Moving services are not something to leave to chance. When you stop to consider that you are entrusting nearly everything you own to a moving company, you want to be certain that they are reliable and professional. Of course, no one wants to spend more money than necessary, but most times the cheapest price is not the best value. As the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”.

The media and the internet are filled with horror stories about moves gone wrong because the mover didn’t deliver on their commitments. These problem moves are usually caused by companies who do not actually have the equipment, personnel and other resources needed to handle a move. Some of the most common problems reported by people using these rogue movers are:

  • Final charges exceeding estimate (sometimes even doubling the cost)
  • Shipment held hostage until customer agrees to pay excessive charges
  • Shipment not delivered on schedule (sometimes weeks late)
  • Claims for damaged or lost items not honoured

Do not fall prey to these rogue movers. The good news is that with some due diligence on your part, it is possible to find a reliable and affordable mover. The secret to choosing the right moving company who will deliver on their promises starts with getting some referrals from family or friends and knowing what questions to ask.

Professional moving companies like Premiere Van Lines in Halifax, Nova Scotia (or other cities throughout Canada), are very proud of our customer satisfaction ratings and are always happy to provide potential customers with testimonials. We also work closely with local realtors, lawyers, associations and other community organizations who will vouch for our service and competitive pricing based on their first-hand experience.

Here are 10 tips that will help you find a reliable and affordable moving company:

1. Contact Movers Well in Advance of Move

Start getting referrals and contacting recommended moving companies at least 4-6 weeks in advance of your moving date. If you are moving during the busy summer months even more notice is advisable.

2. Insist on an In-Home Survey

Unless you only have a few things to move or live in a remote area, the moving company you contact should be prepared to send one of their representatives to your home to view what is to be moved and to discuss the services you require. Be cautious about a mover who refuses to do so.

3. Insist on a Detailed Cost Estimate

Moving costs are predicated on a number of factors. With a long distance move the scaled weight of the shipment combined with the distance between origin and destination is used to determine transportation costs. With a local move the cost is based on the number of hours and the number of men required to complete the move. Charges for additional services like packing, automobile transport, pet relocation etc. should be itemized separately on your estimate. A professional and reliable moving company will prepare a detailed, written estimate with all charges (including taxes) listed. Beware of a mover who won’t show you how the price is calculated.

4. Get Guarantees in Writing

If the mover offers you some form of a price guarantee insist they put it in writing.

5. Ask about Liability Coverage

There are two issues that can arise relating to liability. A moving company is required to carry comprehensive insurance coverage on all of their vehicles and storage facilities. In the event of a vehicle accident (or heaven forbid a truck fire) you want to be sure that they are fully covered for loss or damage to the vehicle and customer contents. The same applies to items stored in a warehouse. The second area of concern is to cover any damage to a customer’s goods while they are being moved in or out of a house or any property damage during the move. Ask the prospective mover to confirm they have the proper insurance.

6. Claims Coverage

Ask the prospective mover to provide details on what type of coverage is available. Most homeowner policies do not cover move related damage. It is best to purchase full replacement cargo protection from the mover. Ask that the cost of the premium be included in your written estimate. Ask for a written copy of any exceptions to coverage. Premiere Van Lines always provides a customer with a printed Transit Protection Certificate.  

7. Claims Process

Ask a prospective mover to explain how you would file a claim for loss or damage and to confirm the average length of time to settle a claim.

8. Compensation for Late Delivery

Ask the mover what compensation is available if they do not deliver your shipment within the agreed delivery schedule unless delay is due to weather or other circumstances outside of their control.

9. Comparing Estimates

When comparing estimates make sure it is an “apples to apples” comparison. If you get three estimates and one is significantly lower than the others ask the mover to explain the variance. If all the companies have seen the same goods they should be quoting on a similar weight for a long distance move or a similar number of hours for a local move. If the hourly rate for a local move is much lower this may mean that the mover has unskilled crew members.

10. Training for Crews

Ask the prospective mover how they train their employees who handle the physical move. Also ask if criminal background checks are done on them.

As you can see, finding a reliable and affordable mover requires a little work on your part, but the results will be well worth the effort. For more information contact our Premiere Van Lines Halifax office at 902-468-4313 or your local Premiere location.