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5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Moving Company

Are you a newbie at hiring a professional mover? Perhaps you have used movers before but haven't had the best possible experience. Regardless of your situation, when you're getting quotes on your move, it's always a good idea to be very careful to ask the right questions. To help you make sure you hire the best movers we have put together 5 of the most important questions to ask.

1) How many moves has your company done?

In the moving business as with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Movers with more experience generally have moves that go smoothly and without problems. A mover with hundreds of moves under his/her belt will have all the staff, processes and equipment that is needed. Newer movers often have contracted employees and they just don't work well together so there is more chance of damage.

And, don't get caught in the trap that the number of years in business equals more experience. There are tons of movers on Kijiji and online that only do one or two moves a month. choose a moving company that does lots of moves and, odds are, you'll be much happier with their moving skills.

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2) Are the company and staff insured and bonded?

This question may seem as though it doesn't need to be asked when hiring a professional mover but you'd be surprised at how many moving companies are operating without full insurance coverage. Imagine the moving truck has an accident and all of your household goods are damaged or even burned. You could loose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of furniture, clothing and other items. Additionally, it's important to check that they moving staff are bonded. Usually the moving men and women have ample opportunity to steal your things. Don't allow this to happen just because you neglected to ask.

3) Is the price firm or might there be extras?

In the moving business there are a ton of variables that could cause hiccups in the process and timing of your move. The quote that the moving company is based on the circumstances of a typical move with no issues. But in real life things happen. You need to know ahead of time if there will be an extra charge if the moving truck gets stuck in traffic. Or if there will be more fees if your sofa won't fit in the door of your new place and it has to be boomed in through a window. Things like these happen so ask the question when you get your quote and you'll avoid surprises later.

4) Do you have references and may I contact them?

Any decent moving company will have references. But in our experience, you'll get an opportunity to read them, but rarely will a moving company allow you to contact their previous customers. We suggest that you ask for a list along with the contact information and that you contact at least a few before accepting the moving quote.

On the topic of references and reviews, don't rely on Online reviews like Yelp's when choosing a mover. Signing a contract with a moving company is important and those Online reviews are very easy to falsify. Do your due diligence and contact the previous customers yourself.

5) What is the process for getting things fixed if there are damages?

In all the years that we have been moving people professionally we have very rarely seen a move where there wasn't at least one bit of damage. Most of the time it's just a scuff on a coffee table or a slight stain on the bottom of a sofa. With small issues like this usually the customer just overlooks the damage. But if the damage is more significant, you need to know the process for getting your items fixed or replaced. Any professional moving outfit will have staff that deal specifically with damage claims, but it's important to ask who that is and what paperwork is required to make a claim.

Moving is a complex process and there are many things to manage. But you can minimize the complexity but by just asking a few key questions before you hire the movers by signing the quote. Just be sure that the moving company that you choose is able to answer all of your questions with answers that are acceptable to you. If they can.t, move on to the next.

Have a good one...
Steve - O

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Hank in Cambridge
I used a moving company once that had their own staff to repair damage to furniture. When the guy came he made a big mess of the repair. I suggest you find a mover that uses an insurance company that will hire professionals to get things looked after.

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