Planning for a move can be stressful. You will need to make many decisions, such as where and when you would like to move, what you need to move, and how you will get your belongings from point A to point B.
During this time, the last thing you want to worry about is choosing the wrong moving company.
Below is a list of the best, most important questions to ask movers. Get the information necessary to make an educated decision when it comes to using the best moving company for your big day.
15 Questions to Ask Movers Before Hiring One
1. When was your moving company established?
Moving companies that have been around for a while will typically know quite a bit about moving. An established company with longevity is important because they have also likely maintained their reputation.
While it’s easier to trust an established business, we’re not telling you to forgo new moving companies. We were once new ourselves. Everyone has to start somewhere. But, definitely use your common sense and be aware that there may be some rookie mistakes with newer companies.
To help you decide if you should stick with a more established company or put your faith in a new moving company, ask for references. New or old, a company should be able to give you at least a small list of references.
2. Are you a licensed moving company?
The last thing you want to worry about is being scammed. Therefore, you should undoubtedly ask moving companies if they’re licensed. If they tell you they are, but you are still concerned about the company being truthful, there is a way to check for yourself.
When moving between states, or interstate moving, all professional moving companies MUST be licensed by the US Department of Transportation. You can easily find their USDOT number (license number) and if they have a complaint history online.
However, if you’re moving within your state (instate) licensing requirements vary by state, so you may have to do a bit more digging to find out if your movers of choice are licensed or regulated.
Local movers in Colorado are expected to be registered with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Do not hire a company that cannot provide you with the necessary credentials for their licensing. Yes, it may be a pain, but doing some legwork can save you significant time and energy. Putting in the extra work is far less painful than what could happen if you fall victim to a scam.
(Road Scholars’ HHG license number is 00107).
3. Are you a ProMover or a BBB member?
The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) has created a ProMover certification program that promises that all of the moving companies involved have been background checked and have agreed to follow AMSA’s Code of Ethics.
ProMovers use moving best practices to get the job done properly and ethically.
Belonging to one or both of these groups lets you know that you’re getting a trusted and reputable moving company that understands the importance of being dependable.
4. How much experience do the movers have?
Experience is essential in every field; therefore, it makes sense that you would ask about the moving crew. Your belongings are special to you and also likely have a monetary value. You deserve to know who will be handling these items. Don’t be afraid to ask this question.
Find out if the employees are full-time and if they’ve been with the company for a while. Full-time workers usually go through a training course and are given background checks.
It’s probably best that you don’t hire temporary workers because they don’t have the training that permanent workers do.
Temporary workers are not as experienced and may not be familiar with your specific type of move. In contrast, full-time workers have probably seen and done it all. Such as climbing multiple stories and steep stairs, dealing with having no elevators, small doorways or other tight areas, and parking restrictions.
Using professional and experienced packers and movers is key to a successful move.
5. Do you have the proper equipment for my type of move?
Do you have antiques, large pieces, art, a piano? Be sure your chosen moving company is aware of any unique, large, or difficult pieces you will be moving, so they can let you know if they have the necessary equipment to provide a safe move for all of your items.
This is another reason you should only use a trained and experienced crew. They’ll know how to use the right materials when packing and moving, as well as how to handle the really heavy stuff, like televisions, pool tables, pianos, or hot tubs.
You want a company that can guarantee a large enough truck for all of your items and that has enough dollies and tools to get your belongings moved safely and promptly.
6. Do you offer any other services to benefit my move?
Sometimes moving companies offer extra moving essentials that can benefit you. Ask what they can offer you, such as:
- Furniture disassembly/assembly
- Packing and unpacking
- Packing materials like boxes and bubble wrap
- Loading and unloading
- Custom crating
- Transportation for specialty items like pianos and hot tubs
- Vehicle shipping
- Cleaning services
7. Do you offer on-site estimates?
If they are given enough time before the move, most movers should be able to come to your home or business and give you an accurate quote.
However, many movers are capable of giving phone quotes, as well. If you want a phone quote, be sure to provide the movers with as much detailed information as you can. Such as inventory and every address involved in the move.
If the movers have to make multiple stops and collect items from several places, it could cost extra. So be sure to find out.
8. What are your hidden costs?
It’s best just to lay it out there and ask right from the get-go. No one likes sneaky and hidden charges, especially after an already pricey move.
Some movers may charge you for super-heavy, bulky items. Or you may find a special fee for stairs or elevators. If your movers have to park farther away, you could see a fee for carrying items a long distance.
If you need to go over in your storage will they charge you, if you want it express delivery, what’s the cost? Are you paying the movers for a certain number of hours? If they go over, will there be an overtime fee?
Be sure to get these questions out of the way before you sign any contracts.
9. What payment methods do you accept?
Reputable moving companies accept credit cards and cashier’s checks. If a mover is asking you for cash, it may be a scam. Scammers will typically offer low estimates and ask to be paid in cash.
The problem with paying in cash is that you will have no record of paying the mover, and your payment can’t be disputed as it can be with a credit card.
10. What is your cancelation policy?
Life happens, and sometimes plans must change. Maybe you are no longer moving, or you have to change your moving date. If this happens, you will need to know what your moving company’s cancelation policy is and if you will be charged a cancelation fee.
Some companies will let you cancel your moving appointment free of charge if you do so far ahead enough of schedule. However, most will keep all or at least a part of your deposit.
11. Does your moving company offer valuation?
The standard coverage to cover loss or damage is 60 cents per pound per article, and it comes free with your move.
Ask your Denver moving company if you can get Full Value protection, which means should a devastating event happen and you lose any or all of your items, you’ll get the replacement value of each of those things.
12. How are my things protected?
Finding out how the movers will handle your belongings may be exactly the thing that gives you peace of mind during your move.
Don’t settle for, “Don’t worry, we got this.” If you need to ask specific questions to get your specific answers, fire away.
Ask for the details of how they’ll handle your electronics, art, or your appliances. You have a right to know, and any comfort offered during the time of a move is appreciated. If you’re not happy with the answers to your questions, you know the company isn’t for you.
13. How long will the move take?
It’s essential to know how long the move will take so that you can make proper arrangements. You may want to have someone there with you or maybe you need a sitter for your children or pets. You may even need to reserve parking spots or an elevator.
Having a timeframe will help you prepare for yourself and the movers, making everyone’s life easier who is involved in the move.
When asking how long the move should take, you will also want to determine if you will be charged for overtime.
14. Do I need to give a deposit?
More than likely you will. Most moving companies will want a deposit, for the same reason most companies and industries require one.
If you back out last minute, movers can be compensated. Backing out last minute means that their schedule has been disrupted, and they have missed out on a day’s pay when they could have been moving someone else.
Because all companies manage their bookings and deposits differently, ask upfront if they take a deposit and how much it will be.
With that said, you should never pay all costs upfront. That is a red flag, and you should look for another moving company.
Typically, your deposit should be around 25% of your move. It would be in your best interest to avoid companies who charge more than this.
Only pay the full amount after the job has been completed and you know your items aren’t damaged or missing.
15. What if I have a complaint?
If you’re unsatisfied with any part of your moving experience, you should know precisely how to handle it. If you need to make a complaint or if you have a dispute, most professional movers have some type of protocol in place.
There are also laws to ensure problems are resolved between movers and customers regarding property loss or damage and unfair pricing. Don’t be shy about asking what programs the moving company has in place to be sure your issues are handled efficiently and fairly.
Now you have the most important questions to ask movers. If you can get great responses to all of these (not just some, but ALL), then you’ve got yourself a stellar moving company.
If you have any questions about moving, contact us. We’re happy to help.