“You didn’t tell me that!”: Questions to Ask Your Movers Up Front

We’ve all been there with some kind of business or another. You get to the day of service, or maybe you’re getting your first look at the bill, and you find something totally unexpected that changes everything. It can be a pretty frustrating experience. So you find yourself having to step back, take a deep breath, and try not to scream at the top of your lungs.

The thing is, some businesses will only give you the minimum amount of information it takes to get you to sign on the dotted line. The other thing is, you really should own some of that frustration yourself. You have to be the one who looks out for you. That means that when you’re hiring a moving company, you need to ask enough questions up front, so you don’t have to be surprised with something later. Here’s some of what you should find out.

Are You Members of Any Moving Associations?

Find out immediately if the company you’re considering is affiliated with any of the well-known moving associations, like the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM). These organizations have requirements for companies to meet before they can become members. Knowing the business meets the standards of this kind of group can give you some peace of mind.

What Is Your Physical Address?

This is especially important in today’s world when it’s very likely you are trying to book your moving company online. There’s nothing wrong with finding your movers on the Internet, but it leaves the door open for dishonest people to take advantage of those who don’t ask enough questions.

Any reputable moving company will have a physical location with a real address. They’ll have warehouses, moving trucks, office space, and a number of other pieces of equipment that are used for moving. If you ask for a physical address and there isn’t one, there’s a good chance you’re talking with a rogue company that isn’t very trustworthy.

How Do You Calculate the Expenses Included in the Estimate for My Move?

You’re going to ask for a moving estimate. That doesn’t mean you’ll know where the numbers come from. Ask the company representative to explain to you where the numbers come from. Also, if they give you an approximate cost over the phone but then there’s nothing else said about it, ask if they will be doing a visual survey in your home soon. Most companies will have someone come out and take a look at what things you have to be moved. They’ll make approximations of weight based on what they see in the home. Then they can get a better idea of how much your move is going to cost.

Long-distance moves are based on weight and how far away you’re going. Without seeing what’s in your house, it would be very hard for a moving company to come up with an estimate that’s very close to what you really might be spending.

Do You Offer Any Other Moving Services and for How Much?

If you don’t ask about other services that you’re expecting the movers to take care of, you might find yourself in a situation where you’re left to do some of the work that you weren’t planning on doing. We’re talking about things like packing and unpacking, disassembly and reassembly, or whether the company can provide storage if it’s needed.

Some movers aren’t considered full-service companies. They may not offer packing or putting things back together. Or, they may offer it but at exorbitant prices. Find out what all of the services are that are offered and how much it will cost you before you decide to hire a specific moving company.

What Are the Protection Plans Offered?

Moving companies will offer different levels of protection coverage for your goods while they’re in transit. Find what those are, look over them in detail, and choose one that gives you the insurance you’re looking for. We recommend going with full coverage, but it’s up to what you prefer.

Note that if a company doesn’t offer any protection plans, you need to opt for different movers. This is a red flag. All reputable moving businesses will offer some kind of insurance because of the nature of what they do.

How Do You Pack Fragile or Delicate Things?

All of us have items in our homes that mean a lot to us for one reason or another. Some things come from places we’ve been; some come from people we love, some may even contain the remains of people we love. Because there are items that are absolutely irreplaceable, it’s important to know how a company handles things like that.

Find out if they use special packaging for certain things. Do they have the means to get special containers for items that may require them? You also want to make sure that they will transport all of the items that you have. If you find out they won’t move something upfront, you can make other arrangements for whatever it is.

When Will Your Stuff Be Delivered?

Oddly enough, this question gets forgotten a lot of the time. It’s very important, however. You need to have an idea for when your belongings will be showing up. The company won’t be able to tell you a specific date, but they will give you a delivery date range. As the time gets closer, they will know what day to tell you. You’ll usually find out a day or two before the shipment is going to arrive.

Be Your Best Advocate

It’s up to you to find out everything you need to know about your move. Many good companies will offer up the answers to these questions without even being asked. That’s a really good sign. If they don’t, though, you can look out for yourself by asking the right questions at the right time. You can avoid having to feel like you just got walloped on the head with an unexpected something, and your move can go off without a hitch.

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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