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7 Questions to Ask Movers When Moving Cross Country

Posted in Moving Essentials,Planning the Move on August 29, 2022

Considering the fact that your upcoming move is probably important to you, you want to ensure everything goes smoothly. You need to know what are all the important questions to ask movers when organizing this process to ensure you don’t make any wrong choices or mistakes. Learn how to achieve success with our guide.

What Questions Should I Ask a Relocation Company?

Every decent relocation guide will point you in the same direction – hiring professional cross-country movers is the way to go. You’ll get the relocation tip that hiring long-distance movers is a great idea that will save you from relocation stress and making relocation mistakes, but how to actually prepare for movers?

What are the questions to ask movers before and after hiring them? How to know if their cross-country moving services are legitimate, check their potential cost and make a deal that will work both for you and for the professional cross-country moving company you’re hiring.

This article is all about the questions to ask moving companies once you decide to hire them – stick with us to learn all the relocation hacks, and we’re sure you’ll make smart choices.

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#1 Does the Chosen Company Have a License?

One of the first things to ask professionals when hiring them is to prove their credibility by showing you that they have all the licenses. This should be a standard procedure – professionals won’t get offended if you want their license as proof. Scammers, on the other hand, will do anything in their power to hide that they don’t, in fact, have any legal documents, so this is a huge red flag.

Checking online reviews won’t be enough. You should check for the MC license as one of the first things legitimate relocation businesses get. They should list two numbers at the bottom of their website – MC and U.S. DOT. These are known as identification numbers that are assigned to a legitimate professional business by the federal government. If you can’t find and check these numbers, you might be in trouble. Their team of professionals should also have some type of certificate that they have been through training and that they are licensed to assist you depending on the specific type of service you require.

What Else to Check if You Want to Protect Yourself From Scammers?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is known as a government agency in charge of regulating any kind of commercial vehicle operations. It guarantees safety for both parties – consumers and businesses. FMCSA accreditation, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get a fair price for the provided services, but if you believe that you’re a part of a relocation scam, you can always get their support.

You should check for the MC and U.S. DOT numbers in the FMCSA database and look for information about “Operating Status.” If the relocation business you’re checking is legitimate, this status should say “Authorized.” So what should you not do when moving? Hire companies without these numbers if you plan to move efficiently.

#2 Can The Company Provide Additional Services You Need?

You’re already aware of the fact that relocation is a complex process and requires a lot of different steps. Most of them depend on the types of items you want to relocate to your new home. For example, if you don’t know how to protect and pack fragile items on your own, you probably want professionals to do this for you. Some other depend on the place you’re relocating to – maybe you want to bring some items to the storage and others to your new home.

This is why you want to check if professionals offer packing service. You should also check what they mean by this service. Usually, a relocation business that provides this service will require that you give them a full inventory list of objects you want them to pack. This will help them come with the proper packing supplies they can use for protection and ensure that everything gets to your new apartment without any problems.

You Can Get Full Relocation Service or Choose Something Else

Most companies will offer packing as an individual service or as a part of a complete relocation service, but that is only the basic package. Over the years, the relocation industry has evolved and now offers many additional services and ways to accomplish desired goals. For example, apart from this, many companies offer car shipping service and additional options for relocation insurance or storage relocation. It is up to you to decide what specific service you need and then check if the chosen relocation team can provide the desired service.

Professionals loading boxes into relocation truck
You should always check if offered services suit your needs when relocating to a new home

#3 Do They Offer a Free Quote?

Even if you hear what you wanted – that professionals are licensed and offer desired services, this shouldn’t be the end of your examination. No matter how big your relocation budget is, you are probably curious about the potential cost of the desired service, so this is another thing you should check when relocating. Most companies nowadays offer a free estimate.

You can get a free quote through their customer service or on their website by filling in the simple online questionnaire with some information about your move and the services you require. Once you insert all the details, you will get the potential cost of your move. That estimate shouldn’t differ much from the final cost of the move, unles you require some additional assistance during the process.

In the worst case scenarios, if you are scammed, and the professionals give you one quote and charge you much more than that, you can always get back to the previous step and contact authorities about your problem.

