Hiring a moving company should relieve your stress. With news stories depicting woeful homeowners who have had their valuables held for ransom and their money stolen by rogue movers it is wise to be wary when choosing the right company. Some simple guidelines will increase your chance of avoiding shady movers – allowing you kick back and relax come moving day.
Do Your Research
Before you phone anyone for quotes do a quick Google search. Look at reviews of the companies that you intend to phone. Companies with dirty dealings will likely have questionable reviews. Go straight to each company's website and make note of what you find there. Is the website updated or does it look hastily put together? Search for the address provided to confirm its location as a business. Be sure to pick companies who advertise a land line versus a cell phone number. Multiple cell phone numbers for the same company is a red flag as it generally points to having no office. Don't hire movers who use rental vehicles; if the company doesn't have their own vehicles you may find your belongings lost in transit and payment being demanded for the job to be completed. If you have friends who have successfully hired movers ask for recommendations. Accreditation and a good score with the Better Business Bureau is a great compass when it comes to choosing the right company to entrust with your valuables. Narrow your choices down to three to five companies, and get quotes from at least three. This way you can compare pricing and policies. A shady company will stick out like a sore thumb against its reputable competition – promising things like unreasonably low rates and transportation insurance included in the price. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
Get it on Paper
A reputable moving company will provide you with paperwork. Read every word on the page – especially the small ones – before you sign anything. A trustworthy company will provide paperwork printed on company letterhead that clearly states the address, phone number, and name of the company. A written estimate, completed after an in-person assessment of your valuables, should include the finer details of your move. These details include the number of boxes and value of items to be moved, the moving company's rate, the exact services for which you are hiring said company, and the date and time you can expect services to be rendered. This document should be signed by both yourself and the company representative you are working with. Keep your copy as it will be your evidence should anything go wrong. Before moving day and after you've packed create an itemized list of the contents of your move in order to double-check once your belongings have been delivered to your new home. A trustworthy company, prior to a long-distance move, will provide an inventory of the goods to be transported for the customer to sign, and will ask for a signature once the job has been completed. The company should also provide a bill of lading upon starting your move that clearly outlines terms of payment as well as the date you can expect your belongings to be delivered. A company that refuses to provide even the most basic of clearly-written, easily-understood paperwork should not be trusted with the contents of your life.
Money, Money, Money
Moving can be expensive, but being too frugal when selecting a mover runs the risk of greatly adding to your expenses. Beware companies who ask you for a cash deposit or for most of the money owed before they perform a job. If a company is unwilling to provide detailed costs in paperwork do not agree to use their services. Run in the opposite direction if you are offered a rate that is far less than the quotes you have from other companies. Thriftiness is admirable, but in some scenarios you want to pay good money in exchange for peace of mind and a job well done.
If you are still in doubt, have faith in the Canadian Association of Movers. This organization has made members of only the moving companies who have the appropriate qualifications and reputation. Action Movers has been granted membership with CAM due to our integrity-driven business practices and tireless dedication to great customer service. It is possible to find a moving company that is affordable, honest, and who will treat your valuables with the same care we would treat our own. Prevent the heartache of falling victim to a shady moving company by doing your homework beforehand – it only takes a bit of time and can save you a truckload of regret.