Movers can make our lives easier whenever we need to relocate to other places despite the distance. They can provide you the service you need without having to stress yourself with the packing, loading and unloading of your things so you can settle down easily on your next home. But how would you know if the mover you want to contract can be trusted and you get compensated if something goes wrong with your things? There is only one way to know that. Ask questions directly to the mover’s officer-in-charge.
Here are the questions you should throw in:
1. What is the registration number of your company?
A legitimate local mover or a long distance mover, which can be found on this website, should be a member of an association that is recognized by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). In this case, a registration number (a.k.a. USDOT Number) should be there provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can also check the FMCSA’s website in verifying the mover’s license number.
2. Can I have a choice between per hour rate and weight base? Can you send me a quote signed by your manager?
Rates for movers vary. There are movers that based their rates on per hour base while others prefer the distance. On the one hand, some movers would arrange their cost depending on the weight of your cargo. Short distance cargo companies usually prefer the per hour rate while long distance movers are more on weight base. Whichever you choose, ask for quotes or estimates that will be duly signed by an officer. A binding quote can also secure you to avoid hidden charges. Once approved, the binding quote will prevent any additional cost that the company may impose on your contract or else you could file a case for a breach of agreement if the company persists.
3. Will your service be subcontracted by the moving company?
It is common that larger movers are subcontracting to lesser sized moving companies when they ran out of moving equipment or personnel. In this case, you should know who will handle your things if you are subjected to subcontracting. Ask the mover about the subcontractor’s company name and investigate its reputation. The mover should never keep the subcontractor’s name from you because you are paying outright for an honest service while you don’t want your properties’ safekeeping to be at stake.
4. Are there any additional fees or extra charge other than indicated on the signed quote?
Additional fees being slapped by movers are also slaps on our face when we least expect it. However, we won’t feel bad if added fees are reasonable enough and will be discussed prior to movement. For example if your destination cannot be reached by the truck and must be hauled manually like you live in a high-rise building, this could spell extra cost on your part. Such case is called “flight charges” or “long carry charges”. Your things may also need to be stored if your destination is not yet ready and this may also mean added costs. So the best thing that you must do is discuss every detail to the mover about your destination so that the company can estimate the cost for everything and won’t blame you as well if you will complain against the extra hauling cost.
5. How much does the insurance can cover my valuables? How it is based, is it by weight?
You have to be very specific when asking questions about the insurance which you must surely pay prior to closing the deal. Insurance also spells additional cost but this is for your protection. Nevertheless, don’t expect that you’ll get paid 100% by the insurance whenever there’s damage or lost in your stuff because the standard coverage the mover’s insurance follow right now is only about half of the true value of your things.
6. Since you do the packing, how will you pack our stuff and how do you label it?
Movers generally do the packing and labeling and sometimes this can also be an additional fee with the service. The thing is, you have to know the kind of packing the company will use to ensure that your precious furniture, figurine, fragile appliances are safe. Labeling also plays a significant part in moving because with proper labeling you can quickly identify which of your things get lost. To make sure you can easily identify your things through labels, you can volunteer to do the labeling yourself.
7. Can you show me a record for claims or issues unresolved or not that were filed against your company?
Basically, not all companies will provide you these and will tell you otherwise that the company’s lawyers prohibit them to divulge sensitive information to clients. But if the company runs an honest business, it should provide you a history of complaints and perhaps claims as well per your request. Your goal towards checking the incidents and showing you what you wanted to see can be a good indicator that the company runs an honest-to-goodness business.
8. Can you provide me a referral of your previous customer so that I can verify your legitimacy?
Usually reputed and legitimate companies will provide you check references for your own verification purposes. Once you email these people, you may expect emails stating satisfaction from the mover’s services. However, if there’s the phone number on the references better call them just to make sure you will be talking to real clients.