7 Steps to Choosing a Moving Company

It may be hard for you to choose the right moving company for several reasons. While handling the stress of having to move, you may end up choosing the wrong moving company. Most complaints about moving companies include lost and damaged property, having to pay unworked hours and late arrivals. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) received more than 7,700 complaints about movers in the U.S. If you rush into choosing a company like the ones that receive complaints, you are likely to experience the same type of inconveniences.

Moving is a stressful task in itself, so you should choose the right moving company to help minimize issues. You should choose a good moving company to avoid experiencing finding broken things when you move or having to pay extra for your moving expenses. Conducting a good amount of research before your big move can help you avoid any inconveniences. Learn some tips to help you chose the right moving company by reading the information below.

1. Referrals from Friends and Family

Getting referrals for moving companies is one effective way to ensure that you choose the right one. Moreover, searching on the internet and making phone calls can be an exhausting method of finding the right company, so asking friends and family is a good alternative to this task. Coworkers and other acquaintances with a good sense of judgment may also help you in this task.

Once you know who you are going to ask about moving companies, you can start by sorting out the best alternatives. If some moving company has plenty of reviews in common, it may be a good sign of high-quality service. You can also ask your real estate agent about referrals as they also are a reliable source when it comes to information about moving companies.

2. Get at Least 3 Estimates

A good rule of thumb is to not settle with the first estimate that you receive. As a matter of fact, you should try to get as many estimates as you can, but you should get at least three estimates from three different companies. You should also receive these estimates in person so that the companies can see your belongings and give you an accurate price for their services.

Once you receive an estimate from different companies you can compare them to one another. You may choose the most affordable estimate, but the cheapest service may not necessarily give you the most value. To determine the best company, consider your priorities and then determine which company is best for you. Timeliness of the service, the safety of your belongings and even ease of payments are some of the factors that may influence your decision.

3. Verify the Address

This is a simple step that many movers tend to overlook. When you get in touch with a new moving company, ask them for their business card and then compare its information with the company’s website. You can also verify their information with a phonebook where the company lists its services. Make sure that the company’s address is listed under registered company names. Otherwise, you should be wary if the company listed its information under a residential name.

4. Check for Professional Accreditations

Most trade associations will carefully look into a company’s business operations before giving them a membership or approved seal. Therefore, finding the American Moving and Storage Association’s ProMover logo in a moving company can be a good indicator of reliability and quality.

Moving companies typically get these two types of accreditations, so research any other possible certifications that a company shows you. Some companies may show you deceptive awards they earned to make you believe that they are legitimate. Approved companies appear directly in the American Moving and Storage Association’s Moving.org site.

5. Check the Better Business Bureau

As stated above, the BBB records and keeps track of the complaints from customers that companies receive. You can check for a company’s records free online. Try to go for a company that is BBB accredited, or that has a good rating on the bureau’s website.

If a moving company that you plan to hire is not in the BBB’s site, try to pick a mover that is. Moving companies not listed may or may not be legitimate, and you are not able to check for any records containing useful information about their services. On the other hand, you will have knowledge of past complaints and verified customer reviews when you choose a company that you find on the site.

6. Mover’s License and Insurance

You should check that the moving company is registered, licensed and insured prior to hiring them for their services. Checking for these documents is an effective way to check for their legitimacy. Some moving companies may not have any documents about their services and are simply scams that may steal your money or your belongings.

Moreover, it is useful for you to have the moving company license number for a future occurrence such as if you need to file a claim. For instance, interstate movers receive a license DOT number from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can obtain this number online or by contacting the DOT’s phone representatives. However, this option only applies to interstate movers. You must contact your local consumer affairs agency to get  more information about a moving company within your state.

7. Look Out for Additional Red Flags

After following these and other recommendations, you should be aware of additional, potential red flags. For instance, if a moving company persistently requests a money deposit during the first estimate, it is likely that the company is not a legitimate one. You can also notice a mover’s level of professionalism when you receive an estimate. Make sure that the mover is knowledgeable and on time. Other signs such as if they show up in a rented moving van from another company can be a sign of a company being illegitimate. If that is the case, you should consider other services to make that you obtain a reliable moving transportation.