Tips For Hiring Moving Contractors
With thousands or even millions of moves happening every year in the United States, it is a miracle that most of these moves go smoothly as planned, with no problems. Hiring a reputable moving company is a must. But even with a lot of smooth moves, shady practices and scams can still occur. It is in every customer’s best interest to be well informed about every step of the process. Listed below are some ways on how to make sure you hire the right moving contractors for the job
A reputable company will take an accurate inventory of all the client’s belongings and determine the bulk and weight of the move, either in person or through virtual surveys. Estimators need to be thorough and check all of the customer’s storage places like cupboards, garages, bookcases, and drawers. A large part of the contractor’s price is based on the weight of the client’s items and the space their goods take up in the mover’s truck. Make sure customers understand this estimate, and everything is as accurate as possible.
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Get An In-Depth Walk-Through
Estimators who perform a quick walk-through without considering the client’s plan to move will be off the mark. An excellent estimator will ask a lot of questions about what their clients plan to take from their current house to their next destination. That is why prepare to tell these estimators what items you do not want to be carried to the truck, what items you are planning to give away, sell at yard sales, leave behind for the next owners, or donate to charities.
Do Not Pay A Large Deposit
Reputable and trusted movers will not demand money or a significant amount of cash as a deposit before the move. Customers should only pay the movers upon delivery. If customers pay in advance, they have no control over the delivery time or when they will see their belongings again. When they do pay, they need to use credit cards to protect them from any possible fraudulent activities.
Avoid Moving Firms With A Name Switch
Some firms avoid being assessed by regulating agencies like the Better Business Bureau by doing their business under different names. Make sure that the company you are about to hire has a local or physical address and information about their insurance policy and necessary licenses.
Their workers should answer phone calls using their full name and the name of the business. Find out if there are other names their business use while doing business, as well as their federal and state license numbers. Check the Internet to see if there are bad reviews or complaints about their company.
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Avoid Packing Costs
If a customer packs their belongings by themselves, movers generally are not responsible for any damage to these belongings. But if they have their movers do the packing, loading, and unloading, they may pay inflated prices for boxes and packing materials, not to mention labor and time. If you are planning to have movers, pack your items, ask about their packing experience. A lot of packers are cautious, but you want to avoid the risk of getting someone who will just toss your items inside the box and seals it with little to no regard for breakage.
Be Cautious Of Additional Fees
If you are living in a two-story apartment or house, planning to move into one, or planning to move to or from a 10th-floor condominium, there is a big chance that companies will charge additional fees for having to use elevators and stairs. Has a narrow or small street that will not fit a big moving van? Expect an additional charge for the transfer of belongings to smaller trucks for deliveries. Make sure to ask movers about additional fees or hidden charges that may apply to your situation.
Avoid Blank Contracts
Never sign anything blank, that’s common sense. Get everything in black and white or in writing. The company’s estimate and extra fees need to be listed, as well as the pick-up and delivery dates. Read the contract and make sure all of the items to be moved are listed. If your computer is not labeled on the inventory form that you sign before they leave, you cannot expect it to be in the truck when they arrive. Customers cannot file a claim for anything that does not appear on the mover’s inventory list.
Report Any Issues
Clients have nine months to report problems to the firm and file an insurance claim. If you are opening boxes after one year of moving and find out that there are broken glasses, you’re out of luck. On the day of the move, try to open the boxes and check for any damages. Make sure to take note of problems with the company’s copy of the bill before signing it. Firms have 30 days to accept receipts of the claim. Within 120 days of receiving the complaint, they must deny it or make a fair offer to pay.
If your family members, friends, co-workers, or neighbors do not have recommendations, get a list of reputable movers from associations like state associations of Movers and American Moving and Storage Association. Ask other movers you speak with for any reference. Tell them you want a long list of customers near you who have moved in the past three to five years.
Call some of these past clients and ask some questions about their experiences hiring the moving company. You can also go to the Internet, check keywords or phrases like best movers in Charlotte, and read past-client reviews on the first three search results.
Moving Valuation Protection And Insurance Policy
Every moving firm is required to assume any liability for the value of the items they are transporting. But there are two different levels of liability. Customers need to make sure they know the charges that apply and the amount of protection provided by each level.
Full-Value Replacement Protection
It is the most comprehensive protection plan available for the goods. Unless clients choose the Alternative Level of Liability, the items will be transported under the company’s Full-Value Replacement Protection liability, With this plan, whenever an item is lost, damaged, or destroyed while in their custody, they have the option to repair the damaged item, replace it with the same kind and quality, or pay the cost of replacement.
Alternative Level Of Liability
It is a no-cost option and the most economical protection available for the customers, but it provides minimal protection. Under this plan, the company assumes liability for no more than 60 cents a pound per item. Damage or loss claims are settled based on the weight of the item multiplied by 60 cents.
There is no extra charge for this plan, but clients need to sign a specific bill of lading agreeing to it. If customers don’t choose this liability plan, their shipment will be transported at full-value replacement liability, and they will be assessed the applicable valuation charge.