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How to Interview Moving Labor

by: Jessica Santina
01 Dec 2010

Moving is one of the top 20 most stressful events in a person's life, and yet before hiring moving labor--people we entrust with all our worldly possessions--many people do little more than get a price quote over the phone. Here's where the saying, "You get what you pay for," really rings true. A low price is nice, but trustworthy paid labor and the safety of your belongings are nicer.

Finding Qualified Moving Labor

If a few friends and a borrowed pick-up truck are no longer enough to safely ensure a smooth move, you can at least ask your friends what companies they've used and liked. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau, or look for members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), who are required to follow a prescribed set of guidelines regarding safety in moving.

Contact several companies at least four to six weeks prior to your move. Ask what services are available, and what their estimate procedures are. And any reputable moving company should provide a brochure entitled "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move."

Questions to Ask Moving Companies

Once you have a few reputable companies to choose from, ask the following questions:

  • What rates and charges will apply? You may be required to pay extra for flights, parking, storage, fuel, or even awkward objects like pianos, so be upfront about everything involved in your move.
  • What is your liability for my belongings? Find out how you should handle claims, and what your options for value coverage are.
  • How are pick-up and delivery handled?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Will you be involving third-party moving labor for certain items?
  • Have any complaints been filed against your company?
  • How much experience do your employees have?
  • How do you ensure the quality of your van line? Is there a quality ratings program?
  • Do you offer binding quotes? Binding estimates tell you what you'll pay, regardless of the weight of your shipment.
  • What forms of payment do you accept? Be wary of anyone who only accepts cash; you could be the victim of a scam artist.

Finally, there's a question you need to ask yourself: How do I feel about the moving company? A lot of moving stress is associated with the fact that there are so many unknown variables in moving. Why take on more stress than necessary by hiring paid labor that you don't quite trust? Rely on your instincts. If your moving help doesn't behave in a professional manner, overlooks details, or isn't responsive to your questions, it could be a sign that something's wrong, in which case you should look elsewhere.

How to Interview Professional Movers • http://www.move.realtor.comhttp://move.realtor.com/Move/Moving/ProMover/Interview.asp • National Assocation of RealtorsHiring Professional Movers • http://move.realtor.comhttp://move.realtor.com/Move/AMSA/hiring-professional-movers.asp • National Assocation of Realtors

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