Moving is an arduous task in and of itself. The last thing you need is to worry about whether or not your stuff will actually make it to your new home on the other side of the country. Figuring out whether or not a moving company is reputable and qualified isn’t always an easy task, though. Thankfully, you do have options when it comes to determining your chosen company’s reputation, and ways of putting your mind at ease as you make your way across the nation.
Scout for Reviews
One of the best ways to find the perfect moving company and to find the peace of mind you’ll need to send them across the country with all of your belongings is to figure out what others have to say about their services. Ask around town, ask any friends that have had an experience with a particular company and search for reviews online. Be sure the reviews you look at are not all on the website of the moving company itself, and that the information on unbiased sites is just as positive. It’s not difficult to cherry-pick testimonials for a promotional website, but having a negative review removed from a third-party site is almost impossible. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth, either. If your mom’s neighbor used the moving company you’re looking into and half of his stuff got damaged, then you might want to reconsider. On the other hand, if your best friend’s roommate hired a moving company that was efficient and affordable, they may be the ideal choice.
Figure Out How They Charge
If the moving company you’re considering hiring only charges per mile, they may not actually specialize in cross-country or long-distance moves. If they are legitimate movers, they should either charge per pound or by how much space your stuff will take up in the trailer. Some will give discounts if you fill up the whole trailer, or if you’re willing to have other people’s stuff moved at the same time if those people are going in the same direction as you. Don’t worry, though; your stuff shouldn’t be left behind for those other people to enjoy, and you shouldn’t receive random pieces of someone else’s furniture. Instead, the company will keep these items separated by belts and with different colored stickers. For example, your things will have yellow stickers whereas the other person’s stuff may have green. Either way, determining how you’ll be charged for the move can give you an idea of the company’s reliability and experience in the realm of long-distance moves.
Find Out How They Intend to Bill You
No legitimate moving company should ever ask for a cash payment up front, and those that do may very well be fraudulent. You could potentially lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars as all of your belongings disappear into the night. One option is to put down some cash up front as a deposit, with the remainder to be paid after safe delivery, but overall, the best thing to do is hold off on any payment until you’ve received all of your stuff at the new location.
Ensure That They’re Insured
Make sure the company you’re looking into has insurance. While the chances of something happening to your stuff are slim, you want to make sure it will be covered in the event of an accident. If the truck overturns on the highway and your piano fell onto the pavement, the company would cover the cost of repair or replacement. Not only will you be left with no recourse for damages from an uninsured company, but a lack of proper insurance is a good indicator that you’re working with a slipshod, fly-by-night operation. Reputable cross-country movers will always carry the proper insurance.
Check Them Out With The Better Business Bureau
The purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to inform the public about companies that are not up to par when it comes to standards of operation and customer service. They keep companies ethical. If the company has a low rating with the BBB, you probably want to steer clear.
Compare and Contrast
Don’t go with the first company you come across because you don’t want to spend too much of your time searching for the right company. It’s worth the time and effort to find one that’s right for you. One company may offer a better deal than another, but you’ll never find that out if you don’t give the situation its due diligence. Chances are, there are several moving companies in your area. Have them each give you estimates, and ask them how long it might take for them to load the truck, deliver and unload. It might take one company a week to go cross country while another promises to deliver within four days. You don’t want your stuff roaming around the country for an extra three days if it isn’t necessary.
Don’t fall prey to a moving company that will run off with your things or damage half of your valuables. Instead, take a few moments to really think about which company will help you the most and give you the best deals. Just because they call themselves “qualified” doesn’t mean that they actually are, so look into your chosen company and make sure that you’re making an informed choice.