There are few tasks that you are likely to undertake in your lifetime that are as complex and fraught with potential pitfalls as the huge effort it takes to move your household to a new address. With the number of choices that you will be forced to make and the long hours of work that lie ahead of you, it’s easy to understand how an effort of this size could have problems. But that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid the glitches you may encounter with some advance planning.
It’s no secret that moving to a new house is a very difficult, problematic and complicated process. Any mistake you make when planning and executing your relocation will inevitably snowball into greater troubles. While certain small mistakes may not have serious consequences in your moving adventure, there are other critical blunders may turn your entire moving experience into an absolute nightmare.
This is especially true for mistakes concerning the most important aspects of the relocation process, such as making an efficient moving budget, hiring good movers and ensuring the safety of your belongings during shipment. Actually, it is exactly the task of finding and hiring trustworthy movers that has proven to be the most challenging part of the whole process.
So, what are the most common mistakes people make when hiring a moving company?
Waiting Until the Last Minute
The longer you wait to schedule your move, the more you will have to pay for last-minute moving servicesand the fewer choices you will have. All the reliable and affordable movers will be previously booked and all the desirable moving dates will be already taken, so you will have to make due with whatever is still available – inexperienced movers, inconvenient pick-up and delivery times, higher rates, etc. Hiring movers at the last moment will cost you dearly and will certainly give you severe headaches.
So, start planning your move as early as possible and book the services of a trustworthy moving company well in advance in order to avoid exorbitant costs and various problems down the road.
Getting Only One Moving Quote
In order to find out what a fair rate in the moving industry would be and make an informed decision about your own forthcoming relocation, you need to gather several estimates and compare the rates and services offered by different moving companies. We highly recommend that you get quotes from at least 4 or 5 movers and carefully weigh your options before making your final choice. Otherwise, you may end up paying much more than necessary.
Not Knowing the Warning Signs of Fraud
Underestimating the risk of moving scams is arguably the greatest mistake you can make when hiring movers. To avoid dishonest movers and scam artists, you need to recognize the red flags of possible moving frauds:
Very low offers – tempting as they may seem, unbelievably low offers should be carefully avoided. More often than not, they signify poor quality or moving fraud;
Requests for large deposits or advance payments – if you pay up front, you risk the fraudulent movers disappearing with your money and leaving you in the lurch;
Lack of precise information – generic names and stock photos, vague descriptions, no contact information, no professional website, missing DOT numbers, and other similar warning signs of a moving scam should prompt you to steer clear of these shady moving companies.
Not Requesting An On-Site Binding Estimate
If you get a moving quote over the phone and/or submit an online inventory list, it is very likely that your final moving costs will be much higher than the amount stated in the estimate. The only way to get an accurate estimate is to have a representative of the moving company visit your home and perform a visual survey of your belongings. Once the movers come to your place, they will not only get a better idea of the actual size and weight of your household items, but they will also be able to assess the complexity of the job, the time required to complete the work, any necessary extra services, and various other details related to your move. This way, they will be able to come up with an accurate price and provide you with a binding written estimate.
If you fail to get this estimate in writing, you may be unpleasantly surprised on moving day – the movers may say that your shipment weighs more than initially estimated or that the job has been more difficult than expected, so you have to pay much higher costs than previously agreed upon. At that point you’re stuck. Either you pay what they ask, or you don’t move!
You can see how easily your entire moving experience can turn into an unpleasant and costly event. But taking certain precautions can prevent an otherwise organized operation from spiraling out of control. A little extra planning can save the day when the moving trucks arrive on the big day.
To make sure that there will be no extra charges added to your moving costs and the moving crew will come to your home properly equipped on moving day, you need to disclose all the relevant information to the moving company beforehand. Discuss all the details and specifics of your relocation with your chosen movers – inform them about possible difficulties, share your concerns, state your requests and wishes, and so on. The better informed your movers are, the less problems there will be on moving day.
Forgetting Those Extra Services Cost Money
A number of additional moving services, such as packing and crating, appliance servicing, and hoisting services are not included in the base rate. Should you need any of them during your move, you will be charged an extra fee that may add hundreds of dollars to your cost. To avoid unpleasant financial surprises, you need to discuss the matter with your chosen movers in advance and specify exactly what services will be required in your particular case. Also, make sure all the necessary extra services, as well as their corresponding charges, are clearly stated in your estimate.
Ignoring the Paperwork
Dealing with paperwork can be quite boring and difficult, but ignoring the moving-related paperwork is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring movers. It is essential that you carefully read all the documents provided by your movers in order to prevent fraud attempts and ensure a problem-free moving process. Never ever sign blank or incomplete papers and make sure you understand and agree with all the clauses in a certain document before signing it. Pay extra attention to the fine print and review the moving company’s rules and regulations, so that you can rest assured in the honest and competent approach of your chosen movers.
Not Getting Adequate Insurance
When hiring a reputable moving company, you will be offered limited liability protection for free. Choosing the Released Value Protection, however, is not a good idea as it only covers 60 cents per pound per damaged or lost article, regardless of its value. If you choose Full Value Protection, on the other hand, the movers will be liable for either repairing a broken item or compensating you with its full cash value, so they will certainly handle your belongings with greater care. To ensure your peace of mind, you can even buy extra insurance for your most valuable possessions from a third party.
Hiring a Company Without Researching Them First
It is the movers you hire for your relocation that will define your entire moving experience. You need licensed, insured, and trustworthy professionals who will take good care of your belongings and will ensure the favorable outcome of your relocation endeavor. The only way to make sure that your chosen movers are reliable is to carefully investigate the moving company. Verify its USDOT number, ask for credentials and references, get opinions and feedback from previous customers, find out if any claims have been made against the company and how problems have been resolved in the past. If you fail to do so and hire a moving company without having researched them first, you risk falling victim to a scam and ruining your moving experience.
Any mistakes when hiring movers will inevitably result in wasted time and money, ruined plans, damaged possessions, or severe headaches. However, all you need to do in order to avoid common moving mistakes and organize your perfect move is to stay alert and well-informed every step of the way!
You have a lot at stake when you undertake the enormous job of moving your household to a new location. You may be relocating to a new city, or even a different state many miles from your former hometown. You will most certainly have a lot on your mind when you make the big jump, so it’s critical that you make the right choices. Your reward will be your own peace of mind.