Choosing your Moving Company
Moving can be a very stressful and expensive experience. With a little research and planning you can avoid moving scams and eliminate much of the stress associated with a move. So how do you find a moving company that you can trust with everything that you own, and still feel safe in your decision?
Here are some suggestions:
Get referrals, start by asking friends, family members and coworkers if they can recommend a moving company. If you're working with a real estate agent, ask the agent for a referral.
Check the company's feedback, search for online customer reviews. This is often the quickest and easiest way to get a feel for a company, and in the world of online reviews, there is nowhere to hide.
Check Business Credentials - Once you've made a list of prospective movers, contact each company and get their full legal name and 'doing business as' (DBA) names, the number of years in business, DOT and MC license numbers. With credentials in hand, you can reference the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) resources like protectyourmove.gov or safesys.org to see if a mover is federally licensed and insured
Don't settle for the first estimate you receive. Instead, ask at least three different companies to give you an in-person estimate, since no company can really give you a thorough estimate without seeing your belongings
Watch out for red flags - Keep an eye out for red flags during the estimate. For example, most reputable moving companies won't ask for a cash deposit before you move. If the mover seems hungry to get the money upfront, it might not be a legit business. Also, during the estimate, note how professional or unprofessional the movers seem. If they show up late, seem unsure of their abilities, or can't answer your questions, look for another company. And be wary of any movers who show up in a rented moving van. A professional company will own its own equipment.
Check with the Better Business Bureau - Research the moving company's track record with the BBB, which you can do free online. Stick with moving companies that are BBB accredited or at least have a good rating. If the moving company isn't listed with the BBB, consider looking for one that is.
Verify the company affiliations - Trade associations evaluate companies before giving them a membership or approved seal. Look for a moving company carrying the American Moving and Storage Association's ProMover logo (AMSA) or the International Association of Movers (IAM)