One of the more, if not the most important aspect of hiring a moving company is getting a quote. The success of your move, and the amount you pay are a direct result of your quote process, so this is an area where you want to be the most prepared and pay as much attention as you can.
Unfortunately, the moving industry in Canada today doesn’t have the best reputation. Because there is no single governing body that certifies and regulates moving companies, the situation can often be described as something of a “wild west.” It is no wonder then that moving companies make the top ten complained about businesses on Better Business Bureau year after year.
That’s why it is especially important for you to be aware and know what to expect when hiring a moving company. And all of this begins with your house moving quote. That’s why in today’s blog we wanted to take some time and really break down all the elements of these quotes so you as a homeowner can feel confident when an estimator comes to your door.
Remember, you should get at least 3-4 quotes before deciding on a mover. In some ways, getting the best quote is about narrowing down the large list of companies out there and leaving the few worthy ones that are reputable and trustworthy and are able to cater to your specific moving needs. Once you’ve narrowed the list you can ask the important questions at the quote appointment to really decide which company to go with.
When should you start getting a moving quote?
The worst thing you can do when getting a moving quote is start too late. Keep in mind, most companies have their busiest time of the month on the last and first day of the. The closer it is to your moving date the more likely there is going to be more demand and the more likely you are to pay a higher price or have difficulty finding a reputable mover. Do some preliminary research about 5 weeks before your move, so that about a month ahead of your move you are confident about the companies you want to have come out for a quote.
How To Find A Company For A Free Moving Quote
Notice how right away we mentioned the word “free”. Your moving quote should always be free. Of course, nothing in this world is truly free and companies factor the cost of doing quotes into their prices. But if a mover is trying to charge you just to come out to your house, you’re better off elsewhere: there are plenty of great moving companies doing free in home quotes.
So how do you go about narrowing down that list to just 3-4 companies? There are several things you can do. Before you even open the Internet or go on Google, consider the immediate circle of people you know. There is a good chance one of your friends or coworkers used a local moving company in the last year or two. Maybe they even know someone who works at one. Regardless of whether they had a good or bad experience with the moving company, you can use the information to start your research. After that you can use the Internet and online reviews to see if these companies have any obvious issues in customer service or the work they do. Keep in mind though, many companies today resort to padding their ratings with fake or assisted reviews. Use websites like Better Business Bureau and Homestars to see what people say about your local moving companies, to see which ones you should have come out for a quote.
Use this checklist from Industry Canada when deciding on a moving company. This can go a long way toward separating the good ones from the scammers.
Make sure that any company you consider meets the criteria under the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers. The guidelines are the closest thing to an official document in Canada that governs how a moving business should operate.
3 Rules To Remember When Getting Home Moving Quotes
If you take nothing else away from this blog, follow these three golden rules as a basis for any quote you ever get, whether it’s a mover, contractor, or any other service.
Make sure the quote is in-home. Sometimes people are weary of letting in strangers into their homes. But having an estimator come by is the best way to ensure you get a correct and fair price on your move. On the other hand, you should be cautious of companies that offer to give you a quote online or over the phone without coming over to see it. The quote will likely be grossly inflated.
Show the estimator everything. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy. The more stuff the moving company can see, the better understanding they will have of what is required of them. Don’t forget the forgettable places like closets, attics, garages, and any other storage that isn’t in plain view.
Get the quote in writing. This is absolutely essential, and a must to avoid any further problems. Make sure that everything you discussed is written on the final quote that is presented to you. If the mover promises to do something it should be written out before you sign. Too many times homeowners get burned because they are promised something verbally and it is never written in the quote or the final contract. It goes without saying the price shouldn’t be changing after the contract is signed. Ask to receive an emailed moving quote as well as a hard copy.
Questions To Ask During Your In Home Moving Quote
Use these questions as a guideline of what you should find out about the moving company when an estimator comes over to do the quote. Using these, you can come up with some additional questions for your move specifically.
- What’s the mover price per hour?
- How much is the truck fee on top of the movers?
- What services are included in the moving cost?
- If you require any specialty services, how much will those cost?
- How many movers will be required to move my home?
- How long does the moving process usually take?
- What do the movers do to prevent damage to the home?
- Is the moving company a member of Canadian Association of Movers (CAM)?
- Is the company registered with the provincial Workers Compensation Board (WCIB)?
- How long has the company been in business?
- Where else do they operate? Any other cities or just in yours?
- Does the company offer Replacement Value Protection? If so, how much does it cost and what exactly does it cover?
- What is the process if something breaks or goes missing? Who is responsible for the stuff throughout the different stages of the move?
- Does the company subcontract any of its work?
- What kind of trucks will be moving your stuff?
- If the moving company will be storing your stuff for some time during the move, where will it be stored?
Storage Quotes: How To Get The Best Price On Storing Your Stuff
When moving, you may be looking to store some of your stuff either for a period of time, or permanently to alleviate the need for space. If the moving company will be storing your stuff, make sure that you discuss where and how it will be stored during your quote.
If you are looking for a more permanent storage solution, you can use similar steps to finding a storage company as you would with a moving company. Be sure however, to physically visit them. Even within one storage company there may be several locations, so you want to make sure you see exactly where your stuff will be stored.
Using these tips, as well as our list of questions, and the material from Industry Canada, you should have no problem narrowing down the list of companies to find the few that may suit you. By the time they come to do an in home assessment you’ll know exactly what you need and be prepared with specific questions. That’s how you make sure you get a fair price on your move, and the company does exactly what they promised they would.