11 Tips For Hiring Quality Movers:
Best Moving Companies in Eastbury With millions of moves every year in the United States, it’s a minor miracle that most of them go smoothly, with no issues whatsoever. But even with so many smooth moves, scams or shoddy practices do occur. It’s in your interest to be informed about every step in the process.
Finding a quality moving company you can trust should be a priority on anyone’s moving checklist (unless you’ve decided to completely DYI your move). Here are 11 tips for hiring movers.
Why should you hire a moving company?
Best Moving Companies in Eastbury Deciding whether to hire movers or move yourself largely depends on your budget, proximity to the new home, the complexity of the move, and your health. While a DIY move certainly has its pros (it’s cheaper, for one), hiring movers will take a lot of stress and effort out of your move. Just think about it: You’ll be leaving all the heavy lifting to the professionals. And that’s big. Also, the moving company is under contract to deliver its services efficiently and on time. They can’t flake like your friends and relatives. Overall, hiring a moving company will save you from many of the common moving-day stresses. So, if the idea of loading and driving a large moving truck stresses you out, then we highly recommend hiring movers to help.
Questions to ask the movers
You’ve done your diligence and got at least three quotes, researched the companies you’ve selected, checked their reviews, and learned about your rights and responsibilities. You are ready to hire a moving company. One more step before you take the plunge is coming up with questions to ask that will help you learn more about the moving companies you’re considering. They should also uncover any that will indicate you should move on, like lowballing the estimate or lacking moving insurance.
Some good questions to ask are included in the following list, but it’s not by any means exhaustive.
To find out whether the moving company is reliable and reputable
How long has the company been in business?
Have any complaints been filed against the company? If so, what were they and what measures have they taken to rectify the situation? (Check with the Better Business Bureau.)
Do you have references?
Are you properly licensed?
What kind of liability coverage does your company provide? Can I get additional insurance?
To get an accurate estimate
Best Moving Companies in Eastbury Can you provide a binding quote or a not-to-exceed estimate?
Are there any potential charges I’m not already aware of?
What additional moving supplies will I be paying for?
Do you have a cancellation policy?
To figure out the logistics and set expectations
How do I get in touch with the driver?
How do I contact your company during the move?
What are your non-allowables?
Best Moving Companies in Eastbury Is there a third-party service provider that will be involved in moving specialty items like a pool table, piano or grandfather clock? If so, who are they?
What forms of payment do you accept?
How long will the move take?
What is the process for filing a claim for damaged or broken items? Who’s responsible?
11 Tips for Hiring Quality Movers
A moving inventory is a must
A reputable moving company will take inventory of all your belongings and determine the bulk and weight of your move either in person or through a virtual survey. The estimator should be thorough and check all of your storage places such as cupboards, drawers, garages and bookcases. A large component of the mover’s price is based on the weight of your stuff and the space your goods take up in the truck. Be sure you understand this estimate and that it is as accurate as possible.
Get a thorough walk-through
An estimator who performs a quick walk-through without noting what you plan to move is going to be off the mark. A good estimator will ask questions about what you plan to take from your current house to your next home. So, be sure you are prepared to tell the estimator which items you don’t want on the truck — the items you plan to give away, donate, sell in a yard sale, or leave behind for the new owners.
Don’t pay a large deposit
Reputable movers won’t demand cash or a large deposit before moving. You should only pay upon delivery. If you pay in advance, you have no control over when you will see your belongings again. When you do pay, use a credit card to help protect you from possible fraudulent activity.
Avoid moving companies with a name switch
Some companies avoid being assessed by the Better Business Bureau by doing business under a variety of names. Be sure the company has a local address and information about licensing and insurance. Their employees should answer the phone with the full name of the business. Find out if there are any other names the company “does business as,” as well as their state and federal license numbers. Search online to see if there are complaints about the company. To find out more about the company’s history, call the consumer complaints hotline at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, at 888-368-7238.
Get references for movers
If your friends and family don’t have recommendations, get a list of reliable movers from associations such as the American Moving and Storage Association. Ask any mover you speak with for references. Tell them you want a list of three customers from your area who have moved in the past three months. Call those customers and ask direct questions about their experiences.
