How to Choose a National Moving Company
02.01.2017 | Moving Tips | Deidra Poltersdorf
A national moving company can relieve stress and protect your belongings during the moving process. While the choice may seem daunting at first, the decision can be simple with a few tips from industry experts. Finding a professional service provider for your move should factor peace of mind, affordability, and quality of service without compromising on either.
Peace of Mind
Peace of mind is the most important consideration when choosing a national mover. Moving can be a stressful and involved process, and worry about the security of your belongings should not be on the list, and items with sentimental value are irreplaceable—despite insurance and moving guarantees. When doing your research, check first with the company to find their moving terms and conditions. Pay close attention to any guarantees and limitations, and don’t be afraid to request a consultation and ask questions.
It can help to have a trusted advisor when selecting your mover, and your realtor may personally recommend a service or reputable company. Your neighbors (current and future) may also have referrals and experiences to share, and each opinion matters. Fortunately, modern technology has made the research process more transparent, and you can read dozens of reviews from families or individuals that have used a moving service in the past.
Official regulatory agencies license and insure moving companies of all sizes, and consumer reporting bureaus are a great place to look for in-depth information. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) compiles reports on complaints, reviews, licensing, bankruptcy, and government actions for most organized businesses in the United States. Similar organizations offer consumer reporting and watchdog services, such as the American Moving & Storage Association and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides public record keeping of safety and fitness information for moving companies in the U.S. You can search by name, USDOT number, or MC/MX number—your mover should be able to supply these willingly. The Safety and Fitness Electronics Records System (SAFER) will show information on the number of vehicles, drivers, safety incidents, miles traveled, and types of cargo carried. Licensing and insurance information is available, and detailed crash reporting is provided with the Safety Measurement System (SMS). Don’t be afraid to bring up questions or comments while speaking with a representative, and ask about incidents that have happened in the recent past.
Relocation can be expensive, but a moving company that cares may be able to work with you on rates. Keep in mind that larger, older, or more reputable companies may charge a premium, but you can’t put a price on irreplaceable personal effects. The best drivers, equipment, and routine maintenance are all factored into your estimate. Choose three or more moving companies to compare, and after preliminary research give them a call to discuss rates and setup an appointment for an estimate.
Once you have your estimates, remember to compare services and extra features. Are they willing to help you pack? Do they provide extra moving materials? Are they carrying the same amount of insurance? What payment methods and plans do they offer? As long as they are within your budget range, you may find that the premium for a trustworthy moving company is worth the peace of mind and protection of your possessions.
Not to be underestimated, professional service plays a major role in mover selection. Make sure that your moving company is reachable in case of emergency and has a trained and dedicated staff willing to assist you. Look at the company’s legacy and reputation. The moving industry is competitive, and companies with terrible business practices may change names or business models to hide their history. Without boasting, a national moving company with quality service should be proud to showcase its awards for excellence and safety.
Peace of mind, affordability, and quality service are important considerations when choosing a national moving company. From you neighbor down the street to professional accreditation organizations, families and individuals around the U.S. have worked together to create moving resources for others. If you found this article helpful, check out some of the other articles in our moving guide and take a look at the Rights and Responsibilities Guide by the Department of Transportation.