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10 Questions to Ask Every Moving Company

February 6th, 2017 - 3:27 PM

Important moving company questions

Moving your belongings can be a big ordeal, especially when moving long distance. Because you want your items to stay safe, it's important to make sure the moving service fits your needs  — but knowing what to ask in order to choose the right company can be tough. Before making a reservation, start by asking these ten questions.

questions to ask long distance movers

10 Questions to ask movers

Is this moving company licensed to move household goods?

This is an important question to start with. A legitimate company will be able to provide a Motor Carrier number, a Department of Transportation number or some other proof of licensure. If a company is hesitant or unable to provide information about their licensing — beware. They may be a scam!

U-Pack is licensed to move household goods. 

How does the moving company work?

Go over these details: Who does the packing, loading and unloading? Who does the driving? How is the equipment delivered? Where do you park the equipment? How big is the equipment? How long does the equipment stay at my house?

All of these details are critical to know before you book so there aren’t any surprises during your move. U-Pack works like this:

  • We bring moving equipment to your home — either a 28' moving trailer or 6' x 7' x 8' moving containers. You can use the space you need in the trailer (as little as five linear feet or up to the whole trailer) or as many containers as you need. We can park the equipment in a private driveway, on the street (check for any necessary parking permits) or in an apartment parking lot (with permission).
  • You have three business days to load. If you need to load over the weekend, no problem! Have the equipment delivered on a Thursday or Friday and you can keep it all weekend.
  • We pick up the equipment and transport it to your new home.
  • You have three business days to unload.
  • We pick up the empty equipment after it’s unloaded.

 Moving with U-Pack is pretty simple, and our helpful moving consultants are available to help every step of the way.

Are there extra fees?

See if there are extra fees for delivery, pickup, fuel, storage, liability coverage, taxes or any other services you'll need. This will help ensure that you're able to stick to your budget.

U-Pack moving quote includes the equipment, transportation, fuel, liability coverage and tax. The only extra costs are for services you might add to your move such as storage or guaranteed transit.

How long will it take for my belongings to arrive? Or how long do I have to drive?

Ask each moving company this question!  Some movers may take 2-4 weeks to deliver your belongings, which may mean staying in a hotel or buying replacement items in the meantime. Truck rental companies may give a set number of days and miles to complete your move, which may mean rushing to make the deadline or paying for extra days.

U-Pack transit times average just 2-5 business days for most long-distance moves. Moving to Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico may take a little longer, typically from 7-15 business days.  A moving quote will include the estimated transit time for your move.

Are my belongings transferred, unloaded or commingled?

This question deals with who is handling your belongings and how items are treated during the move. A transfer involves taking belongings and moving them into another truck after they are loaded. Similarly, some companies may unload your belongings into a warehouse and then load them into another truck. Both of these scenarios can be problematic because the risk of damage increases each time belongings are handled. Commingling is what some movers do when they put multiple households in the same moving truck.

U-Pack doesn't transfer, unload or commingle your belongings. Your things stay where you load them and yours is the only household goods shipment in the moving trailer. If you don't use the entire trailer, we'll fill the rest of the trailer with commercial freight (like boxed electronics) going in the same direction. Your shipment stays separate due to a bulkhead divider wall, which you install and remove.

How can I track my shipment?

Having the ability track your shipment gives you peace of mind. It helps you know where your stuff is and when it will arrive. Find out if you have the ability to track your move and whether you have to call or if it can be done online.

 U-Pack offers shipment tracking online or by phone — 24/7.

What is your cancelation policy?

Even though you're planning to move, things can change. Maybe you need to wait a few weeks for your house to close, or maybe you want to use a different moving service than you originally thought. Whatever the reason, make sure to ask questions about the cancelation policy before booking.

With U-Pack, there’s no cancelation fee as long as you cancel more than seven days before your move date. If you cancel within one week of the move, there’s a $50 cancelation fee. If you cancel on the day of the move, there’s a $150 cancelation fee.

Am I guaranteed to get the equipment and date I reserved?

Some truck rental companies may not guarantee the truck size you reserved, and full-service companies may not guarantee your move date (since they could get tied up at a job and have to push you further down the schedule). If the equipment and date are important, check that they're guaranteed.

U-Pack guarantees equipment will be delivered on the loading date you reserve. When you make a reservation, the equipment is taken out of our inventory and assigned to you. That’s why it’s so important to make your reservation as soon as possible! If a specific time frame is important, or you need a specific delivery date, we have options that can guarantee the time down to a 1- or 2-hour window. Just ask a moving consultant for your options.

Is coverage included or is it an extra cost?

Some moving companies will include standard liability coverage, but for others it’s an additional cost. If using a truck rental company, make sure you understand what's included and what you're responsible for if you decline additional coverage. In some cases, you may be responsible for the replacement value of the truck if there's an accident.

U-Pack rates include basic catastrophic liability coverage and carrier negligence liability coverage — check out the details here.  You have the option to increase your coverage for an additional cost.

What if I need more space/weight?

Until items are actually loaded in the equipment, the price of a move is just an estimate. If there are more or less items than you originally thought, it can affect the space they take up or the overall weight of the shipment. Ask your movers what happens if you need more or less space/weight. With some companies, there may be penalties for going over your estimate. With a fixed size container (like a rental truck), you may have to rent an additional truck or trailer if you need more space and there's no refund for only using part of the rental truck.

If using a U-Pack moving trailer, your quote will include a "per foot adjustment" rate that you can add or subtract to determine the final price. For example, if you were quoted for 15 feet in the trailer, but you only use 14, you would subtract the adjustment rate one time. With ReloCube containers, you are only charged for the ones you use. So if you have three containers delivered, but only use two, you only pay for two. With either option, you aren't charged until your belongings are loaded and the shipment is in transit.

Do you have other questions to ask a moving company?

If you have additional questions you want to know about U-Pack, please call us at 800-413-4799 or leave a comment below. If you can think of additional questions that should be asked of a moving company, leave those in the comments as well!

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