Avoid packing costs
If you pack your belongings yourself, the mover generally isn’t responsible for damage to them. However, if you have your mover do the packing, you may pay inflated prices for boxes and packing materials, not to mention time and labor. If you decide to have the movers pack, ask about the packers’ experience. Most packers are careful, but you want to avoid the chance of getting someone who tosses whatever they can into a box and then seals it up with little regard for breakage.
Beware of extra fees
Do you live in a two-story house or are you moving into one? Moving to or from a 10th-floor apartment? If so, you’ll likely be charged extra for the movers’ having to negotiate stairs and elevators. Have a narrow street that won’t fit a moving van? Expect a surcharge for the transfer of your belongings to a smaller truck for delivery. Make sure to ask your mover about any additional fees that may apply to your situation.
Avoid a blank moving contract
Never sign a blank contract. Get absolutely everything in writing. The mover’s estimate and any extra fees should be listed, as well as your pickup and delivery dates. Read your contract and make sure all of your belongings are listed. If your laptop isn’t labeled on the inventory form you sign before the driver leaves, you can’t expect it to be in the box when the truck arrives. You can’t file a claim for something that doesn’t appear on the inventory list.
Don’t accept the “guaranteed” quote
There are three kinds of moving contracts:
A non-binding estimate on your contract means the company cannot require payment more than 10% above the original estimate. Any overages must be paid within 30 days of delivery.
A non-binding to-exceed estimate on your contract ensures that you will not have to pay for any overages to the original estimate. The estimate is the maximum you’ll be required to pay for any services rendered.
A binding estimate on your contract is supposed to be a guaranteed price for the move and all extras and services. If you request additional services (such as unpacking), any extra fees must be paid within 30 days of delivery.
Report any problems
Did something go wrong? Do you need to file a moving complaint? You have nine months to report any problems to the moving company and file an insurance claim. So if you’re opening boxes a year later and find shards of glass, you’re out of luck. On moving day, try to open each box and sift through it to check for damage. Note any problems on the mover’s copy of the bill of lading before signing it.
Your mover has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, the mover must deny your claim or make an offer to pay.
Understand moving insurance and valuation protection
All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods they transport. However, there are two different levels of liability. You need to be aware of the charges that apply and the amount of protection provided by each level.
Full (replacement) value protection
This is the most comprehensive plan available for the protection of your goods. Unless you select the alternative level of liability described below, your shipment will be transported under your mover’s full (replacement) value protection level of liability. With this plan, whenever an article is lost, destroyed or damaged while in your mover’s custody, the mover has the option to either:
Repair the article to the extent necessary to restore it to the same condition as when it was received by your mover, or pay you for the cost of repairs.
Replace the article with an article of like kind and quality, or pay you for the cost of replacement.
Under this option, movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list these articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound (for example, jewelry, silverware, china, furs, antiques, rugs and electronics). Ask your mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before your move. It’s your responsibility to study this provision carefully and make the necessary declaration.
Alternative level of liability
This no-cost option is the most economical protection available, but it provides only minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. Loss or damage claims are settled based on the pound weight of the article multiplied by 60 cents. For example, if a 10-pound stereo component valued at $1,000 were lost or destroyed, the mover would be liable for no more than $6 (10 pounds x 60 cents).
There is no extra charge for this minimal protection, but you must sign a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it. If you do not select this alternative level of liability, your shipment will be transported at the full (replacement) value level of liability and you will be assessed the applicable valuation charge.
Hiring quality movers FAQ
How much does a moving company cost?
The average cost of a local move is $1,250. The average cost of a long-distance move is $4,890 (distance of 1,000 miles). These estimates are based on a two-to-three bedroom move of approximately 7,500 pounds. Check our Moving Cost Calculator for your upcoming move.
What’s included in the moving cost?
A moving estimate will factor in the weight of household belongings (for long-distance moves), the distance to the destination, cost of labor, packing cost (if the movers are packing your belongings), liability and valuation coverage, and moving date and season. There might be extra fees for moving heavy or specialty items, for the stairs, and anything that complicates the move or requires extra care and labor. If you need to temporarily store your stuff with the moving company, this will also cost extra.
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