Ask questions when hiring a professional moving company
Ask anyone who's survived the moving experience. Hiring a moving company isn't something you can take lightly. You've heard the horror stories about broken TV screens, scuffs on the freshly painted walls, chips on the banister, gashes on the chair legs, grease-stained sofas and dirty footprints on the plush carpeting. It's tempting to get caught up in the dollar figure you receive from a moving company, but the ultimate determinant of your move is the level of customer service that moving company brings you. Particularly if you're moving cross-country, moving is a process riddled with potential potholes - disastrous scenarios in which your furniture or even your new home suffers damage, and your bank account is depleted drastically.
When it comes time to hire a moving company, you've got to be prepared to become a sleuth, an undercover agent, so to speak. Arm yourself with questions, and interview your prospects before you leap upon a "great deal." Don't just interview moving companies, either. While you'll certainly find plenty of reputable and conscientious moving companies out there, you'll find some others who aren't so savory - who will tell you what you want to hear. After all, what company would say, "Well, yes, we did drop a priceless heirloom once ... and there was also that time when the back door of the van dropped open and we lost a sofa, but other than that, we've got a terrific track record."
Make sure that every mover you interviewed is licensed with the state Department of Transportation and/or Interstate Commerce Commission. And call your local Better Business Bureau to find out if any of the movers you're considering have "rap sheets" of customer complaints. You'd be very, very wise to ask for references from each company with whom you speak. And, of course, if you have friends or family in the area who have used the services of a moving company, ask them for a candid recap. Did the crew work as quickly and efficiently as they could, or did your neighbor catch Lenny lounging on the job?
Be sure to ask all of your references such questions as:
Did the crew show up at the time agreed upon in your contract?
Did the reference's contract contain a specific clause regarding compensation received for any damage incurred to the customer's possessions by moving crew?
How closely did the crew adhere to the time estimate outlined in your estimate?
Did the reference receive a binding or nonbinding estimate? If the estimate was nonbinding, how close did the crew come to sticking with that figure? Did they exceed it by a large margin, and if so, why?
Was the crew friendly? Enthusiastic? Willing to move everything without complaint? Or did they put up verbal obstacles, such as "That's too heavy" or "We don't dismantle furniture"?
Did the crew wrap your items well and transport them with care?
Did the crew have all of the necessary equipment they needed to move the customer's possessions, or did they add needless time onto the move while they "tracked down" necessary packing materials and other moving aids?
Did the moving crew have a clear idea of their directions to the new residence? Did they arrive at the customer's new residence on time? If they experienced any delays, did they contact the customer to explain why? Did they charge the customer more as a result of that unforeseen delay?
Did any of your possessions suffer damage before, during or after transport (going from the truck to your new home)? If the answer is yes, how extensive was the damage? Did the movers own up to the damage when your reference brought it to their attention? Did they offer to compensate the customer, or did they deny responsibility?
After you've interviewed the references of about four moving companies, narrow down your choice to two or three, and begin the process of receiving estimates for your move.
Courtesy of Divine Moving & Storage ltd. http://www.divinemoving.com