I reached out to my moving industry colleagues on LinkedIn to inquire what kind of advice they would give consumers who are planning to move. The advice provided from my colleagues in the moving industry stems from their many years of personal experience. There are some very helpful suggestions for you to consider when moving.
Christina Seelen, Customer Service @ Manna Freight Systems, Inc.
Be prepared just in case the truck breaks down and doesn’t arrive as soon as you think it will. Do you have enough of your medications? Do you have all the documents you need for your home closing? How about getting the kids enrolled in school?
Chris Waters, General Manager @ Carey Moving and Storage, Inc.
Not to schedule any other appointments on the same day as packing, loading or the delivery. If they have to leave to close or to do something else, they need to have a responsible party at the home to answer any questions and to handle anything that may come up. Also, to have realistic expectations on how long things will actually take to get done.
Tylene Ashcroft, Vice President of Operations @ Diamond Worldwide Relocation, Inc.
Don’t wait till the last minute to book your move! I cannot tell you how many times we get a client who calls up and says, “I would like my international shipment packed next week.” It is pretty hard to pull off at the last minute. And if you have an international move, please read the customs information sheet we give to you BEFORE the day of pack. There is vital information that will keep you from shipping restricted and prohibited items. It will also detail what customs documents you need to have in place before your shipment sails. Without this information you could encounter costly delays and fines!
Josh Bloomer, President @ Pony Express Moving Services
Number 1 rule: Book Early! This is the same for Interstate and local too. Also when self-packing (besides the obvious “label boxes, fill boxes, tape boxes”) the rule of thumb is “everything that fits in a box goes in a box” is a biggie too. Makes the move go smoother and faster (customer satisfaction) and easier loading with less “chowdah” (boston mover expression) makes the crew happier.
Gabrielle K. Gabrielli, Ph.D., CGMP, Dynamic Educator Improves Motivation, Performance, Learning, and Digital Marketing. Maxwell Leadership Partner!
In response to your question, my number one piece of advice is to do your homework- beyond the Better Business Bureau- before choosing a reputable moving company. I had a terrible experience with a positively rated BBB rated company (All American Moving & Storage) when I moved out of New York. They charged me more than double the estimate then held my belongings hostage until I paid it, the delivery was delayed by weeks, and when the driver finally arrived in Florida, he came to my house alone and exhibited highly unprofessional behavior. He left for a couple of hours and returned with a helper who I learned he had met at a nearby gas station. The helper had no prior moving experience but was at least kind. When I rejected the advances of the All American Moving & Storage employee, he became very angry and threatened me, saying that he had been with the Israeli national army and he could destroy me. I called police, but they said there was nothing they could do with an interstate move. He then went to the moving truck and began throwing my furniture out of the truck and into the street at the end of my driveway and in the rain. If a box said “fragile” on it, he threw it harder. I called the company and they claimed that they had terminated him and he had stolen the truck, but they did absolutely nothing to make things right. It was a HORRIBLE moving experience, and almost everything I owned was destroyed…plus I was out thousands of dollars for the experience.
So, my advice is to do your homework. Don’t trust BBB ratings alone. Search the Internet and type in the word “scam” with the company’s name and see what you find. Trust consumer ratings more than anything, especially when there are thorough reviews with the positives and negatives. When there are negatives and the company addresses the issues, I have much more trust for the company. If I were to move locally, I have no doubt about which company I would choose due to its excellent reputation and community involvement! 🙂 What a contrast from what I experienced in New York….
Keith Morse, Director of Sales and Marketing @ DMS Moving Systems
Gabrielle, always be leery of the internet company. T hey seem to do a lot of bait and switch. Always look for the pro mover logo which means that they are at least a reputable company.
Jennifer Hoffman, Customer Service/Account Manager @ Nelson Westerberg/Agent for Atlas Van Lines
On loading day, I always remind my customers to do a thorough walk through of their house to make sure everything that is to be moved is loaded. Many times a customer will call and say that something did not make the truck! Always check the closets, storage areas etc. On delivery day make sure they are home to check off inventory and make note of any exceptions at the time of delivery. This will help if a claim needs to be filed at a later date. I agree with Gabrielle, do your homework! Referrals are better than any website or consumer protection agency. Ask your neighbors, family and friends who has moved them in the past.
