Advice on Hiring a Moving Company

The following is a list of questions to ask and some advice to consider when interviewing prospective movers.  It comes from the man who handles most of my client’s moves and whom I trust to handle them as I would (he has also moved my family twice):  James Benati of Steinway Moving and Storage.  James has served as a board member for over 8 years and then as the president of the New York State Mover and Warehouseman’s Association and has assisted help many confused and abused relocating family’s.   Here’s some solid advice from James:

  • The most important thing in planning a move is basic research.  Ask friends or neighbors for recommendations good or bad.  This will help you create a short list of bidders.  Any firm that mails, calls or telemarkets you is desperate for work and may not be the best choice.
  • Remember many people involved in your move may be getting paid to give out or sell your information and phone number. So be careful with vendors and service providers from your doorman to the mortgage broker or real estate agent.  If there getting a payment its coming from someplace, most likely you !
  • Check out each company with the NY State Department of Transportation at 718-482-4810. Ask the D.O.T if the company is licensed for local moving. Some companies only have a license to do long distance moving and not local moving.  Remember if their not licensed by NY State they are harder to find or go after if they technically "don’t exist." 
  • Also check with the D.O.T. the history of complaints, and that there is proof of workers compensation insurance. Companies operating illegally and with out worker compensation insurance can create big problems for a home owner if one of their men get hurt on your property.
  • You can also check out the New York State Movers and Warehousemen’s Association web site for recommended movers who must meet a criteria to be a member.
  • Insist on an on site estimate and a list of references. Fancy brochures don’t always mean a good mover just a good printer.
  • Be sure the company has "Brick and Mortar" locally, An office you can visit, a place to go if there is a problem. There is less likelihood of a problem when a company is based in your back yard and not someplace in cyber space.
  • Choose with your head and the facts not by the numbers. Remember your trusting these people to put everything you own into a vehicle and drive it away.  As James’ dad said ( A mover for over 50 years), "you get what you pay for and some times you deserve what you get."
  • Make an intelligent decision based on common sense, facts and personal feelings when you meet the estimator or owner.
  • Remember that there are a lot of good movers but unfortunately there are also a lot of bad ones. 

I have to say that I don’t easily refer my clients to people outside of my industry.  In order for me to do so, the company must treat their clientele as I would: with respect, integrity and open lines of communication at all times.  Having said that, one such company that I feel 100% confident referring my clients to is Steinway Moving and Storage.  I am often asked by my clients to recommend a moving company and I can refer to James Benati at Steinway without hesitation and with the confidence that my clients will be not just satisfied but truly pleased with the services they receive.  I have countless accolades from such clients to attest to this.  And again, I get nothing to say this…no kick back, no referral fee, nothing but happy clients.

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