Few people can say they have ever hired movers. Typically, families enlist the help of relatives and friends to help them pack everything up and drive to the new home.
However, there are many benefits to hiring a moving service company:
- Less stress about packing household goods and furniture
- Less stress about the logistics of moving
- More time to focus on your family and/or work
- Protecting your body from the physicality of moving, etc.
Before entrusting a firm with your family’s belongings, it’s important to do some research. You want to ensure you’re working with a reliable full-service professional mover that operates under all applicable laws and regulations. It would be ideal if they provided written proof of all services rendered and goods delivered. This goes for any type of moving company, including long-distance movers, local movers, office movers, a moving team for interstate moves, and others.
When searching for reputable moving companies, don’t forget to take into account the following tips and red flags.
How to recognize reliable movers
Look for a commercial moving company that:
- Provides a binding written quote after visiting your home or conducting a “virtual” (visual video) examination of your items. Do not believe the mover’s estimates given over the phone if it does not involve a visual inspection of your belongings. A weighted estimate is the most accurate.
- Has the appropriate permits from the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and your state. The license number or motor carrier number on your written estimate should match the one printed on the moving van and the one recorded on the FMCSA website. The moving company’s website should also feature it.
- Gives you a copy of the brochure “Your Rights And Responsibilities When You Move,” which all professional movers must provide you by law. Please read this entire pamphlet carefully.
- Offers valuation and transit insurance coverage for your belongings.
- Can walk you through their established claims procedure and make it available to you through their website and in the materials.
- Can be reached at a certain address and number. If you call a business, they should identify themselves by name.
- Has insurance and can offer documentation to prove it.
- Mover is rated by your state’s Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Provides a detailed, written breakdown of all the moving-related services and supplies you may expect to get.
- Doesn’t require immediate payment. If you hire a reputable moving company, they will expect payment when they drop off your items.
- Gives you a point of contact in the company you can reach out to before, during, and after moving day if you have any concerns or issues.
- Specifies the terms of their refund and cancellation policies. These rules and regulations should also be well-documented.
- Has a detailed plan for securing your home during the loading and unloading of the moving truck.
- Has the driver’s bio and contact info listed so you can get in touch with him before, during, and after the transfer.
Red flags to avoid when hiring movers
Just like there are signs that the professional moving company you hired is reputable, there are red flags you should pay attention to. They may indicate that the movers you contacted are not a good fit for you or, worse, are running a moving scam operation.
Here are the most important ones:
- The movers don’t come to your house to assess your belongings in person.
- The moving business requires a large deposit before they’ll commit to moving you.
- The cubic feet measure is used as the basis for the moving company’s estimate, not the weight.
- There are many unsatisfied customers and bad customer reviews of the moving firm.
- A moving company employee doesn’t identify themselves when answering the phone.
- The moving business does not provide you with a copy of the pamphlet “Your Rights And Responsibilities When You Move,” which is required by law to be given to every customer in the United States.
- The moving van or truck in which the moving crew arrives is unbranded.
- You get offered a price that sounds way too good to be true.
- The company is reluctant to disclose contact information for previous clients.
- Neither the Better Business Bureau nor any other consumer protection agency has any record of, or a high rating for, the moving company (BBB).
- There is a discrepancy between the license number on the moving truck and the one on your estimate.
When planning to move houses or cities or even states, the most important thing is to give yourself time. You need time to organize everything, to tie up loose ends, and – most importantly – you need time to find a good moving company you can entrust with your private possessions.
Don’t settle for an offer from the first moving company you come across. Do your due diligence and conduct proper research on different moving companies. Contact several of them, ask for quotes, and evaluate them based on our extensive lists of green and red flags above.
Make sure the movers you’re considering are licensed and insured and that you can contact them at any point during the moving process. These are the most reliable indicators that you didn’t hire a bad moving company.
Remember that you do not need to settle for a deal if you don’t feel comfortable with a moving company. After all, these are your belongings at stake.