Vetting a Portland Moving Company

Moving involves making a lot of decisions that impact the success of the experience. One decision to never take lightly is the Portland moving company you choose to help you relocate. With dozens of moving companies throughout Oregon and Washington contending for your business, asking the right questions of prospects will help you find a trustworthy, high-quality specialist that will ensure your moving day goes as smoothly as possible.

What are Your Rates?

Knowing the rates of a moving company will help you protect your budget. In general, reputable moving companies will transparently list their rates on their website.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) dictates rates for moving companies in the state. According to ODOT, “When the origin and destination of a move are within Oregon, moving company rates and services are regulated by the ODOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division.” Learn more on the ODOT website.

Do You Charge Any Additional Fees?

The last thing you want is an unexpected surprise on your bill. Ask prospective moving companies if they charge additional fees and when those fees apply. Situations where additional fees might apply include:

  • Preparing appliances for transport
  • Disposal services and supplies
  • Overnight storage and parking permits

Flight charges and long-carry charges might apply when:

  • Moving truck parking is not prearranged and the movers must park far from the home
  • There are obstructions
  • Movers have to carry items up multiple flights stairs

If you’re moving to or live in a remote area, you may face fuel or transportation surcharges. If you aren’t able to move into your new home right away, you may also incur a storage fee.

Will You Provide a Written Estimate? Can You Provide a Binding Estimate?

Reputable Oregon moving companies always gladly provide written estimates. Estimates should include all charges you face, payment method and the date.

By law, estimates for local moves are non-binding. This means the total cost could change depending on the actual length of the move.

If you want to know exactly how much you’ll pay before the move, you can request a binding estimate, however, not all moving companies will offer this. If a moving company offers this type of quote, the amount you pay won’t exceed the original estimated cost, which should include add-ons and potential charges.

What is Your Registration Number?

Moving companies that cross state lines must have a registration number listed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This registration number is called a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number.

A moving company should freely state their USDOT number in an estimate. The number listed in the estimate should match the number printed on the moving truck on moving day.

It is important to note that a moving company that only travels within the state might not be registered. Furthermore, any Oregon moving company that provides the use of their own truck must be licensed by ODOT.

What Type of Oregon and Washington Liability Coverage Do You Provide?

A moving company may offer liability insurance to protect your items. The most popular types of insurance coverage options include:

  • Full value protection: With this type of coverage, the Portland moving company is responsible for the replacement value of damaged or lost items. The cost of this type of insurance varies by company.
  • Released value protection: Moving companies usually offer this type of coverage at no additional charge. If an item is damaged or lost, the company will generally pay no more than $0.60 per pound per item.

When considering insurance, keep in mind that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover the cost of lost or damaged items.

Tell Me More about Your Packing Services?

If you opt to have the moving company pack your belonging for you, ask how they’ll protect and label the items, and identify items when they arrive at your new home.

Do You Have Any Unresolved Claims or Claims Against You in Oregon or Washington?

It is not unusual for a moving company to have a claim or complaint against it. What matters is if they satisfactorily resolved the issues. Ask a company how many claims and complaints have been filed. If there are outstanding issues, ask the company about the nature of the complaint and why they haven’t resolved it.

All Service Moving is licensed, insured, and accredited through the Better Business Bureau. Contact us today to receive a written estimate and discover what sets us apart from other Oregon and Washington moving companies.

Moving is a big process with lots of moving parts. Even when a move is just across town, it takes planning, time, money and effort. By knowing some of the most common moving mistakes, you can take steps to avoid them and make the experience less stressful.