2 Things To Consider Before Hiring A Moving Company

Alivia Whitaker | February 18, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Ok, it's time to move.  Almost no one looks forward to the hassle of moving a home and many longingly think of hiring professional movers.  But is it really the best move?

Today on the Keylock Storage Blog, we've provided you with 3 things to consider BEFORE hiring a moving company.

Do You Really Need Professional Help?

Right off the top, you should consider if you even NEED professional movers in the first place.  There are actually a lot of ways this can be avoided if possible.

What Is Your Time Frame?

One thing to consider is what your time frame is.  If you have a little bit of warning, you can slowly move items eitheir to the new home or into temporary storage.  If your move is at all expected and within driving distance, moving items slowly one car load at a time is a totally economical way to move things without involving professional help.

You Can Always Use Self Storage

Temporary or long term self storage is every movers best friend.  Rarely do moving outs and moving ins perfectly align and reputable self storage is there to help.  Check out Keylockstorage.com to get rates and answer any questions you may have about self storage.

Can You Get Free Or Cheap Moving Help

The next thing to consider is whether you can get free or cheap moving help.  If you belong to a friendly neighborhood, school, church or civic group - you may be able to find volunteers who are happy to help you move for the price of a pizza.  If that isn't an option - another great idea is to ask around in your neighborhood, church, synagoguge, or school and find young teenagers who would be willing to help you move for little to no money.  This is a great option as they will often be willing to help you do things like pack that a professional moving company wouldn't be willing to do.

Is Your Moving Company Reputable?

Something absolutely critical to keep in mind when moving is that not all professional or semi-professional movers are credible.  If you get someone off Craigslists, Facebook or even Yelp - they might not be insured, bonded and their employees may not undergo background checks or drug testing.

Even if you do find a licsenced and bonded company, many moving companies out there run scams on unsuspecting movers.  Mymovingreviews.com detailed ways moving companies can scam victims:

"1) Fake references – rogue movers usually use false references (fictitious testimonials written by their own employees, fake moving reviews, etc.) to pull the wool over their potential customers’ eyes. Some companies even try to hoodwink customers by constantly doing business under new names. Therefore, you are strongly recommended to check the movers in question with the FMCSA and ask around for opinions and feedbacks from people who have actually worked with them – call them in person to hear details about their moving experiences, check the Yellow Pages, etc.;

2) Unrealistically low estimates – it is sharp practice for fraudulent movers to offer low-ball estimates in order to lure heedless customers. Once they secure the job, they will either disappear with the money from the deposit or will request you to pay exorbitant extra fees for some alleged additional services or unforeseen difficulties during the moving process. In order to find honest and competent movers for your relocation, you need to carefully research the companies, compare their offers, and take all the relevant information into account when making your final choice;

3) Large deposits or advance payments – some unscrupulous movers may request a very large deposit or hefty up-front payments in return for a convenient pick-up or delivery time, higher quality services, or some other “special favors”. If you fall into the trap, you will probably never see your movers (and your money) again. So, when shopping around for movers, have it in mind that the requested deposit should not exceed 10-15 % of the estimated final moving cost and you should be able to pay with a credit card (not only in cash);

4) Special clauses in the fine print – never sign a moving contract without having carefully read all its clauses first. Pay special attention to the fine print – it often states that the guaranteed price of your move is subject to change under certain circumstances. Many moving company frauds are based on this simple trick – the movers claim that the job took longer or was more complicated than expected, so you will have to pay much more than initially estimated. To avoid such swindles, you need to make sure that all the required accessorial services, as well as any special conditions related to your move, are clearly stated in the Bill of lading;

5) Blank or incomplete documents – reputable movers will never ask you to sign blank papers. Be extra careful not to fall for such a blatant trick – the consequences will be dire;

6) Non-professional labor and equipment – some shady moving companies may send over to your place inexperienced workers and rented trucks in poor condition, thus putting your entire move at great risk. Moving brokers may sell the job to third party affiliates, leaving you with no idea who will be actually handling and transporting your treasured possessions. Therefore, it is essential for the favorable outcome of your relocation endeavor that you carefully investigate the moving company you consider hiring (its resources, credentials, professional practices, etc.) and request information about any subcontractors before making your final decision;

7) Extra fees – the additional services a moving company offers are not automatically included in the estimate, so dishonest movers may deliberately perform a variety of unnecessary services to soak up whatever they can out of your pocket. To avoid such last-minute fraudulent attempts, you are advised to discuss any special requirements and possible difficulties with your movers well in advance and not to agree to any services that are not explicitly stated (together with their respective charges) in the Bill of Lading;

8) Holding goods hostage – the most common moving fraud scenario involves your household items being held hostage in demand of more money (the unscrupulous movers will refuse to release your belongings until you pay some exorbitant extra charges for whatever ridiculous reasons they come up with). In case your shipment contains plenty of valuable items, the situation may get even worse – the rogue movers may just disappear with your belongings. You may receive some preposterous excuses from the moving company, such as a fire in the warehouse where your goods were kept or a moving truck robbery, or you may simply not be able to reach them at all. The only way to avoid such outrageous moving frauds is to carefully research your chosen movers before hiring them (check the company’s registration and its complaint history) in order to make sure that you are dealing with legitimate, insured, and trustworthy professionals;

9) Stolen items – even if you’ve had quite a smooth and trouble-free relocation experience, your most expensive belongings may turn out to be missing upon delivery. Unless they have been properly insured and explicitly declared in the inventory as high values articles, the moving company will only assume liability for 60 cents per pound per lost or damaged item. Also, have in mind that if you fail to notice and immediately report a missing piece when receiving your shipment, the moving company will deny any liability at all. To prevent such problems, make sure you provide adequate protection for your valuables and check them carefully upon delivery to verify that nothing is missing or damaged."

Before hastily hiring those movers with the cheapest bid - please consider whether you even need movers and whether the movers are reputable. It could save you a lot of time and hassle!

In addition, you can visit Keylock Storage Blog for more interesting articles about organization and lifestyle: keylockstorage.com/blogs