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You might rank shopping for a mover right up there with watching paint dry, but the modest investment of time and effort required will really pay off on moving day. You’ll enjoy the confidence that comes with trusting your valuable belongings to a reputable company, and comparing bids from multiple service providers will ensure you make the right decision. In this two-part guide, we’ll detail the steps you should take in your journey to find the perfect moving company.
Ask For Recommendations. Once you’ve determined the type of moving help you require, quiz friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents about their experiences. This is an effective way to weed out less reputable companies, and find ones that offer great customer service. Online consumer reviews can also be a useful resource. Don’t rely on websites that offer to find a mover for you, since some of these sites involve numerous scams. Similarly, you shouldn’t use household goods brokerage companies, since they aren’t regulated by the same laws moving companies are required to follow.
Screen Companies. Once you’ve compiled a list of recommended movers, check them out online. Visit bbb.org to see if the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau. The American Moving and Storage Association (moving.org) maintains a list of members who abide by the organization’s published tariffs, and cooperate in its arbitration program. Membership is voluntary, and as long as a moving company has a good reputation, the fact that it isn’t a member shouldn’t rule it out. Visit movingscam.com – a consumer advocacy site – to read reviews of your recommended movers.
Get In-Home Estimates. Request in-home estimates from your three leading recommendations. Any reputable mover will inspect your items in order to provide an accurate estimate. Don’t hire a moving company that tells you they don’t provide in-home estimates. Estimates for interstate moves depend on the weight of the items you’re moving, as well as the trip distance. For in-state moves, laws vary. Some states, like California, require moving companies to provide a binding written estimate. Other states, such as Illinois, prohibit them from doing so. While interstate movers are permitted to charge you for a binding estimate, they are typically offered free of charge.
Give The Estimator A Tour. When the estimator arrives at your home, show him everything you wish to move. Be sure to mention any factors that may complicate the move into your new home, such as stairs or elevators. While the estimator is at your home, take advantage of the opportunity to gather as much information about the company as possible. Ask him how long the company has been in business, and request references. Verify that the company providing the estimate will complete the move, and that they won’t simply contract the job out to another mover. Federal law requires interstate movers to provide you with a guide entitled, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”
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