How to troubleshoot your move in advance
- Most problems happen when companies fail to send the right team of experienced movers
- Complex moves require multi-functional teams and careful planning to stay on schedule
Moving is stressful under the best of circumstances, even more so when something goes awry. Tales of extreme delays (or no-shows), broken lamps and TVs, missing boxes, and rude workers who ignore your requests—or threaten to hold your sofa hostage until you pay exorbitant fees—are all too common in New York City.
Thankfully, there are ways to anticipate problems and prevent them from happening in the first place.
"The most important step you can take is choosing the right moving company to begin with," says Dejon Reid, vice president of sales at FlatRate Moving, a full-service company that established the all-included flat-rate pricing model in NYC and shifted the way people relocated locally and worldwide.
Read on for more guidance to ensure your move is smooth, successful, and stress-free.
What can go wrong in a move
One possible scenario is where all your stuff is still on the truck, and you keep trying to reach the dispatcher, who either ignores your calls and texts or asks you to fork over more money—sometimes even double or triple the original quote. That can be extremely frustrating.
So don't think of it as "just moving." Many things can go wrong big time, including the following common problems:
- Showing up late—or days later
- A team that treats you badly
- Damage to your floors, walls, and other surfaces
- Damage to the elevator or other areas of the building
- Missing or damaged furniture, artwork, and other items
Unfortunately, these results can commonly occur when "someone who wants to save money and doesn't understand what the process will be like may end up with a less-than-ideal moving experience," Reid explains.
When a move can go wrong
No two moves are the same—each has its own level of service. There are simple moves, complex moves, budget moves, and high-end moves, as well as local, long-distance, or even overseas moves.
Nevertheless, in any type of move when a moving company doesn't plan for or understand what the job entails, things can turn for the worse. Most of the time they might not send the right team of experienced movers. But the more complex the move, the higher the potential for these and other mishaps. FlatRate covers all types of moves but specializes in complex moves, which involve:
- Multiple stops
- Tight schedules
- Special building regulations
- Artwork and antiques
- Oversized items
- Custom-built items
- Other things like a piano that needs special handling
Picture opening your door to a fresh-faced college student without any clue of how to handle your piano or artwork, or the proper equipment to provide the necessary protection.
"Usually, companies save by doing less, particularly when it comes to protecting walls, floors, and buildings," Reid says.
He recommends steering clear of firms that prefer to ignore your needs by avoiding site visits or paying attention to specialized requests and end up sending small teams and providing poor communication.
Why it's important to find a qualified moving company
Finding the best moving company, therefore, depends on finding the best mover for your specific type of move. (Check out this resource, which ranks local firms by type of service.)
If your move is complex you will want to confirm that the moving company will do careful planning to stay on schedule and send the necessary multi-functional teams.
For example, when moving a chandelier, FlatRate coordinates with an electrician to remove the fixture and a carpenter to build the protective crate as well as a skilled mover who can manage the item with care.
"It's more seamless if these professionals are on the same team and have worked together before, which is why our teams handling complex moves can expand to include the foreman, movers, helpers, packers, carpenters (also for custom-built items), and electricians," Reid says. "Team coordination is key."
Besides finding the right company, you'll want to do some careful planning so make sure the company grasps the complexity of the job. Here are some good steps to take:
- Take a very thorough inventory list so you know exactly what the move involves and can provide this information to the company ahead of moving day.
- Understand all the services needed—there are special protocols for moving a piano, for instance.
- Schedule a virtual or on-site meeting so the company matches the right team to the job and creates a solid plan.
- Make sure the company sends a Certificate of Insurance that meets the requirements of your building. Check with your landlord, property manager, or super.
- Review the moving proposal carefully to make sure it covers the inventory, number of movers, any additional services, start and end date, and agreed-upon price.
- Reserve your service elevator—don't assume it will be available when your movers show up on a busy weekday morning.
"At FlatRate, we fully leverage our expertise and ability to take on a complex move and make it not just seamless but an orchestrated, joyful experience," Reid says.
Ultimately, he suggests asking yourself, “Do you feel it’s a legit company that will handle your move professionally and with care?” If the answer is not 100 percent yes, back out and look for someone else to do the job. Better safe than sorry.
Providing high-quality service and all-inclusive guaranteed pricing, FlatRate Moving Company has been trusted by more than 200,000 customers for over 30 years. The nature of FlatRate’s quality service lies in our prepared staff, team of moving experts, detailed logistics, and timeliness. Ready to get moved? Call (212) 988-9292 or visit our website for an instant free quote—satisfaction guaranteed.