You’re planning your move, and you want to get the best moving company lined up. You have your list of movers to call, and you are ready to pick up the phone and start dialing. Here is a list of five questions you need to ask before you make your final decision:
1. How long have you been in business?
Like most service organizations, if the moving company has been around for more than five years, they probably know what they are doing. It is a competitive industry, and when you are performing services that are so personal (moving someone’s home and possessions) and doing it well, there will likely be positive reviews and a strong referral base. So the longer a company has been in service, the better.
2. Are you licensed and insured?
From our experience, odds are remote that your move will encounter major difficulties or damages. But your mover needs to be prepared and covered for any and all eventualities. Sometimes there are external factors, like other drivers or unforeseen weather, which can disrupt your move. So make sure the moving company you select has all the coverage and licenses it needs to give you peace of mind.
3. How do you develop your cost estimates and is there a ceiling?
Unfortunately, there are moving companies out there who will give you a low estimate to get your business and then slap you with a final cost that is double or even triple the original estimate. Companies that operate in this manner are likely to have generated bad feelings and complaints, which you can check out with the various rating websites, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or NY State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).
To best arrive at costs, the moving company should come see your home or office so that they know both the quantity and qualities of things to be moved, and have a chance to see what the service access to your building is like. It is also the best way to determine the packing materials that will be needed to safely and efficiently prepare for and complete your move, whether you do your own packing, or decide to have the movers pack for you. And they should have a policy on final price. If they trust their own estimates, they should be fine with putting a ceiling on any cost overruns, barring any significant change in plans.
4. What happens if anything changes before or even during the move (ie. the unexpected)?
The moving company should be happy and prepared to work with you to firm up the plans prior to the move. If plans change in advance, the mover should be able to provide a new cost estimate quickly and efficiently. Plans can also change without much notice, and an experienced mover on your side is an important asset.
If your moving plans do change in minor or major way, you want confidence that the mover will still get the job done without creating additional headaches for anyone. Communication is key. It is easier to adapt to the new realities of the moment if mutual trust has been established between you and your mover. A good mover and a prepared customer can work together as a matter of course in the run-up to moving day. Then, if you are unable to sell your couch or piano as planned, if you need to put some things in storage or make an extra stop, the mover can make it happen. The change may result in a little more time required for the move, or a bit more cost. But it will not be a problem for an experienced moving company.
5. What questions do you have for me?
You’re the one asking all the questions, right? Well, there are certain things a mover should want to know about you. Key dates and locations, and an idea of what you will be moving are basic. But a more experienced mover will ask about details before giving you a price. Will you want us to help you pack things into boxes, or unpack when you get to your new destination? If you are packing yourself, would you like an idea of the types and costs of packing materials? Would you like guidance on packing? Would you like us to deliver materials prior to your move? Do you have any large or particularly fragile pieces to move? We’ve seen a lot of things in our experience since 1978, and we ask a lot of questions. We cannot always foresee every detail of a move, but we do our best to take stock of as many as we can and incorporate them into our plan for your move.
The moving company you choose should be one that answers all these questions, and any others you have, to your satisfaction. Feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like. We are always happy to provide any information that will relieve any stress for our customers. It relieves the stress for us too. We like it when the job is done with no damage to anyone or anything so we all can go on happily with our lives. Happy is good!