Whether you are moving across the country or within the same city, a lot goes into planning a move. Between packing your belongings, coordinating schedules, and updating mailing information, it’s no wonder that moving is one of the top-10 most stressful life events. What’s worse is that moving companies are notorious for promising one price, then increasing the cost the day of. To prevent any issues, here are some questions you can ask the moving companies you interview:
- Proof of license and insurance. Before you even agree to interview a company, ask them to forward you their license and proof of insurance. All moving companies must have both. The US Department of Transportation should issue the permit, and the insurance should have the company name and address listed.
- Years of experience and a list of references. Ask how long the company has been in business and if they have a list of references on hand. You can then compare these references and the information you obtain with other reviews you may see online. Read the reviews individually and not on a broad scale. Be sure to note anything suspicious, such as many positive reviews (given on the same day).
- Does the estimate cover everything? Sometimes, moving companies will purposely leave out essential items to appear to be the lowest bid. The problem is, on the day of your move, you will be charged for them (and failure to pay means that they will not release your belongings to you). Any bid should have your items categorized and priced.
- Is the company subcontracting? Many moving companies subcontract the work to another company, keeping a portion of their profits. The trouble is the subcontracted company doesn’t have the same reviews or reputation as the company you interviewed with and may not even honor your contract. You need to be clear on this before hiring them.
- Will they pick up and deliver to a self-storage unit? When moving, using a self-storage unit is a convenient way to store belongings, whether you need one to stage your current home, make room for repairs in your new one, or simply keep items interim. Ensure that the moving company picks up and delivers from your local storage unit so that you do not need to make multiple trips. Many companies will, though some at an additional fee.
- What happens if something goes wrong? Does the moving company offer insurance for you to purchase? What happens if something goes wrong? Who do you contact? Who is supervising the move? You need to have clear answers to prepare so that your belongings get where they need to go.
Though it may take a little extra time to interview multiple moving companies, it is well worth it. Do remember that price shouldn’t be the deciding factor. You should decide based on the overall value: the company’s reputation, price, and services offered. This is one situation where the lowest price isn’t always the best.
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By asking moving companies these six questions, you will help make one aspect of your move less stressful. And less stress is always a good thing!