When you are looking for the right moving company in the U.S., research is required to ensure you use the correct business to ensure the safety of your valuable items. When you search around, it is possible to save yourself on a lot of money and a way to avoid any scams. Here is a guide to assist you through the process.
Ask a real estate agent in your area, coworkers, family members or friends. You can also conduct an Internet search of the moving companies in USA that have an office close to your home. You will want to get in-person estimates about what you can expect to pay for your move. Never rely on estimates from a moving company that has not come out to your home and looked in every one of closets and cupboards. It is also unwise to assume that the well-known company names will always offer you the best service. Also, avoid obtaining estimates from websites that say they will assist you in “finding a mover”. You need to find the moving company on your own to avoid the number of dangerous scams associated with these sites.
Conduct An Initial Screening
Once you have compiled a list of movers that have been recommended, conduct background checks online. You can either visit the bbb.org (Better Business Bureau) site or call them. Or you can email or call the AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association), to make sure the moving companies on your list are a member of this association. This means that these companies abide by and agree to the published tariffs of this organization and they participate in the arbitration program.
Choose At Least 3 Companies
You should have a minimum of 3 companies that you need to call to offer you with in-home estimates. When your move involves moving to the next or another state, ask each company to provide you with a binding estimate in writing or a binding that will not exceed the estimate. These estimates offer you with a cap that is guaranteed in association to what you will be liable for the move. The estimates for the interstate moves are typically linked to the distance that the move involves, and the weight linked to your household items.
If you are moving house within the same area or state, the rules about the estimates will vary. For example, for some of the states like California, the rules require that the moving companies have to provide signed and written binding estimates. While there are other states such as Illinois that forbid the moving companies to provide binding estimates in writing. In every case, the estimates for the movers are always associated with the length of time that the move is going to take.
Show The Estimator Everything
When estimators arrive at your house, show them every item that you want to be included in the move. This can include your attic, basement, backyard, garage and all your closets. If on the moving day a foreman is made to believe that you have more items than what was agreed on in the estimate, he can “challenge” your original estimate before all your items are loaded on the truck. You should also let the estimators know about conditions of importance at your new dwelling that could complicate your move. This can include elevators, stairs or there is a distance that is significant from outside of the home to the closest doors.
Review The Estimates
The estimate that you are provided with can be what is known as a “combined document”, which means when it has been signed by the representative for the moving company and yourself, the document becomes a bill-of-lading and order-for-service. This document along with your inventory list that was created when the goods have been loaded are the essential documents that any of the moving companies should be giving you. Look out for the words “written binding estimate”, near the top part of the document along with date and signature of the movers near the bottom part of the page.
For interstate moves, the estimate must be described clearly with the quantity and type of goods you plan to ship, and the distance covered by the new residence. The time and date when your goods are planned for a pickup and when they will be delivered. If you would like to buy “additional” insurance from the mover that exceeds the 60-cents to a pound, ensure that you have a clear understanding of the details and costs associated with this coverage.
For in-state moves, that you were unable to obtain an estimate that was binding, you must request an estimate in writing that states the hourly rate and additional costs that you can incur such as tolls, supplies, and the driving times from and to the moving company’s facilities. If you are unsure about anything set out in the estimate, make sure you phone the company to explain everything to you.
Store Your Estimates In A Folder
After you have collected an estimate from each company, store them in a “moving folder” that is brightly colored. Keep your folder in sight when the next estimator comes. This will show the companies that you are conducting your homework, which will encourage each estimator to be more honest and more likely to give you a quote that is more competitive.
Compare The Bids
Once you have collected all the estimates, it is time to compare each bid. Watch out for the companies that offer a quote that is significantly lower when compared to the others. When it comes to the higher bids, look out where the additional costs are derived from. Once you have narrowed down your selections to a few reasonable-sounding quotes, from companies that are reputable, it is time to negotiate to ensure you are offered the best rate. This is especially true, in markets where there happens to be a lot of competition, the majority of movers will be willing to offer you a better price.
Research The Contenders In More Detail
Once you have three companies in mind, go back online to conduct further research. To begin with, ensure these moving companies in USA are incorporated into your state. Also check on how long they have been in operation for, by checking with the state or secretary office.
Ensure The Company Is Insured And Licensed
The company you have chosen must have insurance and a license to ensure they allowed to move your household contents legally. This is possible by visiting safer.fmcsa.dot.gov which is the website for FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Here you can enter the USDOT number of the company and use the “Search” option. When you have the right DOT number, you will be taken to a page with a lot more information about the company.
Call The FMCSA’s Safety Violation And Consumer Complaints Hotline
This will be the last process of choosing a moving company to find out if any complaints have been made about the companies. If possible, you should also visit the companies addresses to find out more about their facilities.
Choose Your Mover
By now you should be able to make an informed choice about the right moving company for your needs. The last step is to confirm the details and the dates of the move and ensure the document is signed for the bill-of-lading and the order-for-service.
On the day of the move, make sure you receive a copy in writing of the inventory list and give the moving company directions to your new house. Also, ensure you have the mobile numbers of the movers where you can contact them throughout the process of the move.