|Hiring the right mover is serious business. The wrong mover can end up costing an arm and a leg, break your belongings or even hold your stuff hostage for months at a time. Without the proper insurance and contract agreements, there is little you will be able do about it. If you've never hired a mover before, or even if you have, be aware of the common mistakes people make that can end up costing them, and ensure that you get the best service possible.
Not comparing prices.
The biggest mistake people make when moving is only getting one estimate. It's easy to get ripped off if you aren't comparing prices among multiple moving companies. Never go with the first company you talk to until you know what else is out there. Luckily it's easy to get free, no obligation price quotes from up to seven movers in your area. Just fill out this easy, no hassle form!
Not doing a background check.
One of the most important things you can do when hiring a mover is a background check. There are so many shady companies out there and you don't want to get stuck with someone who is going to hold your stuff hostage or take months to deliver. Check with the Better Business Bureau or the Canadian Association of Movers to make sure your company is legitimate before you give them any money or let them take your things.
Not getting an in-home estimate.
Getting an estimate for the cost of your move is never as accurate over the phone as it is when the company takes a survey of your belongings themselves. Be wary of companies who tell you they can give an accurate estimate over the phone. When it comes time for the move, they can change the weight and you could end up paying more than double what you thought by the time the move is complete.
Going for the lowest estimate.
Never go with the lowest cost just because it's the lowest. Make your decision based on a combination of the price, the services you will receive for that price and any additional costs or services you may require to complete your move. Know in advance what you are going to need and make sure you hire a company with services relevant to your move.
Omitting relevant information.
Do you need to move a sofa, and a table, and a bed? Is your apartment located on the 4th floor of a walk-up? Make sure to include all of this information when talking to your movers. Leaving out items that need to be moved, or forgetting to mention difficulties entering and exiting your home can inflate the labor cost beyond your estimate.
Forgetting extra costs.
Many moving companies like to include hidden fees with their price quotes. These can be disguised as a fuel charge or a travel fee. Or they could be for extra services not specified. There can be extra costs for stair carries or long carries, if the distance from the truck to your door is particularly long, or for transporting oddly shaped or bulky items. Packing services are also not usually included in your initial estimate. Make sure to get a detailed explanation of all charges you will incur before you hire the moving company.
Not getting additional insurance, or checking liability coverage.
Sometimes things happen and items break in transit. A good moving company will do everything they can to prevent this, but in the event that it does happen, make sure you're covered. Your moving company should give you a brochure detailing your rights and responsibilities when you move and their minimum insurance coverage. This is usually limited to 60 cents per pound, per item, no matter how expensive it is. Getting additional insurance can cover some or all of the cost for these items if anything happens to them. For irreplaceable items, it's best to just take them with you.
Not reading customer reviews.
Previous customer experiences can be very telling when it comes to the merits of a moving company. Read reviews on the company's website or customer review websites like Yelp to learn more about the movers. Be wary because some reviews are fake, so learn how to identify them first.
Hiring movers last minute.
Don't try to hire a moving company the day before, or even a week before a move during moving season. It is usually best to give movers three weeks' notice before you need them for a move. You want to give them plenty of time to make sure that they have the staff and equipment ready for your relocation. If they are rushed, there is more of a chance that some of your items will be lost or damaged.
Not reading over your contract.
Make sure you read over the contract carefully before you sign it. Ask the movers to explain any extra charges or services you don't understand. You don't want to be charged for services you don't need or won't actually be provided. After your movers are finished confirm that all of your belongings have been delivered and are undamaged before signing and take your time to double check everything.
Not asking the right questions.
If you have any questions for your movers, ask them. Know who is handling your belongings and how long it should take for your stuff to be delivered. Ask for a contact person, phone number and email for every point in your move. You need to be comfortable with the company taking care of your stuff for the entire process from start to finish.