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15 Questions to Ask Your Movers

When you’re about to move to a new home, and you want professional help to make it happen. You want more than just a truck rental that comes with some strong laborers. You want strategic, experienced movers who can execute the process efficiently.

The relationship you form with your movers may not be long-lasting, but it is important. You’re going to share part of a life-changing experience with these guys and you need to count on them to have your back.

However, unless you’re an employer, chances are you have little experience with the hiring process, much less the interview process. It’s possible that the only question you’re prepared to ask your mover is, “Hi, how are you?” It may be a start of a good relationship, but it doesn’t really do much to inform you about how qualified these guys are. It’s vital to know what questions you should be asking in order to determine whether or not these movers are a good fit for your job.

Luckily, we have a few questions that might come in handy when you want to find the right team for your move, and we’re not opposed to sharing. Here are a few that you may want to ask your mover.

1. Do the movers have references for their services?

References are the equivalent of customer reviews for the moving company. They come from non-biased sources who are looking for pretty much the same things from a company that you are looking for yourself, and you’re likely to get more of a relatable and down- to- earth story from reading them. Ask your company if they can provide online testimonials from past customers or look for reviews yourself if you feel they are more trustworthy.

2. Do the movers charge any additional fees?

Ah, those little “read between the lines” fees that you don’t know about until you end up paying for them. Sometimes companies charge extra for hard-to-handle items or if the building you’re moving from or to isn’t easy to access.  Ask about fuel or distance surcharges as well. You don’t want to be slapped with a bigger bill than the one you were expecting.

3. What’s your rate and how is it determined?

Most companies charge a rate based on weight and distance and take it as a red flag if they charge you by cubic feet. If you’re moving long distance, rates must depend on poundage. For shorter distances, an hourly rate may apply. Make certain to get an estimate in writing including all costs you and your movers will be responsible for, and be sure that it is signed by both parties.

4. What does the movers’ insurance policy cover?

When people move delicate and heavy objects by themselves across long distances, stuff happens. Moving is an injury prone line of work, and when an employee drops your wedding china tripping over a box, you want to know who’s picking up the tab. Find out about the company’s insurance policies for property damage, injury, and commercial auto to make sure you won’t be left high and dry if the unexpected happens.

5. What packing services are available?

They don’t call them precious belongings for no reason. If you’ve got some, you may want to ask a few questions on how they’re going to be protected and labeled. Some companies include these services in the cost, others charge extra. Get a line on how your company works and also how your items will be labeled. You may be expected to take care of appliance service charges if the mover needs to disconnect and reconnect the appliances.  

6. Do you provide storage service?

If storage is required, learn whether or not the company provides storage service. Larger companies generally do, and they will drop off your items for you, saving you time and money.  A word to the wise: Check out the storage facility beforehand for security and safety standards and rental policies. Some of them can be pretty dodgy.

7. Do you have a registration Number?

Before you hire a mover, make sure to get their number – their registration number that is. Every reputable moving company should have a USDOT number registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Check online with FMSCA. If the company works
within one state, they may not be registered.

8. Do the movers have experience with my type of move?

Is your type of move the high maintenance type? Do you expect to be dealing with small doorways, parking restrictions, steep stairs, no elevator, or multiple stories? Special types of moves take special types of movers. Make certain that your movers have experience dealing with the circumstances of your particular move, so there are no unwelcome surprises in your warm welcoming.

9. Will there be any additional transfers?

In the case of some long distance moves, there’s a chance your company will transfer your belongings from one truck to the other, and that increases the potential for damage. If a truck swap is planned for your move, it may be a good idea to find out beforehand. Also, if inclement weather is predicted along the route, confirm that the company is insured for water damage.

10. How long has your company been in business?

For a company to be called “reputable,” it needs to have built a reputation. That’s not to say newer companies can’t do a great job, but it’s always a good sign when a company manages to stay in business for a long time.  A long history shows that a company has experience and reliability, and even some time and money saving tricks up its sleeve.

11. What kind of deposits do you require and what is your cancellation policy?

Most companies request a 25% deposit, ( be suspicious if it’s much larger), which you’ll want to make sure you will see again if you need to cancel for any reason. Find out what happens if you need to reschedule or cancel, and also what happens if the company fails to fulfill its commitment. (Knock on wood).

12. How long will the move take?

Another thing you may want to ask your movers is how long it will take them to make their move. You’ll probably want to make certain arrangements based on the ETA of the movers,  such as when to board the plane, parking and elevator reservations, and when to hand over the keys to your landlord, so getting the timing down is crucial.  Also, find out what happens if there is additional travel time and your items arrive before you do. Know whether the company will provide storage and how much it will cost.  

13. How will you handle my items?

Hopefully, your movers are the strong and gentle type and will treat your items with the TLC they deserve. Even if they look like some pretty tough guys, don’t be afraid to drill the movers on how they intend to keep your things in the condition in which they were when you left your home. Will they have the sensitivity and equipment necessary to keep your valuables intact? Don’t wait to find out the answer.

14. Do you provide an inventory list?

An inventory is the best way for making sure all your belongings arrive present and accounted for and most reputable movers will provide this service. If you’re going to trust your belongings to a company, you want to know everything from the number of boxes packed to the size and value of the items to their current conditions and special handling notes.  

15. Do you have questions for me?

There’s only one way a reputable moving company will answer this question, and that’s in the affirmative. Good movers have questions for you about the contents of your garage, basement, attic, and closets. A mover that asks questions may be the answer to the question of who you’re going to hire for your next move.

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