Moving can be a nightmare when you try to handle everything yourself, or if you are unfortunate enough to choose the absolute wrong moving company to trust with such an important task. You owe it to yourself and your family to make the moving experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. By taking a bit of time to check around and get some referrals, your move can be a wonderful experience all around.
Selecting a moving company when it comes time for your family to move is just about the most important aspect of the entire process of relocating. After all, the movers you choose will be responsible for handling all of your most precious material possessions. You are going to at to make sure you find reputable, dependable movers. Whether you are looking for an intrastate moving company to move you across town or interstate movers to relocate you across the country, finding the perfect moving company will involve more than simply browsing through the phone book or online for moving companies in your area. Any company can look and sound good in print, or with a flashy advertisement or web page. A creative ad campaign does not guarantee quality service or reliability. It will be up to you to research and find the movers that meet your personal needs and requirements. The right moving company will make your entire moving experience much easier and less time-consuming for you. Their main objective is to safely move your items safely to their new location, leaving you free to concentrate on other aspects of moving.
Talk to friends, family members, and coworkers who have recently moved. Get their advice and opinions on the moving companies they used. Word of mouth is the best means of finding reliable information. Online reviews can unfortunately be padded and even paid for, giving a less-than-desirable business a false appearance of competence and reliability. You can also check with local real estate agents and get their recommendations regarding moving companies in your area, but again, you must still do some research of your own in order to make certain you will get the professional, efficient results you want.
Below are some helpful pointers for finding the best moving company for your needs. Keep a checklist of every company you contact and see how they measure up to the tips below:
1. ASK FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND COWORKERS FOR THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS
Ask friends, family members, coworkers, and real estate agents in your area for their advice on reliable movers. The most accurate information from always come from actual customers, not from sources that are paid to advertise and make the company look good regardless of facts.
2. GET A NUMBER OF ESTIMATES AND MAKE COMPARISONS
Once you’ve done your homework and pinpointed some prospective movers, bring in each one for an in-home estimate as to the cost of your move. Show them the attic, basement, all closets and storage areas in order to get an accurate estimate.
3. PLAY IT SMART
Don’t assume that a moving company is reputable simply because they have a flashy ad campaign on television or radio. The fact that they can afford to spend money on slick advertising does NOT mean they are good at what they do.
Avoid using websites that claim they will “find the best movers for your needs” to obtain estimates. Nor is it a good idea to use household-goods brokerage services to choose movers for you. No one can do this but you. Take some time to find movers you are happy and comfortable using. Then check them out with the Better Business Bureau. If they are registered with the BBB, find out what their rating is If they are not registered, you may want to look around and choose a moving company that is, and whose rating are up to par.
Check out consumer-reporting websites such as movingscam.com and ripoffreport.com. These watchdog sites keep track of customer complaints and issues regarding moving companies, and they make this information available to the public.
4. CHECK OUT THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE MOVERS YOU ARE CONSIDERING
Unfortunately, there are moving companies out there who do not have the legal authority to operate yet they do so anyway. Before trusting virtual strangers with your property, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. The FMCSA can use the moving company’s USDOT or MC number, or company name to research and provide you with the information to ensure the company you have chosen is bona fide and reliable. Pay particular attention to these details:
• Verify the company’s name, address and telephone number against the information you have been given.
• If you are moving to another state, pay special attention to the “Carrier Operation” category; the “Interstate” option should be marked.
• The field “OUT OF SERVICE’, in the upper left of the form, should indicate ‘NO’.
• The “Operation Classification” category should be marked next to “Auth. for Hire”.
• In the “Cargo Carried” field, “Household Goods” should be marked.
• Find out how many moving trucks and drivers the company has in the fields labeled “Power Units” and “Drivers”. This can tell you a lot: if a company claims they move one hundred or more customers per month, yet they have only two trucks and four drivers on staff, there is a very good chance you are being misled.
• Farther down one the form, under “Inspections/Crashes” if the company’s number is greater than the national average indicated, there is cause for concern; in the section titled “Safety Rating”, if a review has been conducted, the results should indicate “Satisfactory”.
• The following table should indicate ‘Yes’ under “Household Goods”.
•The table at the bottom of this page contains insurance information. A moving company is required by law to carry both bodily-injury insurance as well as property-damage insurance (collectively known as BIPD) at a minimum of $750,000. Cargo insurance should also be indicated as filed. Under the heading “Insurance On File” both of these requirements should be indicated in the affirmative.
• At the bottom of the form you will find a link to the FMCSA Licensing and Insurance site. Click on the link. On the FMCSA page, under “View Details”, click the “Report” or the “HTML” button. This will take you to the “Motor Carrier Details” page. Here, look under the heading marked “Authority Type”. Here you will find three listings: Common, Contract, and Broker. The column to the right indicates whether or not the company’s authority is active. Under “Application Pending”, ‘NO’ should be indicated.
5. DOUBLE-CHECK EVEN THE SMALLEST DETAILS
When moving day arrives get a written, itemized copy of the inventory list the movers are working with. Check it thoroughly for any erroneous information or missing items. Make sure that the movers have an accurate address and directions to the location where they will be delivering your possessions. Get at least two working telephone numbers the movers can be reached at throughout the actual moving process, and verify that they have correct contact information for you as well.