There are many aspects to consider when comparing moving companies. Trust, efficiency, and low costs are the obvious qualities many home and business owners look for. The problem is figuring out which business upholds those qualities as everyone is going to say that they are the best. How can moving companies prove they are the best? There are a few things home and business owners should look for:
- Proper Licensing – Every business should hold some sort of license. It will vary depending on the state as to what kind of license they need, so some research will be required. It is worth the time to find out what licenses are required to avoid hiring rogue companies that are less than upstanding. There are also specific licenses that are required if the company crosses state lines. Home and business owners can check with their local moving association to ensure that any company they consider has the proper licensing.
- Customer Reviews – Don’t underestimate the power of reviews. Indeed, some bad reviews can be ridiculous, but it still gives other consumers a good idea of what they can expect. If there are multiple bad reviews with no hint of resolution, it may be a good idea to steer clear of that business. The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google are great places to do a little detective work.
- Going Local versus National – The moving companies that homeowners should compare will depend on where they are intending to move. Is the transition within the same zip code or across state lines? This will dramatically change what homeowners need to know. Going across state lines requires certain licenses that a local business may not have. While local businesses are great for moving within the area, the company considered may be licensed for long-distance moves as well. Smaller, locally owned companies may be easier to work with as they are typically more personable.
- Get an Estimate in Writing – When comparing different options, ask for an estimate in writing. It is important to be as detailed as possible and not leave anything out of the estimate. This will help prevent any extra or hidden fees. Don’t accept a verbal estimate since there is no way to guarantee it. A written estimate can detail every single fee, even the smallest. While the price shouldn’t be the only determining factor, the estimate will help make the final decision a bit easier.
- Insurance – Home and business owners can purchase additional insurance for their belongings, but moving companies have some degree of liability as well. It is especially important to understand what is covered under the business’ insurance policy. They may offer full value protection, which means the business is responsible for the replacement of lost or damaged items. Full value protection comes at an extra cost, but it can be worth every dime if something goes wrong. A more economical choice is released value policies. These policies pay around 60 cents per pound for items that are lost or damaged. The type of insurance that is needed depends on the type of items being transferred. Either way, it is important to make sure the business has some sort of policy in place.
- Ask detailed questions – Don’t be afraid to come in with a list of questions and expect detailed answers. Some important questions to ask include: How long has the company been in business? What are the standards for the employees? Are background and drug tests required of employees? Do they hire temporary help? Is there a dispute settlement program in place?
Home and business owners who are looking at different moving companies should feel comfortable and happy with their choice. Moving can be stressful and time-consuming. Hiring a trustworthy and reputable company should alleviate some of the stress.