Do you use subcontractors or a third-party to handle and deliver my belongings?
Before you work with a mover, you need to know how they operate and if a different company will actually be doing the loading, transporting, and unloading of your belongings. This is because while many moving companies have their team, some movers act only as brokers and subcontract their services to a third party. They outsource their services to companies they have partnerships with, including local movers who have purchased their own trucks for transport.
Some moving contractors are more experienced than others, so it won't hurt to make sure that the third-party movers are a team of qualified professionals that are up to the task. If the broker company uses several contractors, politely ask for a complete list. See if you can also meet the actual movers face to face before the relocation date. This might be helpful to avoid miscommunication that could cause delays and incur additional costs and fees on moving day.
Is your crew covered by worker's compensation insurance?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that pays for medical expenses and lost wages if employees are injured on the job. At first glance, whether or not the employees have workers’ compensation may not seem like something that should concern you. However, in case the company doesn’t provide proper insurance to their movers and one of them got hurt on your property or an accident occurs during the move, you could be held liable and you may have to cover for the injuries.
How long will the move take?
Any professional and experienced moving company would know how long your moving situation should take. They will give estimates of when your things are likely to arrive, taking into account any possible delays surrounding that date or weather conditions.
The movers will offer to deliver on a particular date for interstate moves. Just remember that it isn't considered a guaranteed delivery date if it was not put in writing. Long distance moves, on the other hand, almost always involve a delivery window rather than an exact delivery date. Make sure to ask for their delivery window policies in detail so you can plan ahead on how much to pack on your personal luggage.
How do you handle disputes or claims?
Another thing you might want to inquire about is their policy for resolving complaints or claims against them. It's also important to know how they deal with disputes and minor conflicts. A good moving company will be willing to give you a history of complaints and claims, and whether or not they were resolved satisfactorily for both parties. It also won’t hurt to ask how many claims and complaints they’ve had, and depending on the numbers, might be a good or bad indication of their incident record.
What modes of payment do you accept?
Moving is stressful and expensive. Hiring movers, buying packing supplies, and signing up for moving insurance, can all amount to a hefty bill. This is why reputable companies usually accept credit cards or cashier checks, while some moving companies also offer discounts to customers who pay with cash upfront. The key is to ask about their payment options before hiring them so you'll be prepared when the bill comes.
Be clear about the amount that is due on delivery versus previously paid amounts. Moreover, be wary if the movers you’re considering are requesting only cash payments, which could be a red flag for rogue movers.
What is your company's cancellation policy?
Even if there’s only a sliver of a chance you’re canceling your move due to whatever reason, it’s good to understand your moving company’s cancellation policy before you hire them and sign any contracts. Moving companies usually have a cancellation time during which you can cancel your move free of charge, while a few might even let you cancel the day before your relocation date without a penalty.
However, many movers will also keep all or part of your deposit if you cancel within a certain amount of time before your move, and there might even be extra cancellation fees. It’s crucial that you find out what your options are in case you need to cancel. You also would want to inquire further whether you will be reimbursed if the movers fail to perform your move or to appear on the agreed moving date.
Do you offer any promotions and discounts?
Since moving isn't exactly cheap, it never hurts to ask about any discounts and promotions the company is currently offering to be able to save money. Here are some of the most common moving deals and discounts where you might be eligible:
Law enforcement, teacher, first responder, and military discounts
Off-season discounts or seasonal discounts
Some companies are even pretty vocal about these discounts. Simply ask the moving service, especially when you’re shopping around for the best prices.
16. Do you have any questions for me?
Finally, don't let the interview end without the moving representative asking you questions. If they are an exceptional company that will do their best to perform your relocation successfully, they will think of asking for any relevant details that you might have forgotten to share or mention. They will also go out of their way to give you tips and suggestions to help you prepare and plan accordingly. These little things are huge positive signs that you have found the best movers for you.
A huge part of a move's success depends on careful planning and attention to detail, which includes the moving company you hire. This list of questions may seem long, but it can guide you in identifying a bad mover from a reputable one. For starters, the latter will be more than willing and able to answer all these questions satisfactorily. Use this as a guide when you’re interviewing potential movers and hopefully, you can make the right decision.