How to Choose a Moving Company

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A little nervous about hiring some fly-by-night moving company to transport all your earthly possessions to a new home? Follow these steps to finding a reliable moving company and a little peace of mind.

Things You'll Need

Instructions

  1. Choose the kind of mover you need, such as a relocation service, interstate moving company, local mover, pack-and-stack service, household shipper or trucking service.

  2. Talk to friends, neighbors and co-workers for personal recommendations and warnings.

  3. Call several of the recommended companies. Ask how long these companies have been in business, how much experience their packers and drivers have, if they offer storage and, if necessary, if they're licensed for interstate transport.

  4. Verify that the mover is licensed and regulated. You can inquire from state agencies that regulate transportation services, or look in the phone book under a Public Utility Commission (PUC) or Department of Transportation (DOT).

  5. Ask if the mover is a member of a trade organization, such as the American Movers Conference. This will be helpful if you have to resolve a dispute.

  6. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see whether any complaints have been filed against the company.

  7. Narrow your choices down to a few companies and ask for estimates.

  8. Choose a mover.

Tips & Warnings

  • Estimates can be either binding (you cannot be required to pay more than the amount of the estimate) or nonbinding (costs may run as high as an additional ten percent). You should receive a written contract in either case.
  • Many moving companies offer more than one service to customers. You can divide needed services among several companies with the best prices, or you can have one company do it all.
  • Be assertive when asking questions. If the company representative isn't friendly and helpful on the phone, call someone else.
  • Watch out for hidden costs, which may include packing fees, packing materials, insurance, preparation of appliances, disassembly of beds and other furniture and storage fees.

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