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Finding a Mover: The Ultimate Guide

Finding a Mover: The Ultimate Guide
June 29, 2020

If you’re looking for a long distance moving company, you’ve likely got many things on your mind. With planning, collecting quotes and shopping for a deal that fits your budget, it can be a lot to juggle. Furthermore, if you’ve never used a long distance moving company, you might also be concerned about choosing the right mover. You know, the one with the perfect mix of experience, professionalism and affordability.

If this sounds like you, you might have some questions about your journey to find a perfect mover.

  • How do you know that the team you’ve hired will handle your items with care?
  • How can you tell which company will respect your home?
  • How do you know your belongings are safe with them?

Never fear, we have compiled the ultimate guide to finding the right moving company in this article. After you take a moment to review our top practices and tips, you’ll feel confident and empowered to hire a pro mover (like us) to get your long distance move underway with seamless and efficient service.

Compare Top Moving Companies to Match Your Needs

Taking your time to compare moving companies is a wise move. Here is how you can evaluate them fairly but with proper due diligence.

Focus On Registered Moving Companies

Ensure you are dealing with a valid, registered company. Concentrate on finding companies that are dually registered and licensed to operate in your state. These are the companies that have passed certain levels of quality assurance and have remained compliant with relevant authorities. 

While licensing regulations vary from state to state, all interstate movers are required to register with the Federal Government. A list of these movers can be found in the U.S. DOT System. Local movers, meanwhile, are only required to register in the state in which they operate. For this reason, it is important to research your state’s unique requirements.

Fact: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, consumers have filed a higher-than-average number of complaints against movers in recent years. These complaints are due, in large part, to fraudulent practices related to rogue movers.

Find Out If the Moving Company Is Insured

Asides from having the license and belonging to relevant bodies, a moving company also needs insurance. Dealing with a moving company that is not properly insured is risky.  Furthermore, it can be a sign that this company does not have all it’s ducks in a row. 

There are two types of liability insurance you should know about when it comes to hiring a mover. FMCSA defines these types of insurances as follows:

  • Full-Value Protection: Full-value protection means your moving professional is responsible for the replacement costs associated with lost or damaged goods. It’s a comprehensive plan that offers outstanding protection for consumers.
  • Released-Value Protection: This is less expensive, but also less comprehensive protection. Released-value protection means the mover assumes the liability of no more than 60 cents per pound of your belongings.

Since the coverage payout is different, it is important to know which type of liability insurance your quoted movers carry when evaluating your long-distance moving company options.

Spend Time on Their Website

You can get a good idea of the type of moving company you are dealing with based on the quality and quantity of content you read on their website. An experienced moving company should have great resources as well to help you understand and expedite the moving process.

Do The Movers Offer What You Need?

Next you’ll want to ensure that your mover is qualified to move your household over state lines as opposed to a local mover. Additionally, some movers specialize in commercial moves as well as those that handle residential moves only. Full-service moves, white-glove moves, packing, and storage services are other priorities you may need. Make sure the company you intend to hire offers what you need.

How Is Their Customer Service?

Pay attention to the quality of their customer service from the get-go. In most instances, the quality of the customer service team of an organization reflects the quality of service they offer. 

Here are some factors to consider as you try to gauge their level of professionalism during the estimate process:

  • Are they knowledgeable about the moving process?
  • Did they take the time to understand the full extent of your needs?
  • Are they pleasant, patient, and willing to educate you about parts of the move you may be unfamiliar with?
  • Did they arrive on time and in uniform for your visual estimate?
  • Do they have an office with a business name and address?
  • Are they pressuring you to commit?

Consider How Long the Company Has Been In Business

Experience is another thing you need to consider seriously when you want to hire a moving company. It’s better to work with an efficient company with a good reputation. 

Look At the Existing Feedback or Online Reviews

Look at the online reviews provided by people who have used the services in the past. Look on their website as well as third-party review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor.

