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How to Choose Moving Professionals


by: Woodrow Aames
01 Dec 2010

Whether you're moving across the state or across the country, choosing professionals to handle your move is not a complicated process. But it's important that you evaluate several companies, rounding up estimates, tracking referrals and their safety histories, and asking detailed questions so you find the right moving company. The following tasks can help you narrow down your list of moving professionals:

  1. Round up recommendations from friends, family members, or co-workers.
  2. Telephone prospective moving companies and inquire if they're licensed to handle your move. Ask for references from the moving company and follow up on them.
  3. Ask a short list of candidates to your house or apartment to prepare a written estimate based on an in-home assessment. Written estimates are required by law.
  4. Check your short list of prospects for complaints or lawsuits with the Better Business Bureau, the Public Utility Commission, Department of Transportation, and/or The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  5. Read the fine print on the estimate and choose the best (not necessarily lowest) offer.

Search Moving Estimates for Hidden Charges

Before you agree to let any moving professionals handle your move, examine itemized charges on your estimate. Do not accept charges voiced in conversation or over the phone. If sudden changes or increases crop up, switch to another mover before signing any contracts. Hidden moving fees can include items such as gas surcharges, packing materials, climbing flights of stairs, moving blankets, or extra-long carrying distances from your door to the moving truck. Ask your prospective moving professionals about all of these.

Be sure you understand the "delivery window" when your belongings are scheduled to arrive at your new residence. Be sure that estimates include your proposed date of the move and that the moving company is available on that day. Pore over the estimates for out-of-state moves to make sure that the rates are based on the amount of room it takes up in the moving van or on the shipment's weight and miles traveled. A local move can be estimated based on the number of professionals needed to handle the door-to-door delivery. Be sure your professional movers have storage at the delivery end of the move in case the schedule is disrupted.

Make a decision at least a month if not eight weeks prior to your required moving date to ensure the professional moving company has room on its schedule to accommodate you. Rates can be higher on holidays, Fridays, and weekends. Plan accordingly!

Sources:
Choosing a Moving Company • http://www.moving-company-guide.com/http://www.moving-company-guide.com/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration • http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/The Relocation.com Guide to Picking a Moving Company • http://www.relocation.comhttp://www.relocation.com/library/moving_guide/picking_a_moving_company.html