Top questions to ask a moving company? We’ll tell ya! A long time ago, hiring movers was a thing only wealthy people had even heard of. Even when regular folks started getting in on the action of hiring professional moving companies, there weren’t many choices to go off.
If you wanted professional movers, you accepted whatever deal they gave you and hoped everything went smooth on moving day. Then came the explosion of moving companies along with the ever-growing internet and its friends: Yelp and Foursquare (to name a few).
Today you have an overwhelming amount of professional moving company choices and what feels like hundreds of conflicting reviews for each. So, how do you determine what company will work best for you? Don’t sweat it. The process doesn’t have to be super overwhelming.
With a few tips from us, and the power of elimination, you can confidently choose the perfect professional moving company for you in no time.
Top questions to ask a potential moving company.
Do you pack for me?
Many people decide to hire a professional moving company in an effort to make the whole moving experience more manageable. They are willing to shell out the cash so long as they can save themselves as much time and headaches as possible. With that said, not all moving companies offer every type of service, and some companies rather not deal with the packing. If it’s important for you that your chosen company provides packing services- make sure to shop around.
Are you a Broker or a Carrier?
When choosing a professional moving company, you will want to find out the type of company you are working with. The two main types are:
Moving Brokers: Brokers have partnerships with other companies. This allows them to outsource their services to other companies near you. Using brokers can result in lower prices for you since what they are essentially doing is having the other companies bid for your business.
The potential downside to working with a broker is that because they delegate your business to other companies, there is the potential for miscommunication. Additionally, you will have to hope the broker chooses a moving company you’ll be happy with because you will basically be left out of the final decision.
Moving Carriers: Carriers are more of a boutique-like service. They handle all moving services and usually have an in-house staff. Working with carriers also means you get to have direct communication with the movers from beginning to end. Just keep in mind that this type of service might mean a significantly pricier final bill.
What are your delivery time frames?
Another top question to ask when hiring a moving company. All moving companies should be able to give you some sort of estimate on the delivery time frames. However, take this question one step further and ask if they would be willing to provide you with a guaranteed delivery day in writing. If you get it in writing and your movers are late for whatever reason, you can be entitled to a partial refund.
Do you Offer Moving Insurance?
This one is important because these insurance-like services will help ensure your belongings are covered should something go wrong.
Basic Protection: All professional moving companies are required to provide basic moving protection. What will vary here, and what you need to research is exactly how much they cover, but typically it’s between 0.30 to 0.60 cents per pound depending on whether it’s an intrastate move or an interstate move.
Full Value Protection (FVP): If you have particularly hard to replace items, you might opt to pay extra for full-value protection. This type of coverage covers the market value of your belongings. Not all companies offer this option, and they usually vary across companies, so make sure you speak to a representative of the company you are interested in to find out precisely what you can expect. Here’s a further breakdown of how it works.
Do I Tip the Movers and How Much?
Most moving companies should never and probably would never ask you to tip their movers. Gratuity is something that is usually left up to the customer’s discretion. With that said, if you are satisfied with your movers, it is considered good etiquette and recommended that you tip each mover.
A good rule of thumb is to tip $20/per mover per four hours. So, if your movers worked an 8
hour day, the ideal tip would be $40/per mover for the day. Just make sure you have plenty of cash available on moving day.
Do you offer storage?
Asking for moving companies to offer storage is a relatively new concept. Most traditional companies will not provide storage services. However, if storage is something that’s particularly important to you, the answer usually lies in searching for storage companies that also help you move (as opposed to moving companies that also offer storage). Be advised that this type of service can get expensive, so please include that in your moving budget.
What type of payment do you accept?
We know that it’s hard to believe a company would not accept any and every type of payment in this day and age but believe it or not, that is precisely the case. If you’re planning to put your moving expenses on a credit card or hoping to use a check, double-check with the company beforehand to ensure they will accept either as a form of payment. Additionally, many companies will offer a significant discount if you pay cash. If you’re using a debit card to pay anyway, it might be worth inquiring about.
How do you handle unforeseen circumstances?
Listen, no one wants to go into anything thinking of the worst possible scenario. However, when you’re dealing with literally such a life-changing move, you want to be smart about it and have the forethought to look ahead to other scenarios. Some questions to ask about unforeseen circumstances include:
- What happens if I need to cancel?
- How do you handle damages and/or loss claims?
- Should I be aware of anything that might require additional fees?
These are all great questions; so don’t be afraid to ask. There’s some more information on questions to ask a long distance moving company here. It also helps to know that companies that are comfortable with these topics are probably a lot more likely to handle them correctly. If, on the other hand, you notice defensiveness during the questioning process- that’s a red flag.
Hiring professional movers is an important task. The good news is that though it might seem a bit daunting at first, the process is relatively simple if you know what you’re looking for. Taking time to research the right company will provide priceless peace of mind, and at the end of the day- this probably something you won’t have to deal with too often.