Research to Qualify a Moving Company Before You Hire

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You have probably seen news reports of people having all their belongings being held hostage on a moving truck while the moving company demands a ransom before they will return their customer’s household furnishings.  This is a nightmare that you never want to experience. Other problems that can occur with less than reputable moving companies are damaged furniture that isn’t adequately insured, inexperienced movers who become injured lifting or moving your items, missing valuables and the list goes on.

To avoid such problems you must thoroughly research any moving company you are considering to make sure they are fully insured and bonded, have a stellar reputation in the industry for honesty and integrity, and their movers are highly experienced and capable of doing the job. Here are some steps you should take before hiring movers:

1. Obtain Three or More In-Home Estimates in Writing
When a moving company sends a representative out to your home they can realistically estimate the scope of the job.  They can actually see the extent of your belongings and everything that will be going in the truck to be transported to your new residence.  This way you can get an accurate estimate of the cost. With at least three estimates, you can evaluate and compare the movers and decide which company you have the most confidence in.  You need to know however that companies may present their estimates differently, so get clarification upfront so you are comparing apples-to- apples. Secondly, if a company’s prices seem too good to be true, they should be looked at with suspicion.

2. Online Review Sites Will Tell You What Prior Customers Say
Go online to Yelp.com or AngiesList.com to see what prior customers have to say about their experience using a particular moving company. You can’t expect any company to be perfect in every way, so along with the bad reviews, read the company’s response.  Did they offer to help to resolve the problem with the customer?  Were they defensive and combative?  Did they bother to respond at all to the complaint?  You can be sure that a company’s past performance will predict future behavior!

3. Make an In-person Visit to the Facilities
Before making a final decision on which moving company to hire, you should go out and visit their facilities.  Look to see if everything seems neat and well organized.  Are the employees friendly and eager to help?  Are they willing to show you around their facility if you appear unannounced?  How well you are treated during your in-person visit will give you a good idea of how this moving company will handle your move and care for your belongings once they have them on their truck.

4. Confer With Your Real Estate Agent and Neighbors
Your Realtor will know first-hand which movers to recommend and which ones to avoid.  Confer with your Realtor before making a decision on a moving company.  They have an interest in seeing that your move goes as smoothly as possible.   Although your neighbors may not have a vested interest, they can tell you about their moving experiences and who they’d recommend or not.  When you get the information from someone first-hand it can save you from an unreliable and/or dishonest rogue moving company.

5. Ask the Moving Company for References
Before each estimator leaves your home, ask him or her for references you can contact.  If a moving company has any hesitation about giving you references from customers, or claims they don’t have any to give you that would be a huge red flag.

6. Make Sure You Have Accurate Contact Information
It is vital that you know by name who to contact with questions on your estimate or on moving day.  Do you have their name, email address and phone number? Discuss all of this before moving day with your movers to ensure that the contact information you have is correct and complete, including phone numbers.  Be suspicious if they give you an 800 or Toll-free number.  Insist on direct phone numbers only.

7. Employee Training
When selecting a moving company, ask their representative what type of training they give their employees.  What are their training procedures?  Do they have full-time professional movers on staff that have been with the company for a long time and received topnotch training?  Find out it you can watch one of their training classes while it’s in session.  Being able to experience this would fill in a lot of the blanks and help you decide if this is the right moving company for you.  Moving from one home to another is stressful enough without having to worry about the moving company you’ve hired.  I hope that you follow these recommendations to avoid a nightmare situation.  If you have any specific questions that weren’t addressed in this article, please feel free to reach out to us at the office 480-695-6621 or go online to request a free estimate here.

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