You want to hire quality movers if you are planning to relocate your house, business, or special items, such as antiques, piano, and other valuable goods.
Hiring movers or doing it by yourself will be your main options. However, it is better to hire professional movers for a fast and stress-free relocation. There are dozens of different moving companies near you, but the question is if you are ready to trust your possessions to any of them.
Indeed, some moving companies are not legit, and they can trick or scam you. Especially in big cities like Los Angeles with a population of more than 10 million, because there are so many moves taking place every day, and people are not very careful or not informed well about how to choose a trustworthy mover.
In this article, we will give you 10 tips on how to hire a reputable moving company for your upcoming move.
Ask for recommendations.
The best way to find a quality mover is getting personal recommendations from friends and relatives. If any of your colleagues moved closer to your office, or your uncle or aunt moved to the countryside, ask them about their experience with the movers they hired.
Research moving companies online.
If you couldn’t get any recommendations, try searching the internet for moving companies in your area. Make a list with 3-5 movers, contact them to ask your questions, and get a quote.
Along with receiving feedback from real customers, you should check if the company has a valid license. To do that, simply look up the company’s USDOT number and certification. Also, ask them to provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI), and every insured mover should have this document. We’d like to mention that COI processing will cost a small fee, but it will give you peace of mind.
Check records with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and read online reviews.
Company profile and reviews on platforms such as Yelp, Google My Business, Trustpilot, and others can tell you a lot about them.
Watch out for name changes.
Many fraudulent companies can change their names and keep scamming people. You should check the combination of the company’s information – name, address, phone number, website, and business email should be consistent. If you have time, you can also visit their office at the specified business address and check their equipment.
Hang up if the company says they only provide estimates online or by phone. Reliable moving companies will gladly conduct an on-site estimate to take an inventory of your belongings, check all your rooms and closets, and ask questions about items that will be moved.
Never sign a blank or incomplete contract. All the services, pricing, fees, responsibilities of parties, and pick-up and delivery dates should be included in your contract. Thoroughly read your moving contract and beware of extra charges.
There are 3 types of moving contracts:
A non-binding estimate means a projected cost for your move, it’s not a contracted or guaranteed price. If the services end up totaling less than your estimate, you will pay less than the specified price. If it ends up totaling more than the estimate, you will have to pay more. However, the company cannot charge you for more than 10% above the original estimate. Any outstanding charges must be paid within 30 days of delivery.
A binding not-to-exceed estimate means that you will not pay more than the original estimate. The estimate is the maximum that you will be required to pay.
A binding estimate means a guaranteed price for the move, including all extras and services. If you request additional services, extra fees must be paid within 30 days of delivery.
Moving insurance and valuation protection.
Moving companies are assumed to be responsible for the goods they move. There are two coverage options: full value protection, which is recommended, and alternative level of liability, which is the most economical option but only provides minimal protection.
Don’t leave a large deposit or fully prepay the bill.
It is acceptable if you leave a small deposit, which is up to 10-20% of the estimated price.
Make sure you get a receipt as evidence of a transaction, whether you pay by cash or credit card.
Those are the main things you should pay attention to have a satisfactory experience with the mover you chose. Never ignore red flags, because you may lose your belongings or get scammed if you hire the wrong guys. Start preparing for your move in advance and plan it well.