Crucial Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Mover

Crucial Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Mover

Your brand-new custom-built home is nearly complete, and its time to pick a moving company to bring your life to your brand-new house.

This is an important choice that affects your pocketbook, your treasures, and your peace of mind throughout this significant shift in your life.

Selecting a mover you’ll be happy with will certainly make your transition very easy and free of stress. With all the focus on your brand-new home, you wouldn’t want your belongings to be at risk of arriving damaged, or not at all. You certainly don’t want any surprises regarding the cost of your move either.

It is essential to bear in mind that the individual offering you moving services is an estimator. Although the estimator must adhere to federal law, the details of your move may be influenced significantly by company culture and policies. As such, it’s vital that you put these questions to every prospective mover you are considering. You certainly don’t want any surprises during any aspect of your move.

Crucial questions for your moving company prospects:

Will a binding quote be offered?

Federal law calls for a binding quote for specifically listed services. A binding quote requires that you are given a not-to-exceed cost for your move. An estimator must come to your home and assess your household goods to provide a quote for services that may not be exceeded unless additional services are requested, in writing, via an amendment, by the customer. Your binding quote will be in writing, signed by both the estimator and yourself, and will list the specific services you are requesting. Should you decide, for instance, to move a room or structure, like a storage shed, that was not originally planned to be moved, an amendment must be created and signed by the customer in order to affect the cost of your move. It’s acceptable for the additional services to be listed on the original quote in a space provided for that purpose, or on a separate document, but must be signed by at least the customer if not the estimator as well.

Are they a participant of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)?

AMSA assists its participants to enhance their consumer fulfillment by ensuring conformity with federal law governing the moving and storage industry. Interstate moves are additionally regulated by the US Department of Transportation, further protecting consumers. Local movers aren’t required to join AMSA, but having done so maintains the high standards for local moves and speaks well of the company’s treatment of their customers. State laws governing moving services are less stringent, so adhering to the AMSA rules reflects a guarantee of excellent service.

Does the moving company use contract labor or employees?

Companies that maintain trained movers and offer company benefits engender loyalty that subsequently generates more dedication to customer satisfaction for the sake of the company’s reputation and standing in the industry. Often customer feedback forms are utilized to monitor the crew performance on an ongoing basis, incentivising the company’s movers to perform well.

How will the movers protect my things from transit damage?

It’s very important to discover how the movers typically handle special items like pianos, flat-screen TVs, front-loading washers and dryers, memory foam cushions or mattresses, or any delicate items to be moved. How they answer will inform you as to the level of expertise your movers have. Crating may even be required for some items, at an additional charge, but may be worth the expense, depending on the item.

Are appliances and electronics blanket wrapped?

While movers usually blanket wrap items, don’t operate on assumptions. Some companies have been skipping this step to save time, so make sure you have the facts up front.

What is the procedure for lost or damaged items?

Companies will offer varying levels of protection for your items. Be sure to fully understand your options before anything goes on the truck.

Federal law mandates that every customer has basic coverage of $0.60 per pound at no cost to the customer, even without a detailed inventory. That would mean if your 25 pound flat screen TV is damaged, you’ll be awarded $15 in compensation. If you’re comfortable with the procedures your movers are following to protect your household goods, this may be sufficient coverage. However, even though there is additional cost, Full Value Protection can be worth it if you have any fears.

Full Value Protection establishes liability for the moving company if anything is damaged or lost, at the full value of the item. The mover can decide to repair, if possible, or replace the damaged item, however there is one critical step you must observe. A detailed inventory must be prepared prior to loading your goods onto the truck which will list everything to be moved and its current condition, down to every scratch. Each piece will have a numbered sticker affixed to it with the corresponding line item on the inventory page for tracking purposes. It may seem a daunting task to take up on moving day but will save you immeasurably when your items arrive at your new home.

When your goods are delivered, you should be presented with your inventory documents. As items are brought into your home, you should note the sticker number and check it off on your inventory page, checking to see if its in the same condition as when it was loaded. If there is only one entry point to the home where goods will be brought in, then park yourself right by that door and examine every article. If there are multiple entry points, then station yourself at the truck and check off items as they come off. Condition discrepancies are to be noted in the space provided on the inventory form. When finished, it will be obvious if anything is missing. You will sign the completed inventory form, keep a copy, and send the rest back with the movers. Should you need to file a claim, a contact should be provided by the company who will then send you a claim form where you can use the notes from your inventory form to fill out your claim.

For expensive or irreplaceable items, it’s advisable to set aside any purchase receipts or applicable value documents prior to the move so you’ll have them at hand if you need to file a claim. You have 90 days to file for local moves and 6 months for interstate moves, but you don’t want to be digging for receipts while you’re trying to settle into your new home.

What protection is offered for the walls and flooring of my former home as well as my new one?

Many companies are limited to a fixed maximum for these types of damages, usually around $100, which may not cover the cost of restoring either home to it’s former condition. Your best defense is to discover how they protect the home during the move. Do they use floor protection like runners or wood composite sheets to ensure the floors aren’t damaged? Are they installing protection for railings, doorways, corners, etc.? Should any damage occur at either location, take pictures to send to the company with a claim form.

Does the company require a deposit for services?

If so, it’s a red flag. Since federal law mandates companies only charge for services rendered, no payment should be solicited until the service is indeed rendered.

Selecting a Mover that’s Right for You Will Allow for a Stress-Free Move

Moving, even when it’s into your new custom home, is stressful enough without worrying about the efficacy of your movers. If you ask all the right questions and prepare your inventory documents carefully, your satisfaction will truly be guaranteed.


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