What to Expect from a Mover

As with any professional business you work with you especially want your professional moving company to be reputable, honest, and dependable. Within Washington State, many are family-owned businesses who have made a long term investment in their community. This investment includes an office location, including in many instances a safe, secure and well organized storage warehouse; providing good family wage jobs; and involvement in local civic organizations or charitable groups.

The secret to having a good experience with your household goods move is to make sure the moving company you choose is properly permitted by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to perform household goods movements within Washington State. Simply having a business license, as all businesses must have, does not allow the company to operate legally as a household goods moving company.

A professional mover enjoys working with an informed customer. You want to ask the moving company representative as many questions as you need to learn about the company you are considering hiring and to fully understand what will take place on moving day. And you should talk to at least three different moving companies to ask questions like:

  • Does the company have an Operating Authority issued by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission?
  • Do your crew members participate in a company administered Drug & Alcohol Testing Program?
  • Does your company perform background checks on employees before they are hired?
  • Are your employees covered with Workers Industrial Insurance Coverage administered by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries should they be injured while working on your property?
  • What are the levels of Cargo and Liability Insurance coverage maintained by the company?
  • Does your company have a Claims Program in place to handle any incidents of loss or damage should one occur?
  • If needed, does your company have a temporary or long term storage facility?
  • Will I receive a free written Estimate of the probable cost of my move?
  • On moving day, how many crew members will arrive?
  • How will they be identified?
  • Will the supervisor prepare a descriptive inventory of the goods to be moved noting any existing damage before the move begins?
  • Will someone be available to discuss the three levels of Valuation Coverage available to me while my household goods are in your company's possession?
  • Will I be provided a Uniform Household Goods Bill of Lading showing all of the legal charges before you depart from my origin location?
  • What forms of payment do you accept for transporting my household goods move?
The sales representative should ask you some very important informational questions about your upcoming move and about the destination location as well, such as:
  • Can you show me everything that you want us to move?
  • Will any of the items be placed in storage with my company or placed into a mini-storage facility?
  • Will any of the items be left in place for a possible future garage sale?
  • Will you be doing any or all of the packing of your household goods before we arrive or do you want my company to do the packing?
  • Will you or a designated representative be at the new location when the moving truck arrives?
  • Will there be stairs or an elevator involved at the destination location?
  • Are there low hanging trees or other obstructions preventing the moving truck from getting close to the new house or apartment building for offloading?

Answers to these questions and others plus good meaningful discussion between you and your moving company representative will result in a pretty accurate Estimate of Charges for your upcoming move.

Finally, consider more than just the price! The lowest estimated price does not mean it will necessarily result in the best move. If you are quoted a price that is significantly lower than the others you have received, or if they throw in a bunch of "free" things, be careful about choosing that moving company. There are a lot of "Rogue" moving companies out there pretending to be movers. You owe it to yourself to know as much as you can about the company you choose and its personnel who are going to enter your home, handle all or most of your precious personal possessions as they place them on their truck, and then drive away.

A professionally regulated moving company's best source of new business is a satisfied customer!

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