As you may know, summertime is when many folks choose to move. And with Memorial Day upon us, today we’ll provide you with some of our best advice. Today’s post is the courtesy of our very own Rory Crawford, one of our expert Sales Consultants from JK’s Maryland office.
Moving is one of the most stressful things that people do, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are steps you can take to choose the right mover, ensuring that your experience will be positive.
Some part of your decision to use a particular mover will be subjective. After all, the estimator or moving consultant represents their company, so it’s reasonable to base part of your decision on their appearance, knowledge, and professionalism. However, you should also do your homework: check out your potential mover through their website, through various social media sites, through the Better Business Bureau, through impartial sites that rate movers or, even better, through referrals from friends, neighbors, and real estate agents.
Budget will also be a consideration, and in this case, it’s as true for movers as it is for anything – you usually get what you pay for. Price should be balanced along with the quality and reputation of the mover and the services they have included in the estimate.
Here are some of our best tips to avoid mover scams:
- Get at least three written estimates from reputable companies. Helpful hint: a certified ProMover abides by an established set of professional standards, set by AMSA, the moving industry’s professional association.
- Avoid movers who are only internet-based (i.e., they don’t have a physical operation or place of business) or those who are unwilling to come to your home to conduct an in-person estimate or survey.
- Do your “due diligence,” and check your movers’ references out before you select one.
- Avoid interstate estimates based on cubic footage, rather than by weight. By weight is best because it can be verified, and also, by federal law, prices for interstate moves must be based on weight.
- Don’t choose the mover simply because they quote the lowest price.
- Compare your estimates line-by-line to make sure each one is based on similar weights, crew size, and hours, and includes the same services.
- Avoid movers who demand a large deposit or cash to hold your moving date. A nominal deposit of 10% or less is customary.
- Read all the literature given to you at the time of your estimate, especially the brochure entitled, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” which is published by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Almost everyone wants to move in the late spring and summer, because kids are out of school. Consequently, movers are extremely busy during the months of June, July, and August. Below are a few helpful hints to ensure a smooth move this summer:
- Avoid moving during peak periods (the last 10 days of any summer month), if possible.
- There’s no such thing as a silly question. If the moving company is unwilling or unable to answer your questions, this should raise a red flag.
- Confirm that your moving company employs full-time, trained crews. After all, these are your most precious possessions they will be handling.
- Choose to take the valuation coverage, which provides full value replacement of your possessions.
- Visit the mover’s facilities. The way a warehouse is kept says a lot about a moving company.
- It’s hot out there, so water or sports drinks will be appreciated by your moving crew, and be on-hand to answer the crew’s questions on your move day.
A few hints that are particularly important for Interstate moves:
- Make sure to read the “Your Rights and Responsibilities” brochure.
- Make sure your mover has interstate rights and has an ICC number.
- Understand the concept of delivery spreads and get yours in writing (i.e., a window of dates of when your shipment will be delivered to your new home).
- Make sure you and your driver know how to reach each other.
- Get a copy of your inventory, and check it thoroughly at delivery.
- Make note of any issues (like lost or damaged items) on the driver’s paperwork immediately, if noticed, and file for any claims as soon as possible after the move.
After the move is done:
- If you’re happy – let people know – write an email or a letter praising good service. Refer your mover and your moving consultant to your friends, family and coworkers.
- Please take the time to respond to the mover’s surveys – it’s how we get learn and improve our service!