Sometimes you don’t know how much you don’t know. And that is perfectly true related to moving. Most of us are not experts in moving and that may be the reason we miss out on knowing more about moving companies. Unfortunately, this can leave you at the mercy of moving companies with unfair prices, unsafe services, and even fraudulent business practices.
You can brush up your knowledge about moving and this will help you keep bad apples at bay. Ask maximum questions and they will realize that you cannot be fooled. So what are the questions that you need to ask?
Here are 8 questions to ask a moving company before you hire it.
- Is this company licensed through FMCSA?
As per federal law, every mover needs to be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a government agency. Though an accreditation with FMCA does not guarantee that there will a cap on the moving company quotes, it assures that no moving scam will happen to you. You can check for the license on the website and at the bottom of the home page, you will see the MC and USDOT, which indicates that the company is regulated by the government. Also, you can check the FMCA database to see whether a moving company is registered there.
- Is this a company or a broker?
The moving companies in the US fall into these categories:
- Brokers (also called brokerages)
- Carriers (sometimes called van lines)
- Broker/carrier hybrids
Brokers outsource their moving services to companies they have partnerships with. When you inform the mover about the move, it will put your information on the bid which a moving company will take up. Since many movers compete for a bid, a company that offers the lowest long-distance moving quote will get the bid.
One of the drawbacks of hiring a broker is that there can be miscommunication between you, the broker, and the crew that reaches your home.
- What is the coverage option it is offering you?
Moving coverage is an insurance-like service that covers the cost of your items if they break or go missing during transit. Normally, all the companies offer basic liability coverage free of charge. Though it may not be enough in case of a large accident it can be a booster while the belongings are on the road. Also, in request, a moving company will provide additional coverage for an extra cost.
- Will the moving company provide every service I need?
You need to know that not all movers are made equal. Each one will have a separate menu and you need to confirm that the moving company quote includes everything that I need.
Some of the services that a moving company might offer include:
- Loading and unloading
- Custom crating
- Furniture assembly/disassembly
- Transportation for specialty items like pianos and hot tubs
- Vehicle shipping
- Cleaning services
When you dealing with the moving company, confirm your mover provides all the services you require.
- Does this company provide binding estimates?
Confirm that the estimate offered is binding. There are a few movers who tempt you with low quotes and later increase the price. However, binding estimates ensure that the quotes are non-changing. The moving cost will not increase unless you don’t add anything to your inventory at the last minute. Usually, reliable and popular moving companies provide binding estimates but you need to confirm this part as you cannot trust everyone.
- Are there hidden costs?
Some red apples increase prices on moving days for flimsy reasons. These fees are either buried under mountains of legal speak in your contract, misrepresented, or undisclosed before they show up on your final bill. Unfortunately, you will not get a straight reply from the moving representative. Before you agree to a moving company quote, check the customer reviews online to know whether your mover is notorious for this. The more reviews you read, the better you can form an opinion.
- Does this company check the background of employees?
It is highly important to know that the crew visiting your home to handle your belongings is properly scrutinized before they are hired. Someone with a suspicious background handling your items is the last thing you want to happen. Background checks help movers weed out potential employees who have been fired from other companies for theft or damages. Confirm, this has happened before a worker is hired.
- How does the company calculate the cost?
Usually moving companies calculate costs based on:
- Shipment weight
- Shipping distance
- Hourly labor rates
Confirm how the mover will calculate the cost as it is important to budget your move. Keep tabs on what your move requires and what the company says it charges for those services to ensure your final bill isn’t higher than it should be.
Here are 8questions to ask a moving company before agree to moving company quotes. The answers will resolve your service-related queries.