Review sites are valuable sources of information and can go a long way to tell you what to expect from a moving company. If customers are predominantly happy, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve selected a great moving company. However, you can identify red flags if you read that:

  • majority of customers are disappointed,
  • the nature of complaints are extreme,
  • the circumstances of reviews point to negligence
  • or if complaints seem to go unaddressed

In these scenarios, it’s a safe bet to move on with your search.

Taking a stranger’s testimony into consideration, however, may only buy you so much peace-of-mind. In this case, the testimony of a friend, neighbor or family member may also be useful. A personal experience is worth its weight in gold, and asking the opinions of the people you value most is a great way to find a reputable company.

Ask the Right Questions

From general questions like services offered  more detailed info like licensing and insurance status, you have the right to ask away. A reliable company will provide honest answers freely and cordially throughout the interview process.

You can also ask the moving company of your choice about whether they bundle their services, and how they manage pricing of these services.

Look At Their Price Estimates Carefully

Inquire about a free estimate only when you have trimmed your list of possible moving companies to a few.

When moving companies attempt to quote you on a moving price, observe the individual making the estimate carefully. An experienced mover will ask about the specifics of the move whether you may have any special items to move, and whether the buildings have elevators. Avoid any company that doesn’t seem thorough.

To improve your chances of getting the best possible deal, get quotes from three or four moving companies. Ensure you get these things in writing and that you understand them. Once you’ve got a few in front of you, compare them to the other quotes. Anything that is drastically more or less expensive is likely a red flag.

Trust Your Gut

When you are hiring a long distance moving company, there should be no hesitant feelings rumbling in the pit of your stomach. Ultimately, if the price sounds great, but your gut says “no,” you may need to keep searching. After all, your movers are people you need to trust. You’ll be spending a decent amount of time working with them. 

Of course, there may be some bumps down the road, even with a legitimate mover. However, if you choose a reputable mover, they will be professional and helpful throughout any hiccups, and you’ll have an easier time working with them to address any issues.

7 Critical Traits Your Mover Must Have

To recap, these are the top traits you’ll want to look for in a mover. 

1. Professionalism

You deserve a moving company that employs and trains a professional team of:

  •  knowledgeable and genuine sales people
  •  informative and caring account managers
  •  considerate and experienced movers

If any potential moving company falls short, move on.

2. Care with Property

How will you know if your movers will be careful with your items? Ask. This is a good opportunity to ask what measures the moving company takes to ensure the minimizing of damage to your items.

While no mover can guarantee that nothing will be damaged or broken during transit, you should look for teams with a long track record of successful moves, and careful packing processes.

Finding a mover who will treat your property like you’d treat it is a smart way to help yourself feel relaxed and at ease throughout your big move.

3. Experience

Look for someone that’s been handling moves for years, and has an experienced team to support them. Ideally, you should also consider previous customer reviews to be sure that other people have found the company reliable, trustworthy, and dependable.

4. Competitive Prices

Moving shouldn’t destroy your bank account. Shop around for a moving company until you find one who offers competitive prices.

Most movers offer free, upfront estimates, so you’ll be able to figure out what their moving expenses are before you hire them. 

5. Detailed Processes

A long-distance move is a logistical feat. With all this in mind, you’ll want to look for a moving company that offers a highly-detailed process. The moving company should explain various components of their process such as:

  • Quoting and dealing with specialty items
  • The size of the crew
  • Equipment needed
  • Length of time to complete the move
  • What to expect on moving day
  • Your rights as a consumer

If you have questions or concerns, the moving company should be able to address them completely and clearly, in a way you can understand.

6. Reliability

Look for a team that has a long history of providing comprehensive, on-time moving services to customers, and don’t hesitate to ask for references. The best moving companies are proud of their demonstrable liability, and may provide proof in the form of rewards, glowing customer testimonials, and more.

7. Friendly Service

Great teams go out of their way to help you feel comfortable during your move, and to address any questions or concerns you may have. They’re friendly, approachable people with your best interests at heart.