Scott Ferree, Director Corporate Relocations @ MiniMoves
Selecting your mover based on price alone can lead to a disappointing outcome. Quality products or services require adequate funding. Buying a move using price as your primary criteria is a bit like buying a parachute from the low-cost producer. If everything goes well there’s no problem but if things go badly, the outcome can be catastrophic. There is no other service where we entrust everything it has taken a lifetime to accumulate to total strangers on the promise that they will be returned, intact. Add to that the condition of taking hundreds of dissimilar items that are out of their factory packing and moving them down staircases and through doorways that were not designed for that purpose and you can easily see that price alone is not a sufficient measure of qualification. I too am a consumer and must dig into my own pocket for the things that I buy in life. Price is important and should be one of the elements of the decision but should not be the most important factor in selecting your mover.
Ward Blanchard, Owner, A League of Extraordinary Movers
Research, research ,research it’s boring and you’ve got a million other things to do but remember this…everything you own ,your work, play everything is in the hands of and in most cases, a stranger or at least a person you don’t know well enough to send a Christmas card to. So take the time to know your mover. Not just the swell voice over the phone or the (if it’s me coming over) handsome sales person. Get the scoop on the company. What’s the owners’ name, speak to them. Get their address, know where exactly their office is make sure they are currently licensed, who to complain to or who regulates them and check to see if there has been complaints. Go to rip-off report.com or movingscam.com or just type in the companies’ name and the word reviews. But by all means KNOW YOUR MOVER!!
David Johnson, Sales Rep @ Suddath Relocation Systems
#1 rule is have a rep come out and give you a written, IN HOME, estimate.
Danny Sirianni, President of Sirianni Construction & Moving Services, and ReMax Realty Group
The consumer should always get three in home estimates to insure an accurate price and space needed on the truck. Never book your move based on a phone or Internet survey.
BARBARA SPIDLE, OFFICE MANAGER @ KC MOVERS
Make sure to keep items you do not want loaded in the truck in a different area-checkbook, medications, paperwork, laptops, etc.
Neil Durnin, General Manager @ Chatham Moving & Chatham Storage
I think the best advice is to start your planning for the move a lot earlier than you think. In the past three years, it seems as if we are the last people that customers are calling, and they are shocked that our schedule has booked! I encourage our customers with the old “trust but verify” all your estimates. And please take the time to read through the entire estimate not just the total cost. Be thorough in your research on each company, and if you expect honesty from your carrier, then be honest with them in how involved you will be in the process.
Lori Piccola, Moving Industry Professional
I would advise the consumer to have a little bit of flexibility in their schedule and plan for moving day to be a 8 to 9 hour day. Don’t make other plans that cannot be changed on moving day.
David N. Osterhoudt, Regional Sales Representative @ Arnoff Moving & Storage
Interview only PRO MOVERS and have the salesperson come in person providing a binding or GNTE (not to exceed) price w/ Valuation included & book your move early. Lock you price in as soon as possible to avoid any summer peak season price increases or closed out moving dates especially in peak season. A referral from a realtor, chamber of commerce or from a repeat client is the best way to secure a licensed & professional moving company. Plan ahead, this ensures hiring the mover of your choice.
Dennis Calvin, Commercial Coordinator @ Fry-Wagner Moving & Storage
Never plan your home closing on a potential pack load or delivery day. Closings seldom go as planned, and often have delays. If this is unavoidable, you must have someone who you trust at your home to release or receive your things. This person must be at least 18 years of age. Even if leaving for only a short while, it is always wise to leave someone who you know and trust in charge.
WALLY DONALDSON, Marketing and promotions @ United Van Lines Canada Ltd
Fortunately, we have not encountered this too often, but if the customer plans on providing his or her own pack service, make certain they are aware to plan lots of time prior to their move date. We have gone into homes and the dishes are still in the sink and the customer is totally flustered. They wake up at 6 a.m. thinking they can have it done by 8…not going to happen!!
Lorne MacInnes, Ferguson Moving and Storage Ltd.
Insist on in home consultations. Avoid scam operators and do not book your move over the phone.
I want to thank all of my colleagues for the great advice. I know all of my colleagues speak from the voice of experience. So to my readers, please consider the above when planning your move.