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Moving and Storage Companies - 3 Questions to Ask

November 15th, 2010 - 4:15 PM

Moving and storage companies: what you need to know

With any big move, there's typically more to it than just trying to find reputable moving and storage companies.  You also have to deal with details like: finding a new home, settling in to a new job, enrolling the kids in their new school, finding a new family doctor, and just getting used to your new neighborhood in general.  Who wants (or even has time) to stress over which of the moving and storage companies to use for your move? To make things a little easier, we've compiled 3 basic questions you should ask when speaking to any moving and storage company (we also included the answers you should hear— if not, don't say we didn't warn you!).

Questions to ask moving and storage companies

Question 1: How much space do I need for my belongings? What happens if I need more (or less) space? 
Everyone has different stuff, so naturally moving can't be 'one size fits all'.  Here's what you need to know: a reputable moving company should be comfortable with discussing how their service works, clearly explaining any moving charges and how they arrived at your estimate.  For instance, U-Pack rates are calculated by how much linear footage is used inside a moving trailer (or the number of moving containers used).  With ABF U-Pack you'll also be provided a 'per-foot rate' in case you end up using more or less space when loading; that way you'll only pay for the space you actually need.  All U-Pack prices already include the fuel, taxes, and driver; no hidden charges.   

Question 2:  How long will it take to move my belongings to my new home?
This is one of the most important questions to ask of moving and storage companies.  As a general rule of thumb, this is where you should hear the answer given in 'days', not 'weeks'.  Some companies choose to wait until they can consolidate several families' belongings to have a complete truckload before hitting the road, which can cause a significant delay in your shipment.  With U-Pack, your items are the only household goods on the trailer, meaning ABF U-Pack can move your items virtually anywhere in the U.S. within 2 to 5 business days.  (The exceptions would be locations like Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico— it's normal to expect a slightly longer transit when there's a national border/large body of water involved.)

Question 3:  Are you a BBB accredited moving and storage company? Is there somewhere I can check reviews from previous customers?
The Better Business Bureau has been a trusted consumer resource for decades.  Check the rating for any moving and storage company you may consider for an unbiased report on their credibility.  Review sites such as Epinions or Kudzu are also great places to check out what others are saying about a service.

Have more questions about moving and storage companies? Call 800-413-4799, leave a comment, or try out the "Ask the Experts" tool.