Buying a new property is not a light decision. You have to consider the area, expense, necessities, and of course the amount of renovation it may need.
But when you find that dream property and sign on the dotted line – everything is smooth sailing from there…
…well except for the fact that now you have to pack, make sure your address is updated on all your important documents, and oh yeah, actually move.
Good thing moving is a simple process and not an ordeal at all…
…yeah right. Unfortunately, the moving process still hasn’t changed. You have to buy boxes, organize and pack, and then rent a vehicle to haul it to your new abode.
That’s why hiring a moving company is the ideal moving method for most. And although a moving company can greatly help to streamline your move, the process of finding the right company may not be. Finding trustworthy moving companies in today’s online marketplace can be quite cumbersome. Not only are there tons of reported scams out there but their prices and services are all different as well.
So how do you know you’re paying only for the services you want and not getting scammed in the process? Well, scroll down to find out what legit practices moving companies utilize to build your trust.
E-commerce ranks supreme these days and there are many reputable businesses that solely operate online. However, when it comes to moving companies local ranks supreme. If you’re doing business with a company that operates out of your area, you’re less likely to be fooled into hiring a deceitful one. Visiting their office, checking out their equipment, and having a face-to-face ‘interview’ will determine if they’re legit.
Another method is to get estimates from moving companies. In fact, you may even be able to score free quotes from local moving companies. The best method for this is to seek out at least three and get written in-home estimates. If any of the estimates seem unusually low or high it could be a good sign to not trust them. If any of them insist on providing estimates over the phone without sending someone to scope out the amount you have to move first, you are more than likely in contact with someone concocting a scam.
Maybe you’re moving to another state and already know that seeking out local moving companies will be expensive. However, all movers must have a license number issued by the Department of Transportation. This is a license that allows and registers commercial vehicles to transport passengers and cargo between states. If a mover refuses to provide it (or doesn’t have one) your safest bet is to avoid them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also requires moving companies to have a carrier license. Luckily, you don’t have to make a housecall as this info can be found online.
For moving within your state, the requirements of a mover’s validity will depend on your jurisdiction. Unfortunately only 33 states require in-state movers to provide a DOT number.
Whenever you buy a product online it’s only natural to want to check out what others are saying about it first. After all, why spend money on something that’s not going to work the way you want it to? The same applies to moving companies. If a business wants to gain traction and trust, they will work on building their social proof. With that mind, also see if your moving company has some sort of social media presence. Read reviews thoroughly. Sometimes former customers may leave complaints in the middle or at the end of their reviews. Also, be critical of user reviews. What’s annoying to someone may not be a big deal to you. So what if an employee was chewing gum while doing an estimate!? Although if your review research is finding more complaints than not, it may be time to search elsewhere.
The Better Business Bureau also has reviews of more than 10,000 moving companies and even gives them letter grades.
They say to save the best for last and this is definitely the most important moving tip. Once you get your written in-home estimates, double-check their deposit requirements. If it looks exponentially high, it is! A deposit is commonly used as a handshake, it also ensures that you aren’t trying to scam the moving company either. However, moving companies shouldn’t ask for a deposit of more than 20% of their estimate. Most companies won’t ask for any kind of payment until all of your belongings have been safely delivered.
Final Things To Consider
If a mover holds your possessions hostage to force you to pay more, contact the police immediately. This is an unlawful practice and you are surely being scammed.
You may also want to put any deposits or payments on a credit card, as wrongdoing can be easily proven this way.
If any other problems arise, the Better Business Bureau and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are more than eager to hear about complaints and offer resolutions.
The best moving advice is to go with your gut. If you think a moving company is too good to be true, it probably is! Talk to trusted friends or family members about companies they know and trust as well.