The key to a great moving day is the moving estimate. All in all, most reputable moving companies, in the end, provide the same service at about the same cost. Where they differ is in the quality of service. And how you can glean this information is through the moving estimate.
Scam movers are notorious for giving you what I term the "no estimate estimate." Meaning that they will only estimate your move over the internet or over the phone, for an unusually low ball price. They will never come to your home. Reputable movers will come to your home to give you an estimate. Sure, on the smaller, more routine moves, they will bid the move over the phone, but NEVER the larger ones.
The moving estimate is where you can interview each potential mover. By asking the right questions and getting the answers from each mover will help you in determining the right mover for you and to help avoid the moving scams. The questions that you should minimally ask for a successful moving day are:
- Is this the actual moving company or a brokerage?
- Who will be my contact in case of questions or concerns?
- How do you determine the cost of the move?
- How do price additional services?
- How do increased valuation affect the moving estimate?
- Is this estimate based on weight or volume?
- What is the exact full name of your business
- How long have you been in business?
- What is your company's website and email address?
- Do you own or lease your own vehicles?
- What type of vehicles do you use? Box truck? Semi? Pick-up and trailer?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- What is the coverage of the insurance?
- What are your US DOT and MC numbers?
- Do you have references that I may see?
- Are you members of the BBB, Chamber of Commerce, or Other industry affiliations?
- Are your estimates binding or non-binding?
- Do you give flat rate estimates or by the hour?
- Do give discounts for seniors, military or students?
- Are there any other discounts?
Once you are given your estimate, take the time to look it over. Never sign anything until you have read and understood the agreement and all your questions have been answered. In my company I write up the estimate and then hand it over to you, I never ask for a signature locking you in.
Before you sign any agreement locking you in to any mover make sure that you have considered all your moving estimates, then sign the estimate/agreement for the moving company that you choose. Lastly, the moving company should be engaged in questions of their own during the moving estimate process. And be leery of moving company's that only say "yes, we can do that." No they can't. Not all the time. And these questions are the key to a successful moving day.