Remember when hiring movers was as simple as buying pizza and beer and then rounding up your friends to help? At one point, most of my belongings fit in my car so the task never proved especially tedious for anyone.
Those were much simpler times. These days, with three children and a bustling household, we’re leaving our upcoming move to the professionals. It’s not that we own a lot of stuff; it’s just that what we do own is actually nice stuff. It requires handling by those that know what they’re doing. Also, much of it is heavy—very, very heavy.
That’s how I found myself interviewing moving companies recently. After some searching on Yelp turned up quite a few reviews detailing frustration, delays and wasted money, I came up with a list of what I considered to be the most important questions for potential movers.
Can the moving company provide guaranteed packing, loading and delivery dates? When your home sale or home purchase is so precisely timed, the last thing you want is a glitch in the plan. Getting guaranteed dates in writing boosts confidence that things will get done when they need to get done.
How are your items protected when they are in the care of the moving company? Finding out what levels of insurance are offered and for what amounts is important when you’re sending all of your valuables on the road to a new destination. If the contents of your home are headed for storage, be sure to inquire about coverage while items are in the moving company’s warehouse.
What steps will the moving company take to protect the finishes in your home on moving day? Protecting walls, floors and carpets from damage is crucial—especially just prior to a home sale.
Can the moving company provide references from previous clients? In addition to letters of reference from the movers, finding reviews online can also help you make educated choices about what company to select. Websites like Yelp even give companies being reviewed an opportunity to respond to each reviewer, which can prove indicative of a company’s ability to address problems.
Are the employees charged with carefully moving your belongings actual employees of the moving company or contractors? Many times, having a vested interest in their own company can mean employees will seek out ways to make a client more satisfied with their move.
By finding answers to these questions during the search, I’m hoping to head off problems during the move. Will things still go wrong? Of course they will. But, at least I know I’ve done my homework.