Moving is one of the most stressful events in life, and if you’re moving across the country you can bet the situation will be even more taxing.
There is good news, though. The right cross-country mover can make things significantly easier on you.
How do you find the right mover?
If you have never moved across the country, the following information will help ensure that you make an informed decision for the best possible experience.
Length of Time in Business
One of the first things to consider is the length of time the company has been in business. While there is nothing inherently wrong with choosing a new moving company, those that have been in business for a long time are more stable.
A long-tenured relocation company tends to have a more robust network of resources in the industry.
Online reviews give consumers an avenue to perform research on the moving company they are looking to do business with.
Reading first-hand experiences of past customers is a good way to see how the company in question does business, and how they handle customer service.
If you choose to do this type of investigating, we recommend Google, as that is the most reliable place for consumer reviews and will give an accurate depiction of a company’s quality.
Use caution when reading reviews on Facebook or YELP as they have features in place that could skew the overall company rating.
Facebook allows businesses to delete or hide negative reviews, and YELP has algorithms in place that disqualify or hide positive, relevant reviews.
Awards and Certifications
Awards tell you that the company has done something right. Certifications tell you that the firm and its employees are dedicated to industry-best practices and proof of their qualifications.
Check both before you choose any moving company. Here are more tips on How to Hire a Quality Moving Company.
Movers are responsible for handling some of your most precious possessions – pieces of your life. You wouldn’t trust your furnishings, keepsakes and other items to just anyone.
Find out what the company’s hiring and screening policy is like. Do they conduct background checks before hiring? Do they screen for drug use?
How do they ensure they hire the most competent applicants?
Is the Cost of My Move Guaranteed?
Getting an estimate on your moving costs helps you budget accurately, but some companies will change their offer or not include certain items in the initial quote.
Make sure you get a complete quote and that the cost of the move is guaranteed, or you could exceed your budget.
Here is additional information on Understanding Moving Company Estimates.
Moving is a big decision – especially if you are moving cross country. There are so many things that can bring stress with such a move, but choosing the right mover does not have to be one of them.
Here are a few additional tips to help you find the best cross-country mover:
- Get at least three estimates from different movers for comparison. Make sure you understand exactly what is in each quote so you can compare apples to apples.
- Ask friends and family for recommendations on reputable moving companies.
- Do online research and read customer testimonials from various review sites.
Questions to Ask When Evaluating Cross-Country Movers
1. How long will it take to get my things from my current home to my new home? Keep in mind that a cross country move can take several days to several weeks. Movers will provide a delivery spread, which consists of dates that your delivery could take place between.
2. Do you offer other services such as packing/unpacking and loading/unloading the trucks? Most of the time moving companies will load/unload the truck as part of the package. However, packing and unpacking services are typically not included, but can purchased at an additional cost.
3. What are your Department of Transportation or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration registration numbers? Interstate movers should be registered with both. If you are unsure about whether a mover has the authority to haul your shipment, you can ask for these license numbers or find them at FMCSA.dot.gov.
4. Are rates based upon weight, distance or a combination of both? In most cases, interstate movers will charge based upon a combination of both distance and weight.
5. Are your movers employees of the company or subcontractors? Many moving companies operate with Independent Contractors (ICs) that only do business with that particular mover but are technically not employees.
However, these IC’s are still thoroughly vetted by the moving companies. If they hire subcontractors as movers, get the name of that company so that you can check them out as well.
6. Are there any additional fees related to moving? Typically, companies charge additional fees for items that need to be crated for protection (ie. flatscreen TVs, artwork, glass tabletops, etc.), to disconnect and reconnect appliances, if they must walk more than a certain distance to get from your home to the truck or if there is not easy access to either location.
Be sure to talk to your move consultant about the details of your estimate, so you understand all potential charges beforehand.
7. Will the move be direct or will transfers be involved? Transferring your belongings from one truck to another will increase the risk of damage. If possible, you want to choose a mover that moves direct from your current home to your new one.
8. Do you offer insurance coverage? Most companies do not offer typical “insurance” but rather valuation coverage on your items. This is generally based on weight, not on value, so you will need to do your homework and decide if you need to purchase additional valuation protection for high-value items, which is always recommended.
9. Do you have any unresolved complaints against you? In addition to asking them this, you may want to go online and check the Better Business Bureau. And make sure they are highly rated and in good standing.
10. Know before you go! Before you move, make sure you read over “Your Rights & Responsibilities” document.
Moving cross-country is both exciting and stressful!
It’s important to be an informed buyer, and we hope the information in this article gives you the confidence you need to evaluate potential moving companies.
If you need additional information, or have any other questions, please contact our expert team by filling out an online form, or calling 1-844-350-4284.