- Real Estate
5 Important Questions to Ask a Moving Company
After all, you will entrust your belongings in the hands of strangers, so you need to, at least, make sure they are experienced professional movers. So, the best way to establish if a moving company will take good care of your belongings, during the moving process, is to ask the right questions, at the right time. The right time is always before hiring them. This will help you save time and money!
1. Does your company have the necessary licenses?
This is a common sense question and the first to ask any moving company you’re considering to hire for your move. Professional moving companies usually mention their licenses on their website and, if you visit their location, you will be able to see their certificates on various walls. However, if you don’t have access to evidence that they are licensed, you should ask a representative of the company about this during your first conversation with them.
Any professional moving company has to be a member of the American Mover and Storage Association, which guarantees that their company respects the necessary federal laws, as well as of the Better Business Bureau, a membership that proves their reliability.
A moving company that offers cross country moving services has to have an USDOT number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can easily check for this number online and see if the company has the USDOT.
How do you prefer to move house?
2. What services do you offer?
It’s important to know all the services that a moving company offers. The smaller moving companies might not have the necessary equipment to move voluminous or heavy items, such as pianos or pieces of furniture that can’t be disassembled. Some companies may provide disassembling and assembling services, which are useful if you have a lot of furniture to move to a different location. There are moving companies that also offer packing and unpacking services, very helpful for all types of moves, but these are usually available for extra cost.
It’s important to know all the services the moving company is offering, whether we’re talking about packing and unpacking, disassembling and assembling, loading and unloading and so on. This way you can be sure you will get all the services you need for a successful and stress-free move.
3. Do you have an arbitration program?
An arbitration program is very useful in case the customers raise claims against moving companies and these can’t be settle amicably. Instead of going to court and wasting a lot of time and money, the arbitration company that collaborates with the moving company will give you access to an easy and fast way to settle the dispute.
An arbitration company is also very useful for the moving company because they will help them respect all the rules and regulations imposed by the FMCSA. The FMCSA actually require the moving companies to have an arbitration program in place.
4. Do you give written estimates?
Some moving companies give estimates regarding moving costs by phone or email. However, you need to know that this is never enough! If you want to make sure you know the exact price you’re going to pay for the move, you need to request a written estimate which won’t have to exceed the price you’ve discussed initially. If you have a written estimate, your move will be protected by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, which means that you won’t have to pay more than 25% over your estimate.
The best way to get a correct estimate is to make sure you give the movers accurate information about the move, such as the distance the moving trucks will have to cross to get to the destination, as well as the number of men and trucks you need. It will also help to know what payment methods they accept and how much will extra services cost.
5. How will you be handling my items?
It’s very important to know how the movers will handle your items, especially if you have antique pieces of furniture or other valuable belongings. The movers will also have to protect the interior of both your former and new home when moving your things.
They should use all types of accessories to protect the floors, walls, corners and door frames, like moving blankets, carpet films, corner guards, and foam. The moving company should work only with experienced movers, who really know what they are doing and how to bring everything in one piece to the destination.
It’s useful for the movers to come in advance and measure doorways, turns, elevators and stairways, so they can be prepared for the moving process.