24 Questions to Ask Moving Companies
One of the first, and best steps you can take to make your move as smooth as possible is to hire a reputable moving company. Below are 24 questions to ask potential movers to determine who is right for you. It’s recommended you get at least 3 quotes from different moving companies before deciding who to hire. Once you’ve made a decision, it’s a good idea to put your understanding of everything you discussed in writing via an email BEFORE signing any contracts. This ensures there are no misunderstandings and you are both on the same page.
Questions for Potential Movers
1) How long have you been in business?
2) Are you affiliated with any professional Organizations?
o The Canadian Association of Movers requires 2 years of operation and a strict set of standards.
o You can also ask if they are members of the Better Business Bureau.
3) Do you own your own warehouse with trucks and equipment?
o Credible movers do. Movers who don’t have these essential tools of the business increase the likelihood of loss or damage.
4) Are you insured, including content and workers compensation insurance?
o Most movers include content coverage of $0.60 per pound, regardless of the actual value of an item. Inquire to see if they provide the basic coverage, and what, if any options you have to increase your coverage.
o If a moving company does not have sufficient workers compensation insurance and an injury occurs on your premises, you could be liable.
5) How long have your employees been with you?
o Do they have a fairly regular roster of movers they have worked with continuously? Or do that hire a lot of new and seasonal people each year?
6) Do you perform criminal record checks on your employees?
7) If I hire you, will it actually be your company who does the move, or is it possible you will subcontract my move to someone else?
o The above questions only matter if the moving company you are speaking to is the moving company that shows up on moving day.
o If the company does subcontract, ask how often they’ve used the subcontractor in the past and what can they tell you about the subcontractor?
8) Do you complete an in-home estimate?
o Credible movers will arrange for a consultation at your home to visually survey your items and estimate the amount and weight of your possessions to provide as accurate a quote as possible. It’s definitely a red flag if they don’t offer this service.
9) How do you estimate the cost of my move?
o Long distance moves are usually priced based on weight and local moves based on an hourly rate
10) How long will my move take? How many movers will be involved in my move? What is the cost for additional movers?
o You want to make sure the company is providing a realistic estimate of the amount of time your move will take based on the number of movers they are providing. 2 movers are unlikely to be able to load up an average 3 bedroom house and unload it again in 6 hours (for a local move,) but maybe 4 or 6 movers can.
11) What types of things result in extra charges?
o Movers can charge extra fees for the following items:
● Stairs or more than 2 flights of stairs;
● Awkward items such as pianos or especially heavy items;
● Disassembling and reassembling furniture (think bedframes, tables etc);
● If the destination doesn’t have easy access and requires a smaller shuttle truck;
● If the load has to be hand carried over certain distance;
● A refuelling charge;
● A storage charge (if not a same-day move);
● Moving boxes/wardrobe boxes.
o Ask whether any of these items are included or result in extra fees
12) Do they offer packing and unpacking services?
o If they do, and you want to use it, be sure to find out the timeline of the packing and unpacking.
13) Are any special precautions taken with delicate items?
o For example, how to they pack TV’s, computer equipment or China?
14) If I am packing my own items, are there any restrictions on what or how I pack? What about liability restrictions?
o It is not uncommon if the moving company’s employees have not packed the boxes, that they will not be responsible for any damage that occurs.
15) Are there items you do not pack/move?
o Most movers will not move hazardous and/or flammable material such as:
● Paint, varnish, paint thinner;
● Gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid.
o It’s also good to check with them about batteries, nail polish, nail polish remover and pressurized containers like aerosol cans.
o Plants are another item you will want to check with movers about.
16) What equipment do they use? How are furniture, possessions and premises, protected during the move process?
o A reputable mover should have its own truck with ramp, multiple dollies, shoulder straps to assist with moving heavy items, floor runners to protect your floors and tools to disassemble and reassemble furniture if they offer that service.
o The truck should have straps inside to secure vulnerable items and they will use blankets and shrink wrap to protect your possessions.
o This is generally included in the move, but you should double check to make sure there is no extra fee associated with these items.
17) If items are damaged during the course of the move, what is the process to make a claim and how long does it generally take?
o You want to verify it is an easy process that won’t take months to resolve.
18) Do they provide a labelled inventory?
o How do they keep track of what goes on to the truck to make sure it all comes off again at your destination?
19) Under what circumstances would the final price be different from the quoted price?
o This is another opportunity to see if there are any other extra costs or unforeseen events that would cost you more money.
20) How do I contact you during the move?
o Sometimes issues arise during a move. You want to know in advance who is the best person to contact and the best way to reach them to resolve any issues quickly.
21) Forms of payment you accept?
o If it is only cash, this is another red flag. It more than likely means they aren’t reporting this income to the government. If there is no transactional record of the move, you could have little recourse if any damage does occur.
22) Where will items be stored?
o Do they have their own warehouses? What is security like at the warehouses they use? Have they had any theft issues in the past?
23) Do you offer any discounts or promotions?
o Some movers offer discounts for a mid-week move or moves before the end of the month. It also helps not to be moving during peak student move times.
24) Do you offer a takeaway service at the end of the move?
o Will they take any boxes away with them that you manage to get unpacked before they leave?
Asking these 24 questions will help you find a reputable and professional moving company. And hiring a reputable and professional moving company is one of the most important ways to minimize the stress of moving. Another great way to reduce the stress of moving is to hire BirchTree Organizing to manage your move. Let BirchTree Organizing declutter, plan and pack for you. You can also let BirchTree Organizing help unpack at the new house so you can get settled quickly. To find out 20 items to pack and transport yourself on moving day to make your first 24 hours in your new house more comfortable, click here. And check out the Canadian Association of Movers website for more great moving information and tips: https://www.mover.net/consumers/about/tips
Do you have any must ask questions when hiring a mover? Let me know in the comments below.