Choosing the Right Residential Mover


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With all the residential movers out there, how do you sort the good ones from the duds? Simply ask your mover the questions below.

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Do you provide a single point of contact?

The answer should be, “yes.” Your moving company should provide you with a single point of contact—a person who will plan every detail of your move, and always be there to answer your questions and concerns.

Are your employees professionally trained?

The answer should be, “yes.” Beware: there are movers out there who use untrained, part-time crews. Make sure your moving company only uses crews that have been trained to move everything but the kitchen sink.

Are your employees full-time?

The answer should be, “yes.” Think about it: having a full-time team move you means that every single member of your crew is a career professional dedicated to the art and science of moving. Their success in the company depends on the success of every single move they make.

Do you perform drug tests and background checks on the moving staff?

The answer should be, “yes.” Drug testing and background checks ensure that every member of your move team is dedicated to moving you and your belongings in the safest manner possible.

Do you own your trucks or are they rentals?

The answer should be, “we own our trucks.” Owning and maintaining trucks in-house gives your moving company the greatest control over the performance of the fleet, reducing the likelihood of breakdown or failure.

Do you keep trucks in reserve for emergencies?

The answer should be, “yes.” Plans change, and things can happen. That’s why you want to make sure that the right moving truck will be on your curb, despite the inevitable happening.

Do you have GPS tracking capabilities?

The answer should be, “yes.” Let’s face it; you can’t always follow along behind your shipment. That’s why every moving truck should come outfitted with GPS devices. That way you can find out where your things are, wherever they are and whenever you want—which will give you peace of mind.

Do you own your storage facilities?

The answer should be, “yes.” Owning the storage facilities gives the moving company the greatest control over how they’re maintained.

How big are the storage facilities?

They should be hundreds of thousands of square feet. The size of the storage facilities will tell you that whether or not the moving company you are hiring is a fly-by-night operation. You want to make sure that they’re the real deal, with large, well-maintained facilities.

Are the storage facilities monitored 24/7?

The answer should be, “yes.” The answer to this question should give you the peace of mind in knowing that your belongings are tucked away safe and sound.

Can I tour the storage facilities?

The answer should be, “yes.” Seeing really is believing here. Don’t be shy about asking for a tour to see where the moving company will store your possessions.

Do you protect floors, walls, and banisters?

The answer should be, “yes.” Your moving company should go out of its way to keep critical areas protected during your move to avoid damage to both your furniture and your property.

Do you stretch-wrap the upholstery?

The answer should be, “yes.” A piece of furniture properly wrapped in stretch wrap will be protected from the elements, and will lessen the likelihood of your furniture getting stained or damaged.

Will you provide full service packing?

The answer should be, “we can.” Typically, full service packing is an additional charge. But when you rely on a professional to do your packing, you can rest assured that your belongings will arrive at your new destination intact.

Can I pack my boxes if I wish?

The answer should be, “yes.” Just know that if you pack your own boxes, the moving company is not accountable for any damage that might occur to items while in transit.

Do you move locally, nationally, and internationally?

Some moving companies do and some do not. It just depends on the move and the moving company’s authority.

How many people will you send for my move?

A professional mover with a good amount of experience should be able to answer this question based on how much you’re moving, and what your space looks like.

Are you licensed for out of state and international moves?

Movers can go wherever they have the authority to do so. If a mover doesn’t have the authority to move to another state, they might contract your move to a supplier who does.

Will you guarantee the date and start time for my move?

The answer should be, “yes.” The last thing you want is to be stuck waiting on the curb. Make sure you hire a mover who knows the value of your time. A diligent moving company will reserve extra trucks, drivers, and crew members in case something happens or changes so that you’ll never have to wait.

Do you provide onsite estimates?

The answer should be, “yes.” The only way to get an accurate estimate is to see your space and your belongings. For example, your mover will need to take into account if you live in a house with narrow hallways and stairways, on a narrow street. If a mover tries to give you an estimate over the phone, move away, fast! Also, beware of the flat-rate estimate. It may have hidden charges that will run up your final cost.

Do you provide insurance?

The answer should be, “we provide valuation.” Valuation is defined as the worth or value of your shipment. A basic level of valuation is included in your move. In the event that anything is lost or damaged, each article is covered for 60 cents per pound, or $50 per article (whichever is less). Give this option careful consideration: while the basic level is the most economical, it only provides minimal protection. You might also be able to purchase more complete coverage through your mover. This option does have deductiblesso be sure to ask your mover.

What is the average number of days to settle a claim?

The answer should be, within 30 days. JK’s policy is to settle residential moving claims within 30 days of being submitted, and we frequently settle within 14 days.

What is the overall impression of the moving professional representing the company?

Does the person giving you the estimate seem like they what they're talking about? Does he or she talk circles around you, or take the time to explain things to you? Do you feel like your concerns and what matters most to you are being heard and understood? When it comes to this answer, go with your gut—it’s usually right.

Do you have customer references and testimonials I can see? The answer should be, yes.

If you have narrowed down your choices, talk to people who have worked with the moving companies in the past. Former clients are the best judge of a moving company’s work.

What percent of your work is referral based?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question. If a moving company averages a 90% or above referral rating, you know that the company is going the extra mile to make every customer happy.

 





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