Whether you are moving to a new state or just right around the corner, hiring quality movers is extremely important.

The right movers will gently pack up your things, transport your items with care, and deliver them on time and undamaged. However, hiring the wrong movers can result in broken and missing items, invoices padded with hidden fees, and a frustrating experience overall.

Fortunately, there are several qualities all good removal companies have in common. Looking for these qualities is a good way to weed out the good from the bad and protect your items in the process.

If you are getting ready to move and are considering hiring a moving company, here are several things to keep in mind.

1. Professionalism

When you are in the middle of moving to a new home, you want to make sure your movers are professional. A level of professionalism is important because it will determine the experience you will have during your move.

A lack of professionalism translates into a lack of care and concern for you, the client. Look for good phone etiquette, a neat appearance, reliability, and competency.

2. Affordability

Moving house can be an expensive endeavor. While hiring a moving company should not be free, it also shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Look for a company with affordable rates and no hidden fees. Be wary of companies that have an unrealistically low base rate but add fees for every little thing until you are paying much more than the average rate.

3. Time Management

Time management is essential when you are moving house. Generally, you will have a specific date, and possibly time, to hand in your keys for your old home and to move into your new home.

Dealing with movers who have poor time management skills can result in your moving into a new home without having any of your possessions with you. Look for prompt responses and effective scheduling when you are considering a moving company.

4. Quality Packaging Materials

Most removal companies offer a packing service, which can be a helpful convenience when you are dealing with all the to-do items on your moving checklist. While a packing service can take a lot off of your plate, you want to make sure high-quality packaging materials are used for your move.

Ask about the quality of the packing materials. If the company also sells packing materials, ask to see a sample. While this may seem like a small issue, it’s important to make sure your items and safe and secure throughout the process.

5. Recommendations

Perhaps the best way to find a quality removal company is to ask family and friends for a recommendation. A first-hand account from someone you know and trust is a great way to ensure your experience is positive.

Ask your friends and family if they have a moving company they can recommend. While you should qualify the company on your own, getting a recommendation is a great head start.

6. Testimonials and Reviews

A well-established moving company should have plenty of testimonials and reviews you can read. Check popular online review sites, as well as the company’s website. Take note of any bad reviews or any trends in the reviews. If several reviews state the company was late or lost an item or two, you will probably have the same experience.

While one or two negative reviews don’t mean the company is bad, take note if you find several negative reviews.

7. License and Insurance

The moving company you choose to hire should be licensed and insured. Licensing is a layer of vetting that proves the company is legitimate and you are not being scammed. The insurance helps protect the value of your property should anything go wrong during the move.

Ask a representative for licensing and insurance information. The license number should be printed on each vehicle and the insurance policy should always be on hand. If the representative will not provide the information immediately, move on to the next company.

8. Positive History

Even if the company is legitimate and well-established, make sure to check that they have a positive history. This goes deeper than reviews or testimonials, especially if the majority of the reviews are recent.

Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. Look for complaints involving fair rates, timeliness, and how well they packed and transported items.

9. Written Estimate and Complete Contract

A quality moving company will provide you with a written estimate, as opposed to a verbal one. Getting everything in writing is a good practice, especially when your possessions are involved. Verbal estimates usually come with surprising fees that you never agreed to.

You should also never sign a blank contract. All of the information must be filled in before you consider signing. Read the fine print to ensure there are no surprises later on.

10. Effective Communication

One of the most important qualities of a good moving company is effective communication. The moving company you choose should be able to detail their process for you, as well as tell you all of their relevant policies and procedures.

You should walk away from the initial consultation feeling informed. You should also be encouraged to ask any questions you might think of after the meeting. Look for a company that has a robust customer service department, always answers their phone, and is willing and able to help.

11. No Hidden Fees

Part of getting a written estimate is to ensure there are no hidden fees. You want to know all the fees upfront and not be faced with a huge invoice at the end of your move. Ask about bulky item fees, hoisting fees, travel fees, elevator or flight fees, environmental or disposal fees, and more.

12. Department of Transportation Number

If you are moving out of state, the moving company you choose needs to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They should also have a department of transportation number.

Without this registration, the moving company is not legally allowed to transfer people or items across state lines. You can search for any companies you are considering through the FMCSA database.

13. Pay Upon Delivery

While it’s pretty normal to pay a deposit for most services, removal companies are the exception. It’s rare for a moving company to ask for a deposit, in fact, it’s a red flag that someone may be trying to scam you.

If a moving company asks for a deposit instead of pay upon delivery, move on to the next company. There is a small chance the company is reputable but it’s better to not take the risk.

14. Up-To-Date Technology

Today, any company you work with should have up-to-date technology. Staying updated not only makes your experience a smoother one, but it also adds a layer of convenience.

Talk to a representative of the moving company and ask what technology they use. Are you able to track your order through an app? Do they offer an online inventory of your items?

If they are working with out-of-date technology, you might be in for a frustrating moving experience.

15. Complete Walkthrough

Part of the estimate you receive from a moving company is based on a walkthrough of your home before the move. During this walkthrough, the representative will check every area of your home so they can get a general idea of what they need to pack and move. This consultation is the basis of the estimate you will receive.

Make sure you have a walkthrough scheduled as giving an estimate without seeing your home is one way some movers pad your invoice with hidden fees.

16. Be Aware of Scams

Unfortunately, there are many moving company scams you may encounter when hiring a moving service. One of the scams includes requiring a large deposit, packing up your possessions, and refusing to release them unless you pay an absorbent fee. This is not the only moving company scam so it’s best to be diligent.

One way to avoid being scammed is to check the history of the company. If the company is well-established with years of history, it is less likely to be a scam.

17. Custom Service

Every move is different, which is why a one-size-fits-all service isn’t always effective. A good moving company can offer custom solutions that are designed to fit your individual needs.

Look for a company that offers specializations at an affordable rate. Your out-of-the-box requests should not be surprising for the representative you make the arrangements with. If the staff seems uncertain about how to accommodate your specific needs, move on to the next company.

Look for These Qualities When Considering Removal Companies

There are all kinds of removal companies, both good and bad. Hiring the right company can be as simple as looking for a few, specific qualities.

Look for a well-established company that only does business under one name. The company should have up-to-date technology and have a clear payment structure that doesn’t include large deposits or extra fees. Overall, look for professionalism, effective communication, and positive reviews and testimonials.

Use these factors as a guide and you’ll be well on your way to having a positive moving experience.

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