The 6 Fundamental Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Moving Company
March 16, 2017
Millions of moves take place every year in the United States. We see our fair share of those moves here in Sussex County, NJ. With such a large quantity, it seems like a minor miracle that most of them go smoothly with no issues whatsoever. But even with so many smooth moves, shoddy jobs and overcharging can still occur. The Better Business Bureau receives thousands of complaints about movers in the United States each year. According to the BBB, most complaints stem from alleged lost or damaged property, but charging for un-worked hours, arriving late and not honoring estimates also make the list. The best way to ensure your move is a positive experience is to hire a quality moving company. Proper equipment, considerable experience, and straightforward approach are what you should be looking for when choosing the best moving services for you. So how do you know that is what you are getting? Here are our top questions to ask before hiring a moving company.
Do you work directly for the moving company or are you a broker?
Brokers can play an important role in helping customers match up with moving companies. But, moving brokers are just sales companies that book and coordinate your move, selling the actual job to real professionals. A broker cannot give you a binding estimate and a broker is not responsible for loss or damage. They also charge a commission that comes out of your pocket.
Is Your Company Properly Licensed and Accredited?
Any moving company that is a member of the American Mover and Storage Association (AMSA) guarantees compliance with the federal laws which means that your move is in good hands and your items will be handled safely and with great care. Membership in the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is another proof of reliability and professionalism.
Do You Have the Required Equipment?
Some moving jobs require more than just the right size of moving truck and several dollies. Equipment can include hoisting equipment or any other special gear that your particular situation may necessitate. Some companies outsource sub-contractors to perform a part of the job. If they do be sure to request references and check their background on this company as well.
Do You Provide an On-Site Binding Written Estimate?
Quotes given online or over the phone are just that, a quote. A company should send a representative over to your place to perform an on-site visual estimate. Request a binding written estimate from the company to make sure they do not exceed the price they offered. Be sure to give movers precise information and be specific about your particular requirements before receiving the final offer. The written estimate should include the name, telephone number and address of the company, all of the charges and should also specify the payment method and the agreed time frame of your move – be sure to obtain a copy.
How Much Do You Charge for Extra Services?
Extra services can vary widely from company to company and job to job. Find out what is and is not included in your estimate like fees for disassembling furniture, handling awkward items, and traveling to and from your house. Discuss all these matters with them before you commit and try to avoid as many of these charges as you can with proper preparation (packing items yourself, getting your new home ready, whatever you can).
How Much of a Deposit Do You Require and What Is Your Cancellation Policy?
A moving company should not request a deposit that exceeds 20 % of the total moving cost. Make sure that your deposit is refundable in case something happens and you need to cancel the move or change the date. Also, inquire about their policies regarding reimbursement if the company fails to complete your move or to appear on the agreed moving date. When you do pay, be sure you can use a credit card to help protect you from possible fraudulent activity.
In addition to asking these key questions, be sure to request a list of references. Ask for a list of three customers from your area who have moved in the past three months. Interviewing a moving company not only uncovers a wealth of knowledge about their fees and practices and helps prepare you for moving day, but it can save you from a huge hassle in the long run. Whether you need some temporary storage space to prepare for a move, or something more permanent, remember that AA1 is a reputable local company that has some of the best priced Sparta, NJ storage units around. Look no further than here!
AA1Self Storage provides self storage, storage units, moving storage, and secure storage in Southern, Ogdensburg, New Jersey