1. What Is Their Online Reputation?
When deciding on which moving company to choose, it is important to do as much research as possible. Every company you call will assure you they are the best company in town. Fortunately, there are great review sites such as Google and Yelp where real people can let you know their experience with the company you are considering.
2. Are Their Movers Employees or Contractors?
Knowing whether or not the company you are considering uses contractors or employees is a big factor in determining your move. Many companies use contracted employees to service customers in order to cut down on company expenses. When a company uses a contracted crew, many times the helper is someone that is hired through the driver for the day. This means that the company doesn’t even know the name of the actual helper. If they don’t know a name, then they surely didn’t complete a background check. Make sure you choose a company that fully employs there movers. This ensures you have experienced, trained, moving professionals moving your priceless items and not just some random person.
3. Are They Members of AMSA?
The American Moving and Storage association is the official certified organization for the Moving and Storage Industry. All professional moving companies should be certified through AMSA in order to maintain up to date training and certifications within the Moving and storage industry. If a company is not registered through AMSA then you may want to stay away.
4. What is their Valuation vs. Insurance policy?
Everyone should know to ask if a company is licensed and insured. However do you know what that really means? Most people don’t. The truth is moving companies should have Valuation Options as well as being licensed and insured. Just because a company is insured doesn’t mean that your precious items are protected. The right question to ask is, “Can you inform me about your valuation options as well as your insurance policies?”
Click on the following link to read about valuation rules and what your mover is required to offer you in the case of damages according to the Federal Motor and Safety Administration.
5. Can I get a copy of your COI?
Ask the company for a copy of their Certificate of Insurance. This will provide you with the name of their insurance company and evidence in case the company is lying to you about coverage. A moving company should have the following insurance coverages before you select them as your company of choice: Auto, Cargo, General Liability, and Workers’ Compensation. Each type of insurance is important to you as a consumer.
Auto – Of course your movers needs auto coverage. If their truck is in an accident during the transport of your goods, it will be a while before you receive your items as it is against the law to drive a commercial vehicle with no insurance.
Cargo – This coverage protects your items while in transit from point A to Point B. Anything can happen while your valuables are on the back of the box truck. If the truck were to flip over on the interstate in an accident, your items will more than likely be completely damaged. In this case, the cargo insurance would cover your loss.
General Liability – This coverage protects you in the case of an accident that causes damage to your property such as damage to the internal or external structure of the house. For example, if the movers truck were to accidently back into the house taking out the whole front porch and door, this would be filed under the company’s general liability policy.
6. Do They Offer Workers Compensation?
The answer to this question is very important to know. If a company tells you yes, ask them to provide you with a certificate of insurance copy. If they say no, RUN! Did you know that if a mover is not covered under workman’s compensation by the company he works for, then the customer can be deemed liable for any injury that happened within their home.
7. What Is There BBB Rating?
The BBB is a source to reference credible moving companies. This helps you determine how a company handled disputes with customers in the past. Any company that has less than an A rating, you should be cautious about. Make sure to read into the disputes. This is a great way to check to see if a company’s price matches their service. If a company is boasting their cheap prices, the BBB may help you determine why their prices are so low.
8. Are They Members Of The Local Chamber?
It is always good to know that the service you are using is credible. The Chamber of Commerce is a good way to find credible companies. This always gives you another reference to reach out to in case the move didn’t go as well as you pleased
9. Where is the office located, what is the size of their staff?
Knowing the location of your company of choice is important. Are they working out of their home, out of an office, or just renting trucks as they receive the job? Do they have a storage facility and extra services? And are they fully staffed? These are questions that can help you determine what type of company you are working with. It is important to know where the company is located in case you have to stop by and speak with a manager about something that might not have went as you expected. Also, if a company doesn’t have an office then where do they train their movers? The answer is they probably don’t. As a customer, make sure that the size of their staff is large enough to provide you with the customer service you prefer. Many moving companies are hard to get in touch with throughout the day. When moving, you want to make sure that the company you are using is available at all times to answer your questions or provide you with additional services if needed. Don’t make a stressful situation tougher by hiring someone you can’t communicate with when you need to.
10. What Happens If The Estimated Is More Than What Was Agreed Upon?
There is a rule called 110% rule. This means that a company cannot require a customer to pay the day of service more than 10% over the estimated quote given to them when they set their move up. The movers can still bill for payment. However, the customer has at least 30 days to pay the remaining balance. Many movers have been guilty of holding customers items on their trucks for weeks until they receive an amount not initially agreed upon by the customer. This is against the law. Make sure you educate yourself before just picking a company to move you because they had the lowest price. In the end you might end up paying more than you think. The Following is a link from the Federal Motor Safety Administration that will explain further:
11. What Do You Use For Background Checks?
Every company is going to tell you they complete background checks on their movers. So make sure you ask them to be a little more detailed. If the sales representative cannot answer the question effectively ask to speak to a manager or owner that can. You want to make sure you know exactly what type of movers are in your home. Do they go through a service and what service do they use? Do they go through an HR company and if so, who? If the company wants and deserves your business they will provide you with the answers.