Finding and Working With A Reputable Moving Company
Are you getting ready to move? Moving to a smaller place or somewhere closer to your grandchildren? Whether moving across town or across the country, you will most likely need a moving company to transport your furniture and belongings. To ensure the smoothest move possible, follow these tips from AARP on finding and working with a reputable mover.
• Find a reputable mover – Ask for referrals from friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Check whether the moving company is a member of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and see if the Better Business Bureau or state consumer protection agency has a record of complaints. Ask how long the company has been in business. Some states require moving companies to register before doing business, so you can also check with state licensing agencies.
• Get estimates – Get estimates from three companies. Request a walk-through with the company representative so you can point out exactly what you want transported and what you want packed. If you get an estimate over the phone, be sure it is backed up in writing as to whether it binding or nonbinding estimate. A binding estimate is guaranteed, which a nonbinding estimate may be lower but can drastically increase at the end of the move. Don’t assume the lowest bid is the best choice as the mover may intentionally give you a low estimate to get your business but may later hike the final price.
• Understand the costs – Moving charges include weight, distance, and services. Check for extra charges included in the bid, such as packing materials, traveling time, or waiting time. Find out what methods of payments movers will accept.
• Pack up – Ask the moving company for cost-saving tips on packing and preparation. While having movers pack everything can considerably increase your bill, some movers may not pay for claims to damaged items you pack yourself. You will want to pack and move certain things yourself, however, such as precious jewelry or live plants.
• Make an Inventory – Keep track of the contents that go into each box and make sure the moving crew head accurately inventories each item as it is loaded. Review the list before signing the bill of lading. Keep the contract and inventory to check off items as they are moved into your new home.
• File claims – It is a good idea to take pictures of major items before the move to prove their condition prior to the move. When unpacking, take pictures of any damaged items. Save the packing materials and call the company to send an agent if you find damage after the movers have already left. While you have up to nine months after final delivery to make any claims, it is better to make them as soon as possible.
• Resolve Problems – If you other problems or complaints that you can not resolve with your moving company, contact the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) Dispute Settlement Program. Also notify your state consumer protection office and Better Business Bureau.
For more consumer protection tips and additional resource links for dealing with a move, read the entire article at
Source: AARP.org. “Get Moving: Using A Moving Company”