May is National Moving Month
May is National Moving Month!
Why a National Moving Month you might ask?
May is the beginning of the busiest time of year for moving! The weather has warmed up and students are out of school. Both are prime reasons for people to be on the move. This year is especially busy as many people remained in place last year because of COVID concerns. As our vaccination rate continues to climb, the moves that were postponed can safely occur.
Moving is a major disruption and can be a stressful time in your life. To make it easier, we want to share some helpful tips on choosing your mover.
1) Select your mover carefully!
Always check out a company’s licenses and background. Every properly certified moving company is registered through the US Department of transportation. Their search tool quick and easy to use and can be found here: https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/hhg/search.asp.
Unlicensed, or “rogue” movers will typically provide a low estimate over the telephone or internet without ever visiting your home and will often require a deposit of up to 50%. Licensed, reputable van lines, like North American Van Lines, do not require a deposit and only require that payment is made prior to delivery.
Additionally, once they have your belongings on their truck, they will invent additional fees, often claiming that the charges have increased significantly because the weight of your possessions increased. You will be forced to pay these charges in order to get your possessions back. Your shipment is essentially being held hostage.
2) Is the company’s location easy to find? Rogue movers will often make it difficult to find their physical location. Their website will be vague, with generic information and no information regarding valuation. (While not insurance, it acts in a similar way. For more information on what valuation is and how it functions, visit our blog post).
3) Read the reviews. Google is one of the best sources, but there are a number of other websites that have reputable reviews. Your friends and family can also be a good source of information.
4) How long has the company been in business? A mover with a long history in the business can be a good indicator of reliable service. If they do not discuss their history on their website, or a search on the internet turns up little to nothing, that is a warning flag.
5) Get multiple estimates. It is a sound strategy is to compare “apples to apples” so to speak. A combination of 3 in-home or virtual estimates is sufficient. Today’s technology makes it easy and convenient for the homeowner. The recent COVID pandemic has provided an avenue for virtual surveys to become a very reliable alternative to an in-home survey. The sign of a good company is a thorough in-person inspection whether in person or virtually. True professionals will take the time to do an inventory and answer all your questions during this visit. A company that will only quote your move sight-unseen or says they will determine the charge after loading should be avoided!
6) Get everything in writing. After the in-home visit, you should receive a written estimate and contract. The contract should contain easily identified pickup and delivery dates. All the terms and conditions should be spelled out.
Every mover is required by law to provide a customer who is planning an interstate move with a copy of the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and a copy of FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure.
7) Make sure you understand everything you are being asked to sign. An honest, upfront moving company will be happy to answer your questions. If they can’t or won’t, that is a red flag, and you should look for another company.
8) Never sign a blank document!
Finding a secure, reliable moving company will go a long way towards making your move less stressful. With over 60 years of experience helping families securely take that next step in their lives, we have a proven track record of moving success. Check out our website for more information. We offer free quotes and will be happy to answer all your questions.