When you hear all the stories about people that used ill reputable companies to move their belongings, you probably think that this can never happen to you. But one thing that you need to take into consideration is that when the time comes and you will need to move, factors like stress, time restrictions and moving company availability can put you in the same uncomfortable position.
That being said, there are a few simple things that you can do in order to protect your interests and to find a decent mover.
Starting your Search Early
It may sound obvious, but the first thing you can do is to start preparing and booking a company early. During the summer months, even the major van line services may be completely booked up. When the company you wanted is booked, it means that you will need to search for alternatives quickly and this may lead you to make the wrong choices.
When you search for movers of any type online, you may be amazed by the amount of options. The important thing is to know the type of mover you are looking for in order to sort out the good from the bad. Begin by eliminating brokers from your list. Brokers are not movers; they represent a service that passes on the business to an actual mover. There may be some great brokers out there, but finding the Good Samaritan among them may not be easy. The best thing to do is simply to ask for a D.O.T license number, which normally only regular movers will have.
Getting the Right Estimate from the Right Company
It important to stick to the facts, no matter how attractive the moving offer may appear or how nice the sales person is. Make sure you understand the exact terms, get everything in writing in advance and leave no corners unchecked.
Most movers will offer you a basic charge unit, per hour for local moves or per pound for long distance moves. Additional charges, such as packing and packing materials may apply, so it’s very important that you ask your sales representative about them. Additionally, there are possible charges for long carry and flights of stairs, elevator usage and access issues. If you live in an apartment complex, check with the building management if a certificate of insurance is necessary and if that is the case check if the mover can provide it. Some movers will charge for creating the certificate of insurance, so remember to check for possible extra fees.
To summarize – get license numbers to make sure you are dealing with a mover and not with a broker, check the reputation of the moving company and ask for references, make sure you understand every aspect of the estimate and all possible extra fees and start your search early to avoid a situation in which reputable moving companies will be booked up.
Tom Regev is a professional writer, representing the Hawaii shipping companies blog.