Feedback from people who have used the company are invaluable. While online reviews can easily be found by googling a company, or through review sites like yelp, qype, & MoverReviews.com, speaking with people you know can yield the best results. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family can all be a valuable resource. Ask around to find out which companies have the reputation as the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Though there are many offers for movers online, but it is often in your best interest to establish face-to-face contact with your moving company. This will help you avoid the most common scams. In addition, most companies offer an online estimate, but that number is only a rough idea of the final cost. By working with a company in your area, you can set-up appointments for a house visit to do an in-home estimate that will be far more accurate.
Establish if the company will be doing the move themselves, or if they will be sub-contracting out the job. In general, avoid hiring a moving broker. Most consumer protection laws related to the movement of household goods only apply to Motor Carriers and not to Household Goods Brokers.
Basic Questions to ask during your Meeting:
- How long has your company been in business? While a new company isn't necessarily a bad choice, experience is valuable.
- What is your safety record?
- Can you put me in touch with former customers? Good tour companies should have no problem supplying references.
- What is the full company name, address, phone number, and website?
- What equipment do you provide? How many movers am I guaranteed?
- Can I see proof of your local/interstate/international moving license and insurance?
- What paperwork is necessary? Do they handle customs for all items?
- What is your cancellation and refund policy?
It is advisable to get at least three estimates in writing. A verbal agreement is not enforceable, so make sure to have the estimate and details written down. By comparing multiple estimates, you will find what an average price for your move will really be, and find a company that best matches your expectations. It will also inform you of the different offers and advantages different companies offer. This can provide you room to negotiate with the company of your choice.