Mike Carswell

Moving: Questions to Ask Your Moving Company...
 
Moving: Questions to Ask Your Moving Company...
Relocation.com Staff

By Relocation.com Staff
 
Once you narrow down your search for moving companies to three or four, you will want to have them come to your home to give you an in-home visual estimate.

Having movers look at your stuff in person is the only way you can be sure you'll get accurate moving quotes -- insist they come to your home.

And when they're there, the questions you ask them -- and the answers you receive -- will help you pick the best one: a knowledgeable, meticulous moving company estimator likely works for a moving company that is professional and will do a good job for you. 

Here are some of the more important questions to ask:

1. For how long have you been giving moving quotes?

You want to be sure the person giving you quotes is knowledgeable about all aspects of moving.  Were they a driver before being an estimator?  What other parts of the company do they have experience with? The more experienced they are, the more comfortable you will be with your moving quote. If they're evasive in any of their answers, take that as a warning sign.

2. What are my options for pricing? 

Moving quotes are not the easiest to understand, so you want someone who takes the time to explain your options -- and you need to feel comfortable with their explanation. If your estimator rushes through the explanations, you should be concerned -- it might be reflective of how the moving company will handle your move.
 
3. When will I get my stuff?

There are a lot of moving parts to your move, so it's hard to be precise about when you'll get your stuff, particularly if you're moving in the busy season in the summer. So make sure the answer is realistic, and they're not just telling you something you want to hear. Most moving companies will give you a couple of days leeway on the delivery date.

4. I have a very important object to move, how will you handle it?

You might be moving something valuable, or large and difficult-to-handle. Ask how it will be moved. It's a test of the moving estimator's knowledge, and another test for how you will be treated during the move.

If you just get a 'trust us' answer, vs. a thoughtful explanation, be wary. Remember, you'll be dealing with this moving coming before, during and after your move, so make sure your comfort level is high.

5. How long has your company been in business?

Moving companies come and go, so aim for one that's around awhile, like 10 years. Bad companies don't last long in the moving industry, so if they've been around for a number of years, they're doing something right.
 
6. Do you have references from businesses in the area?

Many people will ask for references, but what mover is going to give you a lousy reference? However, if the moving company does a lot of repeat relocation work for a particular business, that's a good sign.
 
The interview's an important part of the moving company selection process, but also keep in mind these other criteria for choosing a moving company:

* Beware someone who gives you a much lower price than the others. That's a common tactic for rogue moving companies -- they low-ball the bid to win your business, and then jack up the costs later.

* Get your estimate in writing and make sure it matches everything you've discussed.

* Check out your moving company at protectyourmove.gov -- you're looking at the company's complaint record, whether it has proper licensing, its number of trucks (should have more than a couple), and whether it has a local address.