When you are contacted by an international moving company about your upcoming relocation you need to be prepared.
Here are the top ten most important questions to ask to ensure your international move gets off to the right start.
1. What is your company name and address?
Are you a member of the New Zealand Overseas Movers Association? (NZOMA). It pays to double check and verify this information from the international moving company. It is also worth taking time to search the online reviews and check out the company website. Ensure that the company name and address on the website matches any documents that you have received from the removal/moving company.
2. Do you use subcontractors, temporary labour or any other third parties?
You want to find out who is really moving your personal effects. Many moving companies will rely on casual or temporary labour. Confirm this with the removal company before accepting the quotation.
3. What is your quotation process?
The quoting process will vary between moving companies. Most reputable removal companies will want to view your effects in person prior to quoting. For full house lots and international moves we suggest requesting a pre-move survey. This involves a Move Consultant visiting your home for an in-home quotation which results in obtaining an accurate firm quotation. If you do elect to choose a pre-move survey make sure you point out all of the items you are taking with you or are leaving behind. Be cautious of moving companies offering to quote a full house lot of effects over the phone or email. Also be very wary of cheap estimates – if a quotation seems too good to be to true it likely is.
4. How are your charges calculated?
Most moving companies will charge based on cubic metre volume. Make sure to ask about any additional fees or charges. Common additional charges include difficult access (stair carry, long carry etc…) or heavy lift items (pianos, safes etc..)
5. What packing services do you offer?
How will my items be protected during transit? Most reputable international moving companies will offer a full international packing service. Some will also offer you the option to pack your own effects. Packing is one of the most important components of having a successful move. Make sure the moving company has at minimum an in-house training program or ideally is a member of the FID-FAIM quality management programme. This programme ensures the removal company must meet a number of criteria when packing a client’s personal effects. For example, there must be adequate recourses in terms of packing materials and professionally trained international packers.
6. Do you offer insurance? What are my options?
Make sure the moving company offers comprehensive moving insurance options. Most moving companies will offer at least two types of insurance. However, most companies will tailor an insurance package to fit your requirements. Full transit insurance will cover the value of the entire consignment, including damage and loss. This is normally based on the valuation specified. A restricted or total loss insurance policy is also a cheaper option most moving companies can offer. Note that some household contents insurers will not cover your effects whilst in transit.
7. When will my effects be delivered?
Determine the approximate delivery time frame with the moving company. You want to ensure the estimated time of arrival fits in with your schedule.8. Who will be handling delivery of my effects?
It is important to find out which destination agent will be responsible for delivering your consignment. Look for reviews on the company and try to obtain testimonials.
9. Will I be updated throughout the moving process?
It is important to be able to contact the moving company before, during and after the move. Ideally you want one point of contact throughout your entire move. Make sure you get their phone number and email address. Touch base with the moving company before your move to ensure they have your correct contact information – especially the correct address for collection and delivery.
10. Can you provide me testimonials?
It is worthwhile asking friends and family members for first hand reviews about international movers they have used in the past. Also go online and check their reviews or ask the moving company for recent testimonials from previous clients. Nothing speaks louder than first hand testimonials. Moving can be a stressful process and you need to be comfortable with the company that you engage.