20 Ways to Guarantee You Choose the Right Movers
Choosing the right long distance moving company can may feel intimidating, but there are several ways to ensure you’re making the best choice for your needs. You can simplify the process by asking 4 very important questions and following some practical advice when hiring your mover.
Ask every long distance moving company you interview these 4 key questions before you hire them:
- ·Is the long distance moving company asking you for a cash deposit prior to your move?
- ·Does the long distance moving company have a physical local address (and not just a PO Box) on its website?
- ·Does the company include licensing information on its site, such as their DOT number?
- What is the company rated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and are they certified with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)?
If the answer to any question above is no, then you could be dealing with an unscrupulous company, or be falling victim to a different type of fraud.
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you could be dealing with a “rogue mover”,or be falling victim to some other type of moving scam. Here’s an outline of the steps to take to ensure you make the right move when choosing between moving companies.
Where to start
- ·Begin your search for a long distance moving company by asking your friends, relatives, and business associates about movers they have used and liked. Contact a real estate agent you trust to find at least three moving companies that have real, physical offices in your area.
- Contact a realtor you trust to find at least three moving companies that have actual brick-and-mortar locations in .
- If you are using the Yellow Pages, remember —just because a long distance moving company has a large ad doesn’t necessarily mean it is reputable.
- ·Once you’ve made a list of prospects, contact the companies via phone to get the full company name and “doing business as” names, contact information, and DOT / MC license numbers.
- Check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website, and search for the company using the DOT and MC license numbers to see safety information, any orders to cease operation, licensing, and other information. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau or other consumer organizations in your local area.
- Schedule either an in-home or virtual estimate, which should be provided free of charge. A reputable long distance moving company WILL NOT give you an estimate over the phone, or without reviewing your items, home and logistics.
- Don’t rely on a quote provided sight-unseen over the phone or over the Internet. When moving across state lines, your charge is based on the weight of your shipment, and where you are moving from and to. You are better off meeting face-to-face with the mover’s representative to ensure that you both understand what is involved.
- During the on-site or virtual estimate, be sure to show the representative everything that is to be moved. Don’t forget about the items in the basement, or the major pieces of furniture you have sent away for repairs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either. The salesperson should also ask you questions – about your new home, the timing of your move, etc.
- Inquire about “valuation” options. Valuation provides protection from loss or damage to your possessions. The valuation option you choose determines the basis upon which any claim will be adjusted and the maximum liability of the mover. The liability of a mover for loss or damage is based upon the mover’s tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations, and has certain limitations and exclusions. Valuation is not insurance; it is simply a tariff-based level of motor carrier liability.
- Be wary of quotes that are substantially lower than the rest. “Low-ball” price quotes could result in significantly lower-quality service, or they could be an indication of a mover who plans to “up” the price in a “bait and switch” moving scam. Some “low-ball” rogue movers are known to take household goods “hostage” and demand large sums of money before returning the possessions.
Go with a name you know
- There are plenty of quality “name” van lines to choose from. If you have never heard of a particular long distance moving company, and you have no references from friends or business associates, be very careful! Don’t be swayed by a low price from an unknown firm; remember, you’re entrusting your mover with almost all of your personal possessions.
- Consider the attentiveness of the salesperson. Do you have confidence that he or she will be there to help you through planning, packing, and loading? Do they provide the names and information of additional support employees, such as a move coordinator?
- Take a drive past the mover’s office or warehouse. Does it reflect the level of quality and professionalism you expect in a service provider?
- Long distance moving companies are required by law to provide you with a digital, hard copy, or available on their website, “Your Rights and Responsibilities.” In this brochure, the “110% Rule” is explained. The rule states that under a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than the amount of the original estimate, plus 10 percent, at the time of delivery. You are obligated to pay any remaining charges over the 110 percent amount within 30 days.
Timing is important
- Make arrangements for your move well in advance – at least four to six weeks before the moving date. If at all possible, try not to move during “peak” times.
- ·Throughout the year, the end of the month is a busy time for movers, because of the expiration of leases and preferred closing dates.
- The summer months – May to mid-September, when children are out of school, are “peak season” for movers. Schedule summertime moves as far in advance as possible…and again, try to stay away from month-end moving dates. Peak season moves should be planned at least 6 weeks in advance to ensure the dates you’re looking for are available.
If you fall victim
Unfortunately, some consumers will fall victim to rogue movers this year. Fortunately, there is a service called MoveRescue available to help. Those who feel they may have been scammed should contact MoveRescue at 800-832-1773. Consumers who call this number will talk to a representative who will assess the situation and direct the caller through the appropriate next steps. MoveRescue, which is supported by a network of legal firms throughout the United States, and sponsored by leading van lines, serves as a central source for consumers who need legal assistance or anti-fraud information. In some cases, MoveRescue even offers “Shipment Rescue” for goods being held by rogue movers.
The best way to ensure a seamless move is to reach out to Corrigan
. Backed by United Van Lines
, Corrigan has over 90 years of industry experience. Our dedicated employees are committed to providing top quality in every move we make.