Choosing the right moving company can take a lot of the stress out of moving. Unfortunately, finding the right movers can be a stressful process in itself.
Your moving company will be handling your belongings, many of them quite valuable. How can you make sure you hire someone you trust with your most prized possessions?
It boils down to asking the right questions — ideally in person, or at least over the phone. Relying only on internet FAQs to answer your pressing questions can lead you astray, and not having a face-to-face rapport with the movers you choose will dilute your gut feeling.
So when you have one or more moving companies you’re considering, schedule a meeting and ask them the following 8 questions.
Moving Services Questions
It’s important to make sure the moving company is a good fit for you. Even a great company might not have the capabilities and equipment to move heavy or delicate items.
Ask the following three questions to find out if a moving company can handle all your needs.
1. What moving services do you offer?
Check the services page of the moving company’s website to see what they offer and make a list of unanswered questions for your meeting with them.
If you like, we can do everything: packing, wrapping, loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking. All you have to do is tell us where everything goes in your new house.
We’re also happy to set up your bed at no extra charge so you have a comfortable place to sleep the first night in your new home.
2. What moving equipment do you use?
You want to feel confident that your belongings will make it safely from point A to point B in good shape. That’s one of the main reasons people hire movers in the first place!
Moving companies should always keep dollies, hand carts, furniture pads, and protective blankets in excellent condition. We clean our equipment and moving trucks before and after every move.
If your movers are packing your belongings, ask them about packing materials too. We only use high-quality shrink wrap and heavy-duty boxes to keep everything protected and secure.
3. How does your pricing work?
You’ll want to be clear about how you’ll be paying to avoid any last minute surprises.
Most residential movers charge by the hour with added milage fees. Mileage fees are usually based on the distance driven in the moving truck. Different companies calculate them differently, but we only charge mileage fees from your pickup location to your final destination. No sneaky added fees.
That’s another important question for your moving company: Do they ever charge additional fees, and what you can do to avoid them? Knowing beforehand how these fees are incurred will help you avoid confusion if, for whatever reason, there’s an extra couple of bucks tacked onto your final bill.
Safety and Security Questions
It’s always a good idea to make sure you and your property will be protected before you hire a moving company.
Photo: David Goehring on Flickr
Ask questions about how much you can expect to pay, insurance information, and who will be moving your stuff. For example:
4. Will you give me a written estimate?
Getting a written estimate is an important part of working with professional movers. A written estimate means the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) will protect you by ensuring that you won’t be required to pay more than 25% above your estimate.
If you just get a verbal estimate, the moving company is not restricted to charging you the amount they estimated.
If you’re not sure an estimate is fair, try talking to other moving companies to see if their estimates are in the same ballpark.
5. Are you licensed and insured?
Be sure to get an insurance and licensing number from any moving company you’re considering. Most movers will be happy to provide their information.
Look for a mover who has a valid UTC permit by looking on the WUTC website or calling the WUTC directly at 1-800-562-6150.
At ANC Movers, we’re fully licensed and carry a $2 million dollar insurance policy. We want you to rest easy knowing you and your property are protected.
6. Do you use day laborers?
Day laborers are not permanent employees. Instead, they are paid just for the day, with no expectation of future work.
When it comes to choosing a moving company, you’re better off avoiding anyone who hires day laborers. You want to know your furniture and possessions are in capable, experienced hands.
That’s why the faces you see on our website are the same ones you’ll see on moving day. ANC Movers only hires experienced movers who know how to handle even the most difficult items safely and efficiently.
They’ll stay with you throughout your move to keep you informed and make sure everything goes as planned.
Look for a moving company with a solid track record. If they’ve done a great job helping people in your area move, chances are they’ll do a great job helping you move too. Here are a couple good questions to ask:
7. How long have you been in business?
How long a company has been in business isn’t always an indicator of the quality of their work, but most movers who have been in the business a number of years are more experienced, efficient, and know how to handle unexpected roadblocks.
We’ve been doing what we do for more than 15 years and we’ve dealt with everything from expensive family heirlooms to that giant couch that seems like it can’t possibly fit through the doorway.
8. Can you provide me with references?
A truly skilled and experienced moving company will be able to show you great references.
Check the company’s website, Google Plus, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Yelp.
If you know anyone personally who has worked with the moving company, ask them too! There’s nothing like a glowing review from someone you trust to put your mind at ease.
Ready to Move?
If you’re preparing for a move, these are all important questions for your moving company, but don’t forget to ask them more specific questions about your individual needs too.
Don’t ignore your instincts either. Meeting your movers in person is the best way to get a feel for what working with them will be like. The best movers will put you at ease and make you feel excited to move into your new home!
A moving company’s job isn’t done until you’re completely happy.
If you’re getting ready for a move or just have questions, we’re always happy to help. Give us a call at (360) 992-8702 for a no-obligation estimate.
First photo: Nathan O’Nions on Flickr