Do I need an exclusive moving company, van line service or moving broker?
When it comes to moving companies, there are a few different levels of service offered in the moving industry and give you a few pointers on what to look out for that might save you from future stress or headaches.
When getting a quote for long distance moving companies you will find that you are not comparing apples to apples but instead, it’s comparing apples to broccoli or corn because there are many ways to get your stuff moved. You will choose between a low cost high risk of problems and delays companies, to somewhere in the middle with average risk and average cost, and then there is higher cost but extremely low risk companies which is where we consider ourselves on the spectrum.
Low cost high risk options:
Companies here are often van-liners, moving or freight brokers posing as movers or van-liners, ABF or similar freight trailers dropped off and loaded by your choice of load and unload companies, Unlicensed movers, or movers that just are licensed inside your state but not licensed to go out of state and they might even be using uhaul trucks. Also in this category is moving your own furniture, not that you are not capable of doing it but there is just a lot of risk behind it.
Risks associated with these options are not limited to: Price fluctuation based on weight and cubic feet, they might come in and survey the home then give you one of these types of estimates however they do not guarantee the rate and chances are it will come out to be a big surprise when they get to your destination and demand much more money than they told you in the first place because after they loaded you up they put you on a scale to determine that the estimate was off by a few thousand pounds and dollars. Delays in pickup and delivery. Delays are caused by multiple families being placed on one truck or trailer. If a truck is scheduled to pick up your furniture and the driver has one little issue along many stops it will cause your move to be delayed up to 7 days in some instances and most of the time this is a big problem when you have a tight schedule. Placing your items with other families in the same truck also means there is more risk for damages because they squeeze the items from floor to ceiling and the ceiling is so high allowing too much pressure on the items stacked at the bottom of each tier. Another issue with this is the load boards that hold your stuff up can litterally just fall down after the family ahead of you has their items removed causing your items to fall over and smash on the floor as we have seen happen many times. Unlicensed or improperly licensed companies is probably the most risky situation to get yourself into because we have heard so many stories from past clients that have had their items held for ransom or worse loaded up and never to be seen again and not having enough information on the people who did it to even attempt to prosecute or get their stuff back. Keep in mind that some of these companies are constantly using temporary labor or have employees that are just not dealing with people the way we want to be dealt with. Finally we have the do it your self option. Possible risks here include serious injury due to improper lifting technique that could put people out of work for weeks. Driving equipment that you are not used to could lead to a major accident, lack of moving knowledge easily leads to damaged furniture often to the effect of costing more than it would have to hire professionals. Sometimes the move process may even take 2 or 3 times longer when moving your own items and sometimes the cost of the equipment and fuel is much higher than anticipated and you really aren’t saving much money after all.
Average Risk and Average Cost Companies:
In this category you may find that the van-liner company, broker, or licensed household movers are dealing professionally, have mostly good reviews but still quite a few bad ones related to price or quality, and they get the job done on time most of the time with average moderately skilled employees in a high turnover industry that actually are employees of the company you have chosen some with good attitudes and some you might not care for much. The problem here is that 20 percent of moves with companies in this category are followed with a claim for damages or a bad review for quality of service or price fluctuation. That is the national average unfortunately for getting a less than stress free experience.
Higher Cost and Extremely Low Risk Companies:
Here you will find the select few companies that you should work with to complete your move. Usually it makes sense on a situation like trusting your entire estate to another person or company that you would choose to pay a little bit extra to a company that has a higher cost of doing business in a model that was built to make nothing but satisfied customers. Usually you will only find one type of moving company here and that is a household moving company that meets the following criteria… They offer a guaranteed flat rate price from the beginning that they will stick to until the job is complete. The price is determined by the box truck size that your move requires and usually you get unlimited labor and space on that truck because they will handle just one client at a time going one way. They use box trucks to minimize damage because they tend to have good suspension and a interior height that won’t allow too much pressure on the items that go on the bottom of each tier, the trucks can also get in or out of just about any storage, home, or apartment complex without the need of a smaller truck to transport things to the final destination. This one customer at a time approach allows the company to guarantee a pickup and drop off date. These excellent companies are also using their own two or three professional movers from beginning to end on your move allowing easy communication and the ability to extend trust to them once you get to know them during the start of the process. The movers should be very friendly and knowledgeable and they will take pride in giving you the service you deserve. When dealing with the office you will get professional and friendly attitudes that give you the right vibe to move forward with them. If there is any problems during your move, these companies take care of it right away, they take responsibility for mistakes and instead of placing blame elsewhere they will pay for the damaged item or make up lost time one way or another.
How you find these companies will just take a little bit of work on your end to search for reputable reviews found on angies list, bbb, yelp, and google. Then once you find a company with great reviews you can check to see they have a DOT and MC number that allows them to operate as out of state (interstate) movers. You can go to safersys.org to type in these numbers and see insurance ratings and to make sure they have active insurance coverage if anything were to go wrong.