Wednesday, January 19, 2011 -
By Relocation.com Staff
One of the most common questions that we receive from consumers is how you can evaluate the quality of a moving company. The range of quality across different moving companies can vary a great deal and there are some key things that if you watch closely you can feel more comfortable that you have made a good choice before, during and after your move. Here are some of the things that we recommend that you watch carefully:
1. A trained and knowledgeable sales representative. The sales representative from a moving company is very likely going to be your first point of contact. This person should be friendly and give you a strong positive feeling that he or she understands your needs and can articulate clearly the range of services that the moving company can provide. Listen carefully to the questions that the sales representative asks you to see if they really want to understand your specific needs or if they are just giving you the same sales pitch that they give to everybody they speak to. The sales representative should be readily available to you if you have any questions and should not hesitate to provide you with an email and perhaps even a cell phone number should you need to reach them on a weekend.
2. A clear explanation regarding the costs and services that will be provided. Never put yourself into a situation where you are buying something that you do not fully understand. The moving company should be able to provide a customized moving quote to you based on your unique circumstances. You should push to understand the estimated charges and what situations could cause these charges to change. If you do not get comfortable about what you are getting and what you are going to be paying for it, you should not proceed with that moving company. A good estimate should be within 10 percent of the final cost of the move.
3. A company that gathers all necessary information to provide an accurate quote. Imagine you were applying for a mortgage and you asked what your mortgage broker what your monthly payment would be but the broker did not know your loan amount or your credit score. Anything that they tell you will only be a rough guess. Moving quotes will be based on whether you are doing a local move (in which case your estimate will be based on an hourly rate and an estimated number of hours to complete the job) or a long distance move (in which case the estimate will be based on the weight or cubic feet and the distance you are moving). A quality moving company will either do a thorough inventory over the phone or even better request to perform an in-house estimate in which one of their trained consultants will come out to your residence and to a walkthrough with you.
4. A moving company that can quickly provide references. A quality moving company will have a number of customer references that they can provide as a way to demonstrate how they were able to provide quality customer service on previous moves. Look for recent references (within the past 12 months) as management and personnel can change within a moving company and you are seeking the same quality experience of another consumer with this moving company.
5. Movers who arrive on time and are clean and courteous and motivated to complete your move. Once you select your moving company, you should expect that the company does what it tells that it will do. This includes arriving at the specific scheduled time and with the number of movers needed to perform the job in the time estimated by your sales representatives. Each mover should be courteous and professional with you and you should feel that they are treating your personal possessions with the appropriate care and concern. The movers should be very active and not wasting time at your expense.
6. Moving companies that have the right equipment and trucks to perform the move successfully. Another item that you should watch carefully when the movers show up is whether they have the equipment needed to handle the move. A quality moving company provides their movers with the right equipment to handle heavy items, quality packing materials and a clean, well-maintained truck that is specifically designed to handle the moving of household goods. If you are uncomfortable with the equipment being used, especially the truck that will be hauling your personal items, it is better to speak up at this time rather than several days later when the truck arrives at your new residence.
7. Timely, post-move follow up should be provided. You should expect a call after your move is completed to ensure that you were satisfied with the move. If there was any damage during the move, the moving company should help you handle and resolve your claim. Under federal regulations, the moving company has 120 days to resolve the claim but quality companies will like to get claims resolved within 30-45 days. If you feel that you have had a positive experience with your moving company, do not be bashful about offering to provide a reference to the company. These references are very important to moving companies and your offer and completion of a reference will be valued and appreciated.
While each moving experience is different, keeping these items in mind both before you choose your mover and during and after the move will help you to keep your focus on some of the most important areas related to your moving company. Moving and purchasing moving services is an important consumer purchase and you should feel both before, during and after that you have made a good purchase.