(Guest post by JK Moving Services)
In August, NBC’s TODAY Show featured a young couple who had a terrible experience moving cross-country. The story mostly focused on the couple’s side of the story, and interestingly, the reporter did not ask the couple how they found this mover.
With this story fresh on our minds, we would like to help New Homes Guide readers avoid a similar situation, with tips on how to evaluate a moving company.
Recommendations from Those Who Know
When seeking a mover, ask your builder or real estate agent for recommendations. They are vested in ensuring the move into your new home goes smoothly. Other sources include neighbors, friends, coworkers, or relatives who have moved recently. First-hand experiences can help save you from a “rogue” mover.
The next step is an online search of your recommended movers. This may seem obvious in today’s digital world, but 15 minutes of online research can save you hours of headaches.
In addition to the movers’ websites, you can also check their standing with the Better Business Bureau. Review sites, like Angie’s List and Yelp, can help inform your decision. Read the reviews, and take special note of the movers’ responses.
Other ways to assess a mover:
- Visit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website to see if the mover is licensed (only applicable to long distance movers).
- Verify the mover is a registered ProMover with the American Moving & Storage Association. Movers in this program have passed a background check and agreed to abide by a code of professional ethics.
In-Home Estimates are Key
Any mover you are considering should offer a free in-home estimate (if they don’t, this may be a red flag); seeing your belongings in-person is vital to creating an accurate estimate. Get estimates from three movers to help you compare the services offered and the pricing to make an informed decision. Estimate formats may vary, so make sure you conduct an accurate, apples-to-apples comparison. Also, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Visit the Mover In-Person
If you can spare the time, it is well worth visiting the mover’s facilities in-person to make these observations:
- Is the warehouse and overall facility neat, clean, and organized?
- How many trucks are in the fleet, and what’s the condition of the trucks?
- Are the employees friendly and helpful?
- Can you take a tour, even unannounced?
These factors will indicate how the moving company will treat your belongings once they are loaded on the truck.
When you meet with the mover’s estimator or sales representative, ask how the crew and drivers are trained. You want to feel comfortable that the crew is made up of experienced, professional movers before they come to your home. You may want to ask:
- Are the employees background checked and drug tested?
- Are employees full-time and do they receive benefits?
- Exactly what is the training protocol?
Know Who to Contact
Prior to moving day, you should know exactly who to contact with questions or concerns. Your estimator or customer service representative should provide specific names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Be wary if you are only offered a toll-free number or a general email address.
No one deserves the nightmare of a poor move experience and we sympathize with the couple profiled by The TODAY Show. As with hiring any contractor or service provider, upfront research can save a lot of heartache later on. Follow these steps, and you should enjoy a successful and smooth move into your new home.
Headquartered in Sterling, Virginia, JK Moving Services has provided local, long distance, and international moving services for residential and commercial customers for more than 30 years. Visit their blog, This End UP, for more tips and resources about creating a worry-free move.