on assumptions, ask the moving company you intend to hire if they provide the specific service you need. Here are key services moving companies often provide:
- Furniture disassemble and assemble
- Loading and unloading
- Auto transport
- Cleaning services
- Special items shipping such as pianos
- Custom crating
While some moving companies offer all these services and even more, others may only offer just a few. So, ask the moving company you intend to hire about the various services they offer before making up your mind.
How does the moving company calculate moving costs?
It’s important to understand how the moving company you intend to hire will charge you. Make sure you understand exactly how the moving company will calculate your moving costs. These are some of the factors moving companies often consider when charging customers:
- Season (summer is considered peak season when lots of people move)
- Shipping distance
- The number of hours it takes to complete the move
- Shipment weight
Ask your mover what exactly should you expect so you can prepare your budget correctly. This is one of the key questions to ask a moving company before hiring. While you await the mover’s response, you can use this free moving cost calculator tool to figure out your moving cost.
Can you get a binding estimate?
Some moving companies are known for attracting customers by offering extremely low estimates only to shock them with a huge one at the end of the move. Your best bet is to find a moving company that provides a binding-not-to-exceed estimate.
These types of estimates remain unchanged regardless of whatever happens during the move. These ten questions can make it easier to find and hire the right moving company for your relocation.