Moving takes a lot of work, and it can be very stressful without the proper planning. Reduce your worry by asking your movers the right questions during the interview process. This eliminates surprises on moving day.
To help give you an idea of some of the best questions to ask your mover, we interviewed two experts to give you the inside information you need. Ross Sapir, founder and CEO of Roadway Moving, a top moving company in New York, and Brian Slater, founder and president of Chicagoland’s highly rated New City Moving, shared seven major questions that everyone should ask movers before trusting them with their belongings.
1. What are your credentials?
Before hiring the movers, Sapir suggests verifying that the movers have an insurance policy. After all, if something happens on the movers’ watch, you don’t want to be held liable. Slater adds that licensed, insured movers have a clear claims process that takes care of any damages by replacing the item or settling the claim.
Inquire about how long the moving company has been in business—older businesses often have a better rep and verify the company is licensed for interstate travel, if you are moving out of state. Get their cancellation policy and how their customer service handles complaints and disputes in writing.
2. Are packing services included?
Slater notes that most moving companies have packing materials, such as shrink-wrap, moving blankets and packing tape to protect upholstery and furniture. “However, if you need your moving company to pack things into boxes, identify that ahead of time so they can come prepared with enough time and materials on move day,” cautions Slater.
If you do end up getting packing services, be sure to find out what the additional cost will be beforehand. You should also get all the information on insurance coverage, in case the crew breaks or damages something while packing.
3. Is there a truck fee or travel fee?
In most cases, movers charge a flat travel or truck fee in addition to the hourly rate for the moving crew, according to Slater. So, it’s wise to have the movers give you an estimate on how much time it will take to pack up the truck. The flat fee pays the movers to drive from the lot to your address and from the new address back to the lot. Sapir suggests also clarifying the pricing quote before moving day and double checking all the details that affect the final cost. Be sure to never pay upfront or put down a large deposit.
4. Can you provide references/referrals?
Additionally, Sapir recommends asking for referrals so that you can get a good feel for the moving company’s customer satisfaction. Reading online reviews is another excellent idea to bridge the movers’ pitch with the reality of their customer service. If your city or town has one, check the mover’s rating with the Better Business Bureau online.
5. Is background information about the moving crew available?
Sapir suggests asking the moving company for as much information as possible. You’ll be working closely with the crew, and they will have your precious possessions in their care.
6. Do I need to empty my dresser and desk drawers prior to the crew arriving?
“Having your dressers and desks emptied prior to the crew arriving helps the movers move them quickly and more efficiently,” says Slater. Additionally, emptying out your drawers before the movers arrive minimizes the chance of damages.
7. Where will the movers park their trucks?
This often overlook detail is an important one, particularly “if you are moving into or out of an address where parking is notoriously difficult.” Slater recommends securing parking permits through your local alderman or through the city and identifying areas such as alleyways where movers can access your building or home without blocking other vehicles.