We’ve all heard the horror stories about movers: companies that are no-shows, lose or damage furniture en route, or worse still, never even show up with your things. So how do you ensure that the moving company you hire is trustworthy, reputable, and careful? It all comes down to doing a little research up front. Before hiring a company, run through this list of questions to be sure that you’ve found a good moving service.
1. Are the licensed? Any moving service you hire should be licensed by the U.S. department of transportation and the state the company is located in, and should be ready and willing to provide you with a license number. Or, to see if a company is licensed, look up your moving company by name on the DOT website, here.
2. Are they insured? Most states mandate that moving companies offer a certain amount of damage protection for your items at no extra cost (read about the specific and values, here). Be sure to ask you movers if they comply with the state requirements.
3. Are they a member of a professional organization? There are a number of professional organizations for movers, on both the state and national levels, that offer industry standards, best-practice guidelines, and codes of conduct their membership consents to follow. American Movers, for example, is part of NJ Movers, an organization for licensed moving companies in the state that have been in business for at least three years. These professional organizations (Moving.org is another popular one) usually offer listing of their members, and are a great place to begin your research.
4. How long have the been in business? Though there are some companies that operate efficiently from day 1, a good testament to the quality and experience a company offers is the length they’ve been in business. A company that has been around for ten years or longer has typically built a loyal, satisfied customer base, and has the know-how to get jobs done right.
5. Do they have good reviews? Nowadays, there are dozens of places you can read what prior customers have to say about a company. While there may be some polarizing reviews (either in a good or bad way), you can get a good feel for the quality of a company’s work based on what the majority of customers have to say.
6. Can they provide referrals? Not content to stop at reviews? Ask for referrals. Your moving company should be able to provide you with the names of recent customers who can speak on their behalf.