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Are You Working with the Right Moving Company?: An Interview with Mary Jessup of Allegheny Valley Transfer Co

By Mary Jessup

Please describe a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Allegheny Valley Transfer Co, Inc. is a moving & storage company specializing in corporate, residential, and office moves. Our company is an agent for Allied Van Lines, which is one of the largest movers in the world. We are a third-generation, family owned and operated company which was established in Pittsburgh, by my grandparents, in 1925.

Our primary asset is our workforce. Our office staff, salespeople, drivers and crew provide our customers with the best customer service that is available in the moving industry. We realize that moving is extremely stressful. No two moves are alike and each move is tailored to meet the needs of the individual customer. Customer satisfaction is the foundation of our business and is the reason that we continue to grow and prosper.

What moving services do you offer and what are the top three most requested by your clients?

We offer a variety of services including: corporate and personal moves; these include local, intrastate, interstate and international moves. These moves can include shipping autos, packing, crating, storage and small shipment crate & freight. We also specialize in commercial (office) moves, and act as a receiving and delivery agent for new products and stores.

In terms of the top three services that are requested by our clients, I would say that it would depend on whether the customer is a corporate client or personal move. Our work is evenly divided by the two but realize, that packing, and storage are paid for by the customer's company in a corporate move, whereas, with a personal move, that client is paying for their own services, so they must make an informed choice as to whether they want to pay for additional services.

What advantages come with hiring the services of a moving company?

The advantages of hiring a "reputable, professional moving company" is that they are experienced movers who know how to protect your belongings, so that both your home and furniture are not damaged in the process of the move. They also know how to maneuver the furniture without someone getting injured, and if this does happen, the mover's insurance (workman's comp) will cover it. And lastly, since the movers do this every day, they can complete the move more quickly and efficiently than the individual could, on their own. Hiring a mover saves the customer time, the possibility of an injury, and a lot of aggravation.

What characteristics and features should clients find in a moving companies?

It is important to deal with a reputable mover, by that I mean, someone who has been recommended to you and has representation in your local area, as well as throughout the United States. If you are moving out of the area and have a problem, it is very important to know that there is an agent of that company close to your new residence, who can help resolve whatever issue has occurred.

Deal with an actual reputable mover, not a broker on the internet. An internet mover may provide a low price, which looks good, but they are brokering your move out to a company that you may not know anything about. The old saying that "you get what you pay for" is true. These people are what I call, one hit wonders. They don't care about whether you have a good move or not because if they get you once, they already have your money and, think about it, how often do people move?

Make sure that the mover sends a representative of their company to do an actual in home estimate for you. If they don't do this, they don't want your business. By meeting with their representative, you will get a feel for the company and will know whether you want to entrust your belongings to them. Ask them why you should select their company to move you. What makes them different from other companies. Be sure to check out their website.

And, lastly, make sure that their drivers and crew members are drug tested and background checked. This is important because you are trusting them to handle everything that you possess, other than your children and your bank account.

What are the basic points that tell you a moving company can be trusted and efficient?

You can tell that a moving company can be trusted and efficient by checking out their procedures and policies: Are their employees background checked and drug tested? Will they send a representative to your home to provide you with an estimate of cost? And, after you have met the consultant and phone with questions, how responsive is your consultant about getting back to you? Do they return your calls in a timely manner or phone back several days later? If they aren't responsive before the move, what makes you think that they will phone you if you have an issue. What is the process, if you have a claim?

Probably the best recommendation is word of mouth. Talk to your friends who have moved. Who did they select? Were they happy with the service that they received? In this industry, word of mouth is either your best source or your biggest killer. Speak to people you know and trust to get an honest evaluation.

But always remember, you are also responsible for making sure that your move goes well. Select your mover carefully and, if there is a problem, call immediately! If you wait until after the move is over, nothing can be done to make it better.

Are there insurance options available for homeowners when it comes to moving?

There are various types of valuation, which are available on every move. Every reputable mover must provide at least the basic minimum, which is called Carrier's Liability. This type of valuation is very limited and only pays 60 cents per pound/per article, if anything is damaged. There are other options available, depending on the type of move and how much coverage the customer feels will sufficiently cover their belongings.

Your options should always be thoroughly discussed with the mover's representative, when they meet with you to complete the inventory of what you plan to move. If there is no mention of your options, ask! You need to make an informed choice of what is best for your needs. I would also suggest that any customer should check with the insurance company that provides their homeowners policy. Sometimes this policy provides complete coverage during the move but be sure that you have it in writing!

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

If an individual has any questions or I may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 412.653.1200. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have relating to moving or provide a free, no obligation estimate of cost at a day and time that is convenient for you.

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About The Author

Mary Jessup is President at Allegheny Valley Transfer Co.

Phone: 412-653-1200

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