If you’re getting ready to move long distance, hiring help is crucial to helping the move go well and ensuring you keep your sanity. However, not all long-distance moving companies are created equal, and finding one you can rely on is crucial. Here are six ways to ensure you get a top of the line moving company.
Do Your Research
When you type in “moving companies near me,” you’re likely to get a list a mile long. It can be instantly overwhelming when you’re trying to narrow down choices to the top few. However, this is a crucial part of the process and cannot be skipped.
When researching moving companies online, look at the following to determine which companies should be placed at the top of your list:
- Are they accredited? If so, by whom?
- Are they licensed, bonded, and insured? If the answer is no, scratch them off the list and don’t look back.
- Do they specialize in long-distance moves? If not, scratch them off the list.
- Do they use third-party movers, or is everything provided with employees in-house?
- How transparent are they? Do they link to outside reviews such as Google, TrustPilot, and Facebook?
- How long have they been in the business? New startups are great, but if you’re looking for as smooth a process as possible, scratch off any that have less than five years of experience.
By answering these questions, you’ll narrow down companies to a top three or four options. Once you have your top picks, move on to the next step.
Read reviews about the moving company you’re considering from third-party websites that aren’t affiliated with the company. Reading reviews posted to the company’s webpage is fine, but for the most unbiased reviews possible, check sites like TrustPilot, Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Any company that has a rating of less than 4 out of 5 stars should be crossed off the list. Read through the complaints and see if the company responded. If they did, how they handle the complaint will tell you a lot about how they’ll treat you if something arises.
Determine if there is a theme among the complaints. Does the company consistently arrive late? Was there breakage? Lost items? If the complaints continually revolve around one major issue and it hasn’t been corrected, cross them off the list.
After you read through reviews, choose your top two or three companies and move on to the next step.
Get a Recommendation
If anyone you know has used the companies you’re considering, ask if they’d recommend using them. Get their first-hand knowledge and experience with the process. If people you know used other companies, be sure to get those recommendations (if they’re good ones!) and add them into the mix when you’re researching companies.
Get an In-Home Estimate
Never settle for an over-the-phone estimate. This is a major red flag that says the company isn’t prepared or doesn’t know what they’re doing. Get an estimate where someone comes to your home and views everything that needs to be moved from one location to another. By doing this, they’ll get a real feel for the space it will take in their trucks and the time required to load it.
Get in-home estimates from your top two or three companies and ensure they leave estimates in writing with you to look over. Estimates should include pricing for all services from start to finish. Never accept a verbal estimate or a number written on a piece of notebook paper. Reputable companies will provide an estimate that they keep a copy of to reference if you decide to hire them.
Ask About Extra Fees
Many companies charge extra fees for things such as overweight items, location, packing, and loading. Ask questions such as:
- How much extra for overweight items?
- Is there a fee for going to a rural location?
- How much will you charge for packing? What about delicate or fragile items? Oversized items? Appliances?
- How much will you charge for loading and unloading if your people have to climb stairs to access our home?
- Does your company insure my items? If so, for how much?
These are common sources for extra charges. Make sure you get the cost for these things in writing before you sign any contract.
Read Over Paperwork
Before you sign any contract, be sure you understand every piece of paperwork given to you. The contract becomes your resource if anything goes wrong, or if the company doesn’t fulfill their end of the deal.
Moving Made Easy
Hiring a long-distance moving company is the one way to ensure your move is made as easy as possible. Be sure to do your homework, research companies, read reviews and learn as much as possible. Then, after your in-home estimate, decide which company is the best for your move.