The vast majority of complaints against movers are about delays, broken items and extra charges. In fact, you might hear so much about that sort of thing that you almost think the complaints are unavoidable. They aren’t.
These six steps will make your move go as smoothly as possible
1. Get at least three estimates
Even if a friend insists you have to use their mover, remember that even the worst movers have some happy customers. Do your homework. Check their online reviews. Verify that each mover you’re considering is licensed — their licensing information should be on their websites. After you do all of that, invite at least three movers to give you estimates. Don’t just go by the cheapest, though. Examine each estimate and make sure they are comparing apples to apples. If one mover says they can do the job in 10 hours and another in four, there’s something wrong. Look closely at the inventory lists to make sure nothing is left off.
2. Ask your mover for packing advice
Many customers want the movers to pack for them, but for those who don’t, ask for packing advice. Ask how many boxes you need, and what kind. Ask how to pack certain items, especially breakables. If your mover isn’t willing to offer you advice for free, choose a different mover.
3. Ask about weird things that might need to be packed
I always like to tell people that if it isn’t furniture, it needs to be in a box. That includes pictures and mirrors, lamps, electronics and in many cases, even mattresses. If you aren’t prepared, your mover will pack these items, but you will pay.
4. Take pictures of the place you are moving into
In most cases, movers don’t see the place you’re moving into until they arrive with a full truck. There may be situations, though, where the destination address can add to the cost of the move. Take your phone or tablet on a virtual tour, including from the place the truck would park to the front door. Send the video to your moving estimator.
5. Tell your property manager you’re moving
Many buildings, especially elevator buildings, require people to reserve specific slots for moving. If your mover shows up and your building won’t let you move, you will still pay in most cases.
6. Reserve parking spaces
In many cities, like San Francisco, if your moving truck needs to park on the street, you may need to reserve the space.