Moving is one of the most stressful events a person can undertake; it’s right up there with divorce and the death of a loved one. No matter how well the move is planned, or how much the move is looked forward to, the law of averages almost demands that something will go drastically wrong at the worst possible moment. One way to at least try to reduce your stress is to find moving services with great references and lots of experience.
There are major differences in moving companies, and depending on your particular needs will depend on what type of companies you should start contacting. Even though costs might be a factor in your decision, don’t let a cheap price be your deciding factor. A large well known company can still cause problems and disappointments.
As you contact companies to get estimates, don’t limit this to phone calls. If moving services can’t come to your home to see what they will be dealing with, don’t use them. Some companies have their phones answered by customer service reps who have never even packed a box in their entire lives, and they are trained to answer questions from a knowledge base. If you have some unique circumstances, you may very well get a quote that can’t be upheld at the last minute.
Also ask how many workers will be showing up. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that two men can’t move an entire house in one day. Add things like an elevator or steep staircases, and it could take an entire day just to load the truck! Get as many men there as you can arrange – it will be cheaper in the long run, especially if you are being charged by the hour.
Ask to see their contract first, then read it thoroughly before signing. Pay close attention to small print. Look for insurance coverage and guarantees. Also look for things like how they charge for overtime if they are basing your estimate on an hourly rate per person. All too often any overtime is the fault of the moving services, not yours. Don’t allow yourself to end up in a position where you are paying hundreds of dollars extra because these guys took off for lunch, delaying the process.
While the moving services are there doing the walk through and formulating the estimate, make sure you ask them questions about how would handle specific issues. Don’t take anything for granted! Anyone with a few muscles can call themselves “moving services”, but if they don’t have common sense, it’s a problem waiting to happen. Ask how they handle rain storms as they are bringing your expensive furniture in and out. What do they do with large expensive pieces of art? Are they experienced with high end electronics and plasma TVs? If they can’t explain in detail how they handle each of the above, find another company.
And finally, be wary of anyone who says they need to paid in cash only. This means they are probably unlicensed to do business and if you have a complaint, there’s not much you can do. Only use a company who takes credit cards.