How to Choose A Moving Company in New Orleans
Whether you’re making a local or long-distance move, choosing the right moving company can feel like a lot of pressure. Whether you have nagging doubts about choosing the “right” mover or you’re unsure of the best way to compare movers, you don’t have to do it alone.
The following article breaks down how you can find an ideal mover, what to look for when you research a specific company, how to organize your estimates and ultimately moving on to selecting the best mover for you.
If you’re not sure where to start, try one of the places below to begin your search:
- Friends, Family & Trusted Acquaintances: If you have friends, family or acquaintances that have relied on professional movers in the past, ask them to list their favorites.
- Do a Google Search! Alternatively, you can conduct a Google search by searching for terms like “movers near me” or “movers New Orleans”, for example. Once a few moving companies have caught your eye, check out their reviews via Google or Yelp to read about the average customer’s experience with said mover.
Alongside the Google review research, you should always do a thorough check of the mover(s) you’re planning on requesting an estimate from.
Be sure to check out the moving company’s reputation and credentials by looking at the following:
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): Is the mover accredited with a rating of B+ or higher? If their BBB profile doesn’t exist, it could just mean they’ve only just started their business. Whether that’s a deal breaker is up to you.
- American Trucking Association Moving & Storage Conference (ATA): Formerly the American Moving & Storage Association, check to see if the mover belongs to the American Trucking Association. This represents a mover as being nationally recognized to uphold high-quality industry-wide standards for any move.
- Consumer-Advocacy Search: Consumer-advocacy sites like movingscam.com or www.ripoffreport.com have a blacklist of moving companies with a history of consumer problems, so be sure to check if your mover is on the list or not.
- US DOT & MC Licensing: Verify that your chosen mover(s) has an active license and the proper insurance. All companies should have a US Department of Transportation number as well as a Motor Carrier (MC) number.
Get An In-Home or Virtual Survey
When you’re speaking with a moving coordinator, ask them about their process of surveying items that need to be moved. Oftentimes, you’ll find that a mover has two options in regards to taking inventory of your items: in-home and virtual surveys.
In-Home Surveys: These are the traditional method when creating an estimate for a customer. A moving consultant will visit your home, or office, and physically walk through and note the weight, quantity and quality of items to be moved.
Virtual Surveys: These digital surveys are becoming more commonplace for folks who need estimates during the weekends or afterhours. Depending on the mover, an app will be available or one can simply facetime with their smart device and conduct a virtual walkthrough for the mover, noting any items that need special attention.
Different Types of Estimates
Whether you’re making a move in or out of state, ask your chosen moving company if they’ll be giving you a written binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate. What’s the difference? Not much.
Both types of estimates place a guaranteed limit on what you’ll be paying for your move. Though nonbinding estimates are legal, the US Department of Transportation forewarns customers that the final moving price may be higher than your given estimate.
Some interstate movers may charge you for a binding estimate, but most offer them for free. It’s up to you to discuss this in great detail during your initial quote consultation.
Organize, Review & Compare Your Estimates
Your estimate may be a combined document that serves as your Bill of Lading (i.e. detailed receipt of your move). Ensure you organize your estimates in brightly colored folders, or within comprehensive “moving binder” complete with labels that work in keeping your estimates in order.
Once you’ve organized your paperwork, review & compare each estimate against each other with a fine-tooth comb. Look for things like:
- Type of estimate written/printed at the top of the form
- The date & signature of the mover
- Description of the type of move
- Inventory of shipment, including the quality & quantity of each item
- Timeline of the move from start to finish
- Hourly rates & additional costs; compare low vs. high bids
As always, if there’s something you don’t understand, be sure to contact the mover with a few questions regarding the estimate.
Now What? Select a Mover!
It’s as simple as that. Once you’ve followed through with obtaining recommendations, conducting a reputation research, understanding the difference between estimates and surveys and finally organizing, reviewing and comparing bids, you can finally breathe easy and settle on a mover!