Be it purchasing or renting a new home, everyone will experience moving at some stage of their lives. Packing up boxes and doing all the heavy lifting yourself can be a physically draining task, not to mention the stress of it all. Deciding to make use of a professional moving service can eliminate a lot of the hassle and make the process much smoother, provided, of course, you choose the right company, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
As with most services it is best to use a mover that has been referred to you by a trusted friend or family member. However, in the instance where there is no-one who can provide the contact details of a reputable moving service, there are aspects to consider that will assist you in making the right decision.
Here are a few points for those looking to use a professional mover to consider:
Search portals and public information
Most consumers will have access to a wealth of information via some kind of smart device. There is little that cannot be found on the internet with the majority of companies having an online presence. Most service providers will have a website where they list their services, service history, area they operate in, a rough estimate as to how much it will cost, and contact details. From the information gathered, it will be possible to compile a list of possible choices. Is it best to be wary of companies that do not provide their address or information about licensing and insurance.
Aside from general online search, social media networks are also a good source of information and testimonials. Social media has given the consumer a voice and platform where information can be freely shared. While a website gives the organisation a chance to say what they want about themselves, social media has given their clients a chance to share their opinions about the organization.
Ask for a quote
To be able to provide an accurate quote, the moving company will need to come to the house and get a clear understanding of the volume of boxes and furniture that will be transported. It is very difficult for a mover to provide a precise quote over the phone – they should do an onsite inspection and provide a written quotation.
Do not choose to work with a mover that wants a contract signed or deposit paid before they are willing to provide a quote – the quote should be free.
Ask questions and get information upfront
It is important is get as much information as possible upfront. Ask the mover questions such as their hourly rate, how many people will be there to move your goods, and if there are any additional costs such as fuel or packing materials.
Is the mover insured?
There is always an element of risk when goods are being transported, especially if the move is a far distance. The mover should be able to provide some kind of insurance during the move. Generally, a mover will not cover everything in its entirety, but they should be able to give a certain level of insurance or guarantee in case of breakage or items going missing. Taking photos of all pieces of furniture will help to prove liability on the part of the mover if any items are damaged in transit.
In addition, it is also advisable to contact your insurance company before the move to check what they will cover during the transportation of the household goods. Homeowners should find out what is required in case of loss, as some insurance companies may need receipts, appraisals or photos of valuable items.
Check the paperwork
The mover should provide an inventory list of all the household contents that they will be transporting, along with the pickup address and the final destination of the goods. Goslett says that it is important to check the list to make sure it is correct and everything has been listed. Homeowners should also read any other fine print in the paperwork as well as any other documents provided by the mover. It is advisable to keep a copy of all documentation on file for later reference if required.
“Although moving can be a stressful exercise, with the right moving company, it can be a far less daunting task. Selecting a reliable service provider will ensure that the move is as smooth as possible, making it something that everyone can look forward to,” Goslett concludes.