Hiring a moving company is an act of trust. You are literally putting everything you own in the hands of strangers and trusting them to transport all your belongings from one place to another. Choosing which company to trust can seem overwhelming, esp. in light of all the moving horror stories you’ve likely heard from the news, on the internet, and from family and friends.
How do you know which company to use? Only you can decide which company in your area best suits your specific moving requirements. However, in the course of evaluating different companies — and you should get bids and information from at least three different movers before making your final choice — there are a number of factors to consider. Any company worth hiring will meet these requirements.
- Company has been in business for at least 10 years (or owners/managers of the company have equivalent experience)
- The company conducts an in house audit in order to create your estimate.
- They are willing to provide you with the following information: company name (including any DBA names), address, phone numbers, website, email, license numbers for Department of Transportation (DOT), and Motor Carriers (MC), and insurance information.
- You are allowed to visit and inspect their facility and trucks before making your decision.
- They provide current references that are easy to reach (i.e., real people not just referrals to review sites)
- The company provides a detailed agreement for services that clearly spells out what they will — and won’t — provide, if they use subcontractors, what your responsibilities will be during the move, itemized costs and fees as well as any penalties, and what recourse you have in case of problems or emergencies. This is especially important if the move will take place over weekends or holidays.
- The agent or manager answers all your questions clearly and in a timely manner.
It will be up to you to take the information gleaned from interviewing the company to evaluate their bids. Be sure to call all references and ask specific questions. Check their DOT and MC numbers with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Visit trusted review websites and look at the write-ups, not just the overall ranking. Use state corporation records to verify the company’s name, ownership, and how long they’ve been in business.
This evaluation process will take some time, so don’t wait until the last minute to start your search. Arm yourself with the right data and be willing to do the research. That is the best way to ensure that you choose the right moving company.