You Should Also Find Out How Does the Chosen Moving Company Calculate Prices for Services They Offer

Few factors usually affect the price of professional service. These factors include:

  • Shipment weight,
  • Type of truck,
  • Distance of the move,
  • Seasonality,
  • Hours of labor,
  • Additional charge for fuel or any special service,
  • Additional prices for extra insurance that’s not part of the basic service.

You should always remember this one as one of the most important moving company questions that can save you from a negative experience.

Professional mover checking inventory
You should always check for the factors that will affect the price of your move - for example, getting additional insurance

#4 How and When to Pay?

Payment is another tricky thing you should be informed about before experiencing unexpected surprises. For example, most relocation businesses will require some kind of deposit before the process is done and the full payment once everything is settled.

On the other hand, it is not impossible that some movers require full payment in advance or require payment in cash – both of these things are red flags. First of all, it is not professional practise to require full payment in advance.

Card Payments Are Easier to Track or Cancel if Needed

Also, hand cash payments aren’t as easily trackable as card payments. If you pay with a card and something goes wrong, there is always an electronic record of your payment. With cash payments, it is your word against theirs – even if you paid the full amount, they could require you to pay again at the end of the process because you don’t have a proof of the previous payment. You should keep the cash only if you want to tip movers at the end of the process when you’re satisfied with their service.

On the other hand, some relocation businesses will allow both payment methods, which is the best and most secure option. Some might even offer you a discount if you pay with cash. No matter the case, always make sure that you have the bill as proof of your payment and make sure to know if some upfront payments are required before signing any deals.

Person paying in cash
Paying in cash might mean you'll get a discount, which can be beneficial for your budget

#5 Is This Company Ready to Guarantee You Delivery Dates?

When it comes to anxiety about relocating, most people get nervous when they don’t know what to expect about the dates and terms. This is why many professional relocation businesses will give you an estimate of the arrival dates when it comes to your shipment. On the other hand, if they don’t guarantee you these dates, there is always a chance that the truck with your shipment will be late, and the professionals won’t owe you anything.

In case they give you a guarantee, they are committing to certain dates in writing, so you have proof that the truck with your delivery is late and they owe you a part of your payment (this depends on the contract you get when making a deal with a company).

Relocation boxes
You should know the time when your shipment is expected to arrive

#6 Do They Offer Shipment Tracking?

Even if your anxiety is soothed by knowing the arrival dates, you can still feel nervous about wondering where your items currently are and how the whole process is developing. While you are waiting and anticipating, you probably want a service that allows you to track your shipment (especially if you’re addicted to online shopping).

In the modern era, most professional relocation businesses will offer you shipment tracking service from the professionals’ website and GPS tracking so you can easily get an update about your shipment at any time. This can provide you comfort, plus you’ll know how to plan your time and when the arrival of your furniture is expected. Moving cross country can feel more comfortable if a relocation business of your choice offers this option, but you can still get a pretty good service without it, so it shouldn’t be the main thing to look for.

Reloocation truck
Tracking your shipment can be very satisfying

#7 One of the Most Important Questions to Ask a Moving Company – Ask if There Is a Cancellation Fee

No matter how many reasons to move you have, cancellation of the organized move is always possible. Something might come up at any moment, and you won’t have any other choice but to cancel your move. Now, the cancellation terms of a chosen relocation business will mostly depend on their policy.

The closer you get to the relocation dates, the bigger is the chance that you’ll have to pay them at least some fee as with any other last-minute cancellations. This is something you should know in advance, so you can be prepared. Most companies will give you precise cancellation terms and fees, so there is nothing you should worry about if you’re prepared for this before long-distance moving.

The Company Will Usually Keep the Deposit Money in Case of Cancellation

For example, many companies will require some kind of deposit when booking desired dates. That is usually money they get to keep if you cancel your deal or make any changes that are not in their favor.

Now That You Know All the Right Questions to Ask Movers, You’re Ready to Book Them

Now that you are well prepared and know which information to seek before making any final arrangements, you can feel comfortable and certain about your decisions. There is no reason to worry about making reckless relocation mistakes when you can let trained professionals take care of everything for you. Is there a checklist for moving? You can make your own to-do list and let an experienced team of professionals handle everything when moving across the country.

Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

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