You should not let your next move be spoiled by a moving scam. While there are a lot of companies in the US that are reputable and legitimate, there are some scams as well. The FMCSA states that there are a growing number of complaints being filed against moving companies due to fraudulent practices from rogue movers.
If you are going to be paying a mover, you are responsible for ensuring that the moving company is a legitimate one. Moving is stressful enough without giving your possessions to the wrong people. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can check if a company is legitimate before you ever contact them. It is important that you know what these ways are and how they help.
Is The Moving Company Insured And Licensed?
Before you contact a moving company or hire them, you need to check that they are correctly licensed and insured. This is something that can be a bit tricky, but if you use certain methods of finding movers you should be fine. Companies like Moving.com will check the licensing and insurance of companies before they are listed in their database.
If you are going to be moving between states, you need to know that there are additional requirements. These movers will have to register with the Federal government and you can check if this has been done on the DOT system. Local movers will only be regulated by the state and each state has its own regulations for licenses. It is important that you check these requirements on the state website before you check if the mover is legit.
In regard to interstate movers, the FMSCA states that there are two liability options that should be offered by law. This is full value protection and released protection. It is important to know what these options are.
Full value protection is when the mover is liable for the replacement value of any goods that have been damaged or lost during the move. This is a more comprehensive plan and will offer better protection for your belongings. The cost of this protection will vary depending on the moving company you hire.
Released value protection is the more economical option that is on offer. This will generally be offered at no additional cost and states that the movers are liable for no more than 60 cents per pound of the article.
If you want to know more about these protections, you can find additional information on the FMCSA website. Movers will also have to have their own insurance over and above the liability insurance offered to you. If you ask, the moving company should be able to provide proof of their insurance.
Are There Complaints?
The saying “where there is smoke, there is fire” is one to remember when looking at moving companies. If you see a number of complaints from customers of the company, you need to take note of them. This is a red flag that you should not ignore.
You will be able to check for any official complaints against a moving company with the FMCSA. All you need to do is click on the reviews section of the company’s listing. The reviews on the FMCSA website will generally be for interstate moving companies.
This is due to the fact that all interstate movers need to have a US DOT number. This allows you to enter the DOT number into the FMCSA search engine and find any complaints against them. Ideally, you will want to work with a moving company that does not have any official complaints against them.
It is also recommended that you check the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints and the coming company. The BBB is a non-profit organization that helps consumers find businesses that they can trust. If the company you are looking at is accredited by the BBB, it means that they have met the accreditation standards.
What Are The Reviews?
Reviews are something that you should also look at when choosing a moving company. Moving.com has a directory with reviews and will be a good place to start. There are hundreds of moving companies in their database and the reviews can help you find a good one. The reviews on the website will include the name of the company, their DOT number, BBB rating and any official complaints against them.
You can also get some reviews from people you know such as friends and family or your neighbors. Their experience with the moving company can help you to find the right one for your move. There are also some online communities that you can use to help you get these reviews. Yelp and other review websites will also be a good place to look.
Did The Mover Visit Your Home Before Providing An Estimate?
The moving company you choose should perform either an in-person inspection of your belongings or a video survey before providing an estimate. If this is not done, you could end up with a bill that is far more than the estimate you were given. You should not use a company that provides you with an estimate based on your account of your belongings.
This is a red flag which means that the company could be a scam. Any company that does not want to see what they will be moving should not be trusted. While the inspection is important, to get the best deal, you should get estimates from three to four companies.
After the inspection has been done, the company should send you an estimate in writing and in detail. There should be no chance for any unpleasant surprises later on. If the estimate is a lot more or less than the other estimates you have, you should avoid them. This is a major red flag and you need to take heed.
Are They Professionals?
Other than checking the license and insurance, you need to use common sense when you hire a moving company. You should look out for any movers that are not real professionals. This can be determined by whether or not the company has a real office and a business email address. You should also consider if the company is part of a reputable chain.
When they complete the inspection, you need to check if they are wearing uniforms and if their trucks are professional moving trucks. They should also be providing you with an official Bill of Lading. The estimate needs to be on headed paper and they should have an official business license. If any of these things are missing or your gut tells you something is wrong, you need to avoid using the company.
Burnett’s Moving Services is your professional moving company serving Spokane and the greater Metro region!