Things to think about when using movers

Whether buying or renting a new home, everyone moves house at some stage.

Packing up boxes and doing all the heavy lifting yourself can be a physically draining task, not to mention the stress factor. Making use of a professional moving service can eliminate a lot of the hassle and make the process much smoother, provided you choose the right company, says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“As with most services it’s best to use a mover that has been referred to you by a trusted friend or family member. However, if there is no-one who can provide the contact details of a reputable moving service, there are some aspects to consider that will help you make the right decision,” says Goslett.

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. It’s best to be wary of companies that don’t provide a fixed address or information about licensing and insurance.

Social media networks are also a good source of information and testimonials. Whereas websites give organisations a chance to say what they want about themselves, social media has given their clients a chance to share their opinions about organisations.

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 number of boxes and specific furniture that will be transported. Goslett says it’s very difficult for a mover to provide a precise quote over the phone – an onsite inspection is the best way to provide a written quotation.

“Don’t feel under pressure to work with a mover that wants a contract signed or deposit paid before providing a quote – the quote should be free,” says Goslett.

It’s important to get as much information as possible upfront. Ask the mover questions such as their hourly rate, how many people will be available 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, and Goslett says the mover should be able to provide some kind of insurance during the move.

“Generally movers won’t cover everything being moved 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 movers if any items are damaged in transit,” he advises.

In addition, it is also advisable to contact your insurance company before the move to check what they will cover during the transporting of your household goods. Goslett says that homeowners should find out what is required in case of loss, as some insurance companies may need receipts, appraisals or photos of valuable items.

The movers should provide an inventory list of all the household contents they will be transporting, along with the pickup address and the final destination of the goods. Goslett says it’s 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 movers. 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 says.

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