So you're looking for movers but aren't sure which questions to ask? Asking the right questions is critical when you're trying to find reputable movers since a lack of knowledge (or being too trusting) can make an already stressful situation worse.
If you’re seeking honest movers that are safe and efficient, there’s more to it than just scanning the rating and number of reviews. Even simply taking the word of a friend may not be enough!
While you’re searching around for affordable moving quotes, it’s easy to forget all the questions you should ask. It can be overwhelming to try and figure it out all on your own, too.
So we made it easy by doing the heavy lifting of finding movers! Check out the top questions to ask a moving company to find out if they're legitimate professionals.
Basics To Know Before Booking a Moving Company
By the time you’re ready to book movers, you should have 100% clarity on:
- What services you are and are not getting
- The professionalism, licensing, and experience of the company and crews entering your home
- How you’ll be charged
- When you’ll be charged
- What you’ll be charged for
- How much any fees and hourly rates are
- What to expect on your move day
- How and who to contact at the company if something goes wrong
Nobody could break this down better than our Moving Experts.
They want to share everything you’re not asking moving companies but should be. Not only will they help you find the right moving service, but any honest and reputable company should be able to answer them all.
Ask Movers About Their Credentials & Crews
- How much experience do you have with moving?
- Are you licensed to move with the U.S. Department of Transportation and your state DMV? What are your licensing numbers?
- Do your movers and packers have training or prior experience?
- Did your movers and packers pass a criminal background check? Are checks done consistently?
- Do you regularly drug screen your movers?
- Do your teams know how to properly move or pack/unpack my special items?
Make sure that questions about security are the first things you ask a prospective moving company.
Larger companies will have a lot more crews to choose from, so you should be able to get a crew that can accommodate your needs the best.
Unfortunately, lots of people prioritize pricing over quality when looking for movers.
Sure, a quick Google search of something like “cheap movers” or “cheap moving companies” will generate plenty of results…
While it’s good to be mindful of your spending, you won’t know what you’re really getting for that low price tag until you dig deeper.
Our staff of Moving Experts, Omar, Carlos, and Felicia, agree that people often don’t factor in security when finding a crew to enter their home.
“A lot of companies use day laborers,” Carlos states. “Day laborers could be anybody…”
“Do you really want anybody in your home? So, you want to make sure that the movers that are being used are background-checked, drug-screened professionals… because anybody can move a box, but not everybody can move.”
Felicia agrees that security should be at the top of the list no matter if you live alone, if you own expensive items, or if you have a family with young children.
“Think about it…” she starts, “someone comes to your house and they’re day laborers. They don’t have a background check. You don’t know where they’ve come from. You know, they have your address, and they can always come back.”
You’ll absolutely need to ask this question if you have fragile, expensive, or sentimental items. Let’s face it, not everyone can gracefully move a baby grand piano, a gun safe, alcohol, glass tables, or a rare collection.
Legally, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the state of Texas both require movers to be licensed in order to operate.
However, most customers don’t realize that this is not regulated. That means not all moving companies are actually licensed and registered with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV).
Before doing business with any moving company, ask for their USDOT number and TxDMV number and check it online. These licensing numbers should be posted on their website and in any quote emails they send to you.
You can cross off the list any so-called movers that don’t have a visible license number. There are plenty of other trustworthy and legally compliant companies out there that you can trust with your items.
Omar says, “One thing [customers] always forget to ask… make sure that the guys are licensed professionals, that they’ve been around for a while, they know what they’re doing, they have their reputation…. Definitely want to check customer reviews, make sure it’s a good company, make sure it’s a reputable company that you’re going to be going with.”
Ask Movers About Their Policies, Services, & Fees
- What sort of things do you charge for on a move? Is there a fee for rescheduling or canceling a move?
- How much is each charge and how are they calculated?
- What does your travel fee include? Is it hourly? Does it include the drive time to and from my destinations?
- How do you verify the start, stop, and any non-work times for your crews?
- Will you do a virtual or in-person walk-through?
- Can your movers donate or remove furniture I don’t want after a move?
- Do you offer packing and unpacking services? What does this include?
- Will I be charged for certain supplies? If so, how much?
- Is there anything your company will not move?
- Is assembly/disassembly of furniture included? Are there types of furniture you won’t re-assemble?
- Will all my belongings fit in your truck for 1 trip? What truck sizes do you offer?
- What’s your claims rate and process if there are damages?
- Is the tip included? When and how can I leave a tip?
- Who do I contact if I have a problem during my move?
Make sure you ask lots of questions when getting moving quotes from different companies.
Ask about their state and national licensing to move, what they can and cannot move, how they calculate fees, and who to contact if things go wrong.
“Make sure they disassemble; because, a lot of times we don’t know how to take beds apart, or furniture,” Felicia says, mindfully. “A lot of companies don’t disassemble at all. That’s a good thing to ask. Don’t assume they do, because a lot of them don’t.”
Master Your Move Tip: Due to widespread illness and anxiety about the coronavirus outbreak, the company’s COVID-19 policies, claim, cancellation, and rescheduling processes should be clearly outlined and flexible.
Felicia recommends you also ask lots of questions about the company’s pricing and policies. This way, you won’t get slapped with sky-high charges when the company promised an inexpensive, upfront travel fee.
“A lot of times they’ll give you a price based on the hourly rate and the trip charge, and you think that’s a good price because it’s pretty cheap or reasonable. But, guess what? They hit you at the end when you’re coming back,” Felicia explains.
Master Your Move Tip: High fees can also sneak in when movers charge fuel or hourly trip fees in areas with bad traffic...meaning you’ll pay for the time it takes them to drive in rush-hour.
In your moving estimate or quote, (which you need to get in writing) there should be a very clear itemized breakdown of the services you’re getting and their respective costs.
And, don't balk if you're curious or unsure of what a service is or what it includes. Simply ask! As you shop around for moving quotes, a representative for the moving company should be able to easily give you definitions of each service if it doesn't sound familiar.
Finally, any legitimate, licensed moving company worth its salt should absolutely provide you with a copy of your rights and responsibilities as a consumer. This is the law—and it should be automatically given to you without asking.
So, if you don't receive an email attachment or printed copy of your Rights & Responsibilities When You Move, that's a major red flag to find a licensed mover instead.
Now that you know exactly which questions to ask moving companies, you're ready to book a much safer move!