Moving companies have a certain way of working in order to achieve the best results for the clients they serve. Here’s a little information about moving companies, how they work, and how you can evaluate them.
One way that good moving companies operate is by taking inventory first. If you see a company that just grabs your stuff in boxes and dumps it into a van, you’ve found a moving company that isn’t going to be very careful with your stuff in general. They should tag everything in terms of weight and contents.
In other words, there should be an estimator looking at everything. If you’re not sure that a moving company has clear procedures for providing estimates, we recommend calling them to check.
Many companies use digital tags to keep track of inventory. This is important for many reasons. First, it helps ensure that they don’t leave anything behind!
But it’s also important that they know where it’s all going, that they have it on the right truck, and that it all makes its way to the destination.
Thirdly, companies tend to charge by weight and bulk, so an estimator should be there to ensure that those charges are fair and accurate.
Finally, digital tags will ensure that fragile items are adequately taken care of.
When an estimator comes to your house, they should do a thorough walk-through. They should ask questions about what you’re taking, what you’re leaving behind, and what you’re donating.
Beware Of Companies That Switch Names
Unprofessional moving companies will often try to change their name when they end up with a poor reputation. This helps them avoid scrutiny from the Better Business Bureau.
By constantly changing their names, these companies can manage their reputation through dubious practices.
In order to make sure a company provides good service, you should check to see if they provide their full name over the phone, and their business address on their website.
Evaluating a company’s transparency is a great way to make sure that they are who they say they are…and that they will do what they say they do.
A Word About Fees
Speaking of transparency, many companies will try to make extra money by slipping in fees. You’ll need to get assurances ahead of time that no company will just magically “forget” about some extra fee that they have to charge you which didn’t come up at all in the beginning.
It can help to get in writing in terms of what the final price will be. Some companies will add extra fees based on how many stories the house is, how far off the ground your apartment is, whether there are elevators or stairs, whether there’s a narrow street that makes it so they can’t fit their van, and so on.
Fees are fine, and just part of how moving companies work, but the problem is when the company isn’t honest about them upfront.
Another important part of the moving business has to do with contracts. The things that are said to be outside of contracts aren’t nearly as important as what is in the contract. Any vague guarantee a company tells you about on the phone isn’t going to be good enough…you’ll need it in writing.
This includes things like a non-binding estimate which makes sure that companies can’t charge more than 10% above what the original estimate was. It also means you have thirty days to pay for any overage.
Alternatively, you have a non-binding to exceed the estimate. This contract means that you won’t have to pay anything over the original estimate at all. You can also get a binding estimate which means that the price is guaranteed specifically for whatever services you’ve agreed upon. Anything extra will have to be agreed upon later, like unpacking. Again, you’ll have thirty days on this.
Reporting and Liability
Moving companies require insurance because they are liable for the damage they incur on your items. It’s important for customers to make sure that this insurance is adequate, and that they understand what sorts of protection are at play and what fees go along with it.