Whether you’ve hired a professional moving company in the past or this is your first time gathering estimates for moving services, you need to know what to look for. Without asking the right questions, you may end up hiring a mover who costs you far more than you anticipated or worse, who doesn’t have the appropriate credential to perform the job.

At Ace Moving & Warehousing, we’re here to help you make the smartest moving decisions for your needs. Below, we’ve listed the must-ask questions you can’t afford to neglect when you’re interviewing Rochester moving companies and gathering price quotes.

Is This Moving Company Licensed by the FMCSA?

First and foremost, you must ask whether each moving company maintains licensing from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This government agency regulates all commercial vehicle operations and any reputable moving company should hold licensing.

In addition to inquiring when you get an estimate, you should also review each company’s website to find their USDOT Number, which indicated they’re licensed. You can also verify that number on the FMCSA database website to double-check it’s legit.

How Do You Handle Insurance Claims for Damaged or Lost Items?

If any of your items incur damage or get lost during transit, you’ll need to file a damage or loss claim with your mover before you can receive any reimbursement for those things. Don’t hesitate to ask the moving company representative how they handle such claims and what the timeframe for reimbursement typically looks like.

It’s also worth checking out customer reviews to see whether past customers had issues with coverage claims. If you find that multiple people never received their reimbursement, steer clear.

Does This Moving Company Provide Binding or Non-Binding Estimates?

When a moving company gives an estimate, it can be either binding or non-binding. The price stated in a non-binding estimate can change; the price listed on a binding estimate cannot. However, if you choose to add on additional moving services after you receive an estimate, you will, of course, need to pay extra for those.

It’s in your best interest to go with a company that offers binding estimates since many moving companies who furnish non-binding estimates are notorious for increasing prices on moving day. 

Will There Be Any Undisclosed Fees on the Moving Estimate?

If a moving company is going to increase fees for their services, they’re most likely going to do it on the day of your move via hidden fees. Usually, these fees are well-disguised in the verbiage of your contract, and unless you read the fine print closely and have a solid understanding of legal speak, you might fail to notice that they’re there.

Don’t hesitate to ask each moving company to lay out their fee structure in detail. If they tell you there won’t be any hidden fees whatsoever, that’s good. But if you get an ambiguous response, they’re likely hiding something they don’t want you to know until they hit you with surprise charges on your bill.

It’s also good to look at customer reviews for each company to see whether previous clients got hit with unexpected fees and the reasoning behind the upcharges.

Do You Background Check Your Employees?

If you’re hiring professional movers and packers for full packing services, you’ll be allowing strangers inside your home with all of your most valuable belongings. That’s why asking about background check verification is so important.

You need to know you can trust the people whom you’re inviting into your home, and you also need to feel confident that none of your items will suddenly go missing once they’re inside the truck and out of your control. If you run across a moving company that doesn’t do background checks, it’s in your best interest to steer clear, no matter how great of a price quote they give you.

Do You Offer Delivery Date Guarantees for Long-Distance Moves?

If you’re planning a long-distance move, it’s important to have a solid idea of when your belongings will arrive at your new home. While all Rochester moving companies will give you an arrival estimate, that estimate doesn’t necessarily guarantee your stuff will show up when they say it will.

That’s why it’s in your best interest to get a guaranteed delivery date from your long-distance movers. And no, you don’t want a verbal guarantee; what you’re looking for here is a written agreement signed by the moving company.

If the moving company does provide written arrival guarantees, it’s also worth asking how they handle late arrivals. Sometimes, trucks show up late even with a guarantee, and if that happens, they’ll most likely reimburse a portion of your payment.

How Does This Moving Company Handle Cancellations?

Even if you don’t think there’s any possibility that you’ll need to cancel your move, it’s worth asking each moving company how they handle cancellations. If you suddenly need to change your plans due to a family emergency or because your job transfer ends up not working out, you should know whether there are financial penalties for cancellations.

While each moving company is different, some will allow you to cancel free of charge, provided you give plenty of notice. It’s rare, but some will even let you cancel a mere 24 hours before your move date with no repercussions.

Most moving companies, however, will tell you that they’ll keep either a portion or all of your deposit should you end up canceling.

Planning a Move From Rochester? Request an Estimate Today

If you’re getting ready to hire professional movers, get in touch with our team Ace Moving & Warehousing to schedule an estimate. Since 1958, we’ve proudly served the moving needs of Rochester residents and we specialize in local, interstate, long-distance, and international moving. To get started, request a quick moving quote online or give us a call today at 507-288-3341.