Tips on How to Pick a Moving Company
When it comes to how to pick a moving company, things can get confusing fast. You may feel like it would be much easier to hire the first moving company you come across. However, because you’re entrusting all of your belongings to the moving company, it is absolutely essential to learn how to pick a moving company that is right for you. Listed below are questions you should ask and resources you should check when learning how to pick a moving company.
Is the moving company reputable?
How to pick a moving company starts with finding a list of companies in your area and narrowing down the search based on whether the company is reputable or not. The easiest way to find a reputable moving company is to ask friends, family members, and coworkers. If you’re working with a real estate agent, he may be able to point you in the right direction.
Even though personal recommendations can be extremely helpful, when figuring out how to pick a moving company, you should also go online. Not only can you read personal reviews of previous customers on various websites, but you can also check with the Better Business Bureau
. If the company has been accredited, you can even see what letter grade they have received and how the company has dealt with complaints in the past.
How to pick a moving company also entails visiting the actual place of business. Reputable moving companies will have a professional location with regular business hours.
Is the moving company licensed and insured?
After you’ve narrowed down your search on how to pick a moving company, you should check to make sure that the company is fully licensed and insured. If you are moving out-of-state, look for a mover that has a U.S. DOT number as issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
. If you’re staying in-state, check to make sure that the companies you’re interested in are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Some of the best moving companies are also accredited with the American Moving & Storage Association
In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates moving companies that operate within the state of California. All moving companies that are legally able to provide service within California must first obtain their license from the California Public Utilities Commission. In order to obtain their license, the moving company is subject to a background check, and they must prove that they have adequate insurance. One of the most important things you can do when learning how to pick a moving company is to check and make sure that the moving company is licensed in the State of California. Fortunately, you can search for licensed moving companies through the Public Utilities Commission website
. You can also give them a call at 800-877-8867.
What you need to know about estimates and rates
Learning how to pick a moving company is especially tricky when it comes to estimates and rates. Before you ask for an estimate, make sure you know exactly what services you require. Are you looking for a mover to pack and moves boxes, or are you willing to pack the boxes yourself? You should also discuss special items, like pianos, and rates based on the distance to be traveled before you get your estimate.
Because moving companies are looking for your business, and they know you might not know how to pick a moving company, they may be willing to provide you with a verbal estimate. Even though this estimate gives you a starting point, verbal estimates are not legally binding or enforceable, which means you may end up paying more in the end. Instead, allow the moving company to visually inspect the items in your home so they can provide you with a binding written estimate.
Don’t limit yourself to just one estimate when figuring out how to pick a moving company. Instead, strive to get at least three written estimates so you can compare services and prices.
The materials used
The materials used during your move are an important aspect of how to pick a moving company. In most cases, packing materials will be included in the price of your written quote. However, you should ask about the kinds of materials they use. Although cardboard boxes are a popular choice, plastic moving boxes are growing in popularity because they are more economical. For example, Boxbee offers reusable moving boxes that don’t require any assembly or breakdown. They also offer eco-friendly packing materials, and the best part is, many moving companies are willing to use their items as long as you pay for them.
Additional charges to consider when learning how to pick a moving company
Beware of additional charges in your search for how to pick a moving company. Make sure the moving company you choose provides you with a “Not to Exceed” price. That way, the rate they quote you in writing will be locked in.
There are additional items and services that can be added onto the total, even if you request a “Not to Exceed” price, which can make learning how to pick a moving company tricky. If your belongings are particularly valuable, you may want to consider purchasing extra protection. Obstacles during your move and heavy items may cost you more, so make sure that you bring these things up with the company before you receive your quote. Although two movers are usually included, most companies are willing to provide up to four movers for an extra fee.
These additional services will be detailed in a document titled “Change Order for Moving Services.” This document will be included in addition to the “Not to Exceed” price. However, this document can only be used for additional services purchased. It can never be used by the moving company as a way to charge additional fees if they underestimate the costs associated with your move.
Lastly, after learning how to pick a moving company, make sure that the company you choose provides you with a Moving Services Agreement, Important Information For Persons Moving Household Goods within the State of California, and an Important Notice About Your Move document stating your “Not to Exceed” price and “Change Order for Moving Services,” if applicable. All moving companies within the state are required to provide you with these documents, as long as they are hired three days or more in advance. These documents provide legally binding information that will ensure that you get the best service possible. At the end of your move, the moving company should also provide you with copies of the completed documents.
If you aren’t satisfied with the quality of the service you received, you can file a complaint online within nine months of your service. You can also file a complaint over the phone by calling 800-366-4782. In addition, it is extremely helpful if you have photographic or video evidence of the condition of your belongings, so consider taking a little time to document your possessions before, during, and after your move.
With these tips, finding out how to pick a moving company is easy after all!
About the author
Boxbee Moving is located in San Francisco, California and offers reusable plastic moving boxes at affordable prices. They offer free delivery and pickup services to more than 60 cities in and around San Francisco. They even offer additional packing and moving supplies