It’s not exactly earth shattering news to say that moving is stressful. Each move literally puts your life under upheaval. It can be made much, much worse, though, if your mover is less than honest. If you do your due diligence, though, you can prevent a lot of problems caused by amateurish or worse, dishonest movers.
If you Google movers in your area, you’ll probably find dozens, if not 100s. Most say roughly the same thing. Rather than what the mover says, though, you’ll want to learn about customer experiences. What the mover has to say comes later.
Ask friends for recommendations, but don’t stop there. The best movers have occasional bad days, and the worst have good days. Once you get a name from a friend, look them up.
Yelp, despite its flaws, is still the best resource for choosing service industry companies. Make sure that each mover you choose for an estimate has a minimum of four stars and at least 100 reviews. If you only have time to read a few reviews, choose the three-star reviews. That’s generally where you find the real story. Are their criticisms applicable to you? Do you see a general pattern, or are the one-star reviews anomalies? Don the five-star reviews look real?
Settle on three to five companies and contact them for an estimate. Make sure the movers you choose have local offices, not just call centers.
<h2Make Sure They’re Licensed
Movers are required by law to have their licensing information prominently displayed on marketing materials, including on their website. It’s usually at the footer of the site. Go to Safersys.org and verify that their licenses are clean, local (don’t choose an out-of-state company), and up-to-date.
How Detailed is the Estimate?
Does the estimator ask questions? Most will ask you about dates of your move and about the size of your home, but only the most detailed companies will ask about what you have in your home. As you know, not all 1,000 square foot two-bedroom apartments are the same. Most movers simply quote their minimums. Look for a mover who includes some details. Ask why they’re suggesting the number of movers. If you have more than a couple of flights of stairs, or have a piano, an additional mover might be called for. Details matter when it comes to getting an accurate quote.
If your home has more than two bedrooms, or if you have complicated situations, like a long distance (currently unavailable service) from where the truck will park, insist upon an in-person estimate with a guaranteed not-to-exceed price.
<h2Is the Quote too Low?
It’s really tempting to go with the lowest estimate. Don’t. In many cases, the lowest estimate ends up being the highest actual cost. All movers should be within 10 percent of each other. If one mover is significantly outside that 10 percent range, find out why.
Following the simple steps above won’t guarantee you a pleasant moving experience, exactly, but it will help ease your mine and ensure that you’re hiring an honest, quality mover.