Corporate Moving Company Search

If you’ve been in business for a long time, you know how important customer service and experience is. This is especially true for corporate moving companies.  You know that a good business depends on integrity and communication with its customers. So when it comes to moving your own business, it’s only natural that you expect the same from your corporate moving company.

You’ll want to interview the companies, read reliable reviews about them, and make sure you ask questions about the process.

Interview Process

Here are some of the questions you may want to ask your moving company in order to find out the most crucial answers.

How long have you been in business?

Experience is not necessarily the sign of a good mover, but it’s a positive one, nonetheless. A solid track record shows that the company has pleased customers in the past and should have the know-how to please you as well.

What will my relocation charges be?

When a company relocates locally, the way it is charged depends on the type of move. Local moves are usually charged by man/hour. The cost of long distance moves is determined by the weight of the shipment,  and international moves are charged according to the volume of the shipment.

Pro-Tip: inquire about any additional policies or protection available for your location.

What is your claims procedure and do you have worker’s compensation?

As with most business deals, moving involves two parties, and it’s a good idea to find out which one assumes responsibility in the case that something goes wrong. Even the most trusted companies can’t avoid accidents. It pays to know the extent of a corporate moving company’s claims procedure to make sure that claims are processed efficiently, if and when they need to be filed.

Can I Get a Quote?

The mover’s quote can be given online or over the phone, but only the information in the estimate is legally binding.

When it comes to estimates, there are two types:

Binding estimates mean the movers are required to honor that price. As long as the items on the inventory list match the ones that are going in the truck, a binding estimate will hold.

Non-Binding Estimates are documents with the movers best guess for your total moving cost. The final price is determined by the shipping weight of the load and the services provided.

Can I Read Your Reviews?

At Colonial Van Lines, our customer reviews are not only proof of our quality service, but they also dictate the way we run our company. A company that values its reviews will not hesitate to share them. Always look at customer reviews when hiring your corporate moving company. They’ll show you the company from an outsider’s perspective and should play an important role in your final decision.

Good Questions/Topics to Ask About the Process

A good mover should be able to give you details on everything from its different packing materials to the coverage they carry to the precautions they take during relocation.

Safety: When you ask questions about your move, concentrate on safety. Is the safe relocation of your employees top priority, and do the movers take steps to avoid unnecessary stressors?

Furniture Protection: Find out what the company does to ensure your furniture is protected. Is it safely wrapped in blankets? Is it positioned properly in the moving truck?

Climate Control: If you’re moving your furniture across distances, you may need additional moving services such as packing and storage. Make sure you find out about storage options and whether or not they’re climate controlled to be certain your furniture “weathers “the move.

Relocation Specialist: The hands-down best way to make sure your move runs smoothly is by having a relocation specialist. Relocation specialists are dedicated professionals who will supervise your move at every step of the way to make sure it goes as seamlessly as possible.

At Colonial Van Lines, our relocation specialist will assign you to an account manager to help coordinate your move. You can express your concerns to them and provide them with special details to make your move as individualized as you need it to be.

Plus, expect the relocation specialist to ask a lot of questions as well. Our account manager will need a host of information from you in order to formulate a custom relocation plan tailored to your business, and will keep you and your employees in the loop. The most important part of our corporate relocation is the employers. We want to provide our customers with a feeling of comfort and enjoyment.

Resources and Services

At Colonial Van Lines, our service doesn’t begin when the move starts, nor does it end when the move is over. We provide resources to help you prepare for your move, services to support you during your move, and also make sure you have the tools you need to get you settled in your new neighborhood.

We provide our customers with a moving checklist to help you stay on top of your move, literature on customer’s rights and responsibilities during the move, information on storage services, and even provide resources to find the best schools for your children once you get to your new location.

Come check out Colonial Van Lines for all your corporate moving needs. We’re sure you’ll like doing business with us.