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How to Find the Right Moving Company When the Big Day Is Looming

J. David Lampe and Principal Team at RE/MAX Alliance provide a full array of relocation services. Contact David to find out more.

Your moving day is getting closer and there’s so much sorting and packing still to do. But you haven’t even decided on a mover yet. You’ve heard horror stories in addition to good ones and you’re a bit nervous. All it takes is selecting a bad moving company and—bam!—you’ve got broken or missing items. How do you choose a reliable mover?

Do Your Research!

Thanks to the internet, nowadays most moving companies have a website. Their websites provide all kinds of useful information like an “About Us” section, estimated moving prices, their services, customer testimonials and moving areas they cover. They should also have a “Contact Us” page where you can reach them via email to ask any questions you have; thus, you’ll have their response in writing which is always a smart idea.

Talk With Friends and/or Family

No doubt you know at least one person (or couple) that has moved at least once in their life. So get recommendations from family, friends and coworkers on good movers—and bad moving companies too. These two lists will be very valuable when it’s time to pick one for yourself.

Get Names of Who Shouldn’t Be Hired

There’s a great website committed to publishing moving scams; it allows you to view them before you get caught up in one of them. The site’s called MovingScam.com. They have plenty of information and you should specifically peruse the “Message Board” where people post moving company warnings and issues. It’s also a terrific site to post your inquiries and search for answers.

Understand the Signs of a Poor Mover

You’re not sure if the potential mover is on the up-and-up. Yet there are ways to tell if the moving company is fraudulent as stated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  • The mover wants a big deposit or cash prior to the move.
  • There aren’t any details on insurance, licensing or any local address on their website.
  • You call the company and, instead of hearing the company’s name, you hear “Moving company” or “Movers”.
  • On the day of your move, the truck that arrives isn’t a marked, company-owned truck; it’s just a rental truck.
  • The mover refuses or doesn’t offer to come inspect your items. He/she just provides a cost estimate over the internet or phone. Most of the time, these estimates shouldn’t be believed.
  • The moving company doesn’t give you a booklet of your rights and responsibilities. Federal regulations require that all movers hand this out to their customers during the planning stage of an interstate move.
  • The company insists that all of your items will be covered under their insurance.
  • Upon visiting the company, you find that the warehouse and office doesn’t exist or is in bad condition.

Are the Likely Movers Reliable?

Now that you have your list of possible movers, you should contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You need to know if your listed companies have produced any reports with complaints. Granted, almost every type of business has complaints; but what you’re searching for is how many of those complaints were brought to a successful resolution.

Take your time reading the report of each mover on your list. If you discover anything suspicious, write it down. If a mover you’d like to use has a complaint filed with the BBB, call the mover and talk to them about this specific case and ask how it was solved. If the complaint was too severe, perhaps you should select another mover off your list.

Then go to the FMCSA’s website; look for your probable mover and search for their Department of Transportation (DoT) number. If they have a number, then you can rest easy knowing they’re registered with the DoT.

Above all, go with your gut—if you don’t have a good feeling about a mover, go with it and select another company.

If you follow these tips, you’ve done everything you can do to make sure your move goes smoothly and that your belongings will be handled with care. If you’d like more information on moving, please contact us.

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