Finding a good moving company can sometimes be as hard as the moving process itself. You have to look out for scammers trying to take your money. Another pitfall is a moving company that might damage or lose your items in transit. To avoid this, you should fully research any of the moving companies you’re interested in using.
For more on how to look for a moving company and determine whether they’re legitimate, here’s what you need to know.
How to Pick a Moving Company
When choosing a moving company, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that any company you use is reliable. To the find the best company for your needs, follow the five steps below.
Step 1: Start by getting referrals from friends, family, and coworkers. You can also search online, looking for moving companies that have good reviews and are recommended by their past customers. If you’re using a real estate agent when buying a home, ask them for a referral.
Step 2: When searching for a moving company, try to get an estimate from at least three companies. Make sure to ask for an in-person estimate so that the moving company can get a better idea of how much you need to have moved and give you a more accurate estimate.
Step 3: During the estimate, watch how professional (or unprofessional) the moving company representative is, including if they show up late to the appointment, have an inability to answer your questions, or are unsure of what the company they work for is capable of. Any of these should raise a red flag and you should consider going elsewhere.
Step 4: You should also look for moving companies that carry the American Moving and Storage Association’s (AMSA) ProMover logo. The AMSA assesses a moving company before giving it membership and can connect with accredited moving companies.
Step 5: Finally, verify that the moving company is actually at the address that they list. You can find their address on their website or in the phone book. Beware company addresses that are at a residential location.
How to Check if a Moving Company Is Legitimate
The best way to check if a moving company is legitimate is to make sure that the company is properly licensed and insured. This is easy if you’re using an interstate mover, which is registered with the federal government. For local moving companies, it’s a little bit more complicated. Read up on your state’s licensing regulations when picking a local mover to make sure they are legitimate.
Check to make sure that the moving company is licensed and insured. Get the company’s U.S. DOT number, which is given to the company by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). Using the U.S. DOT number, check the U.S. DOT website for information on the moving company, including any complaints or investigation results.
For local companies, you can check the websites of your state regulatory or enforcement agencies for more information about the licensing regulations in your state.
You can also check to see if there are a lot of customer complaints, which is a really good signal that you should forego using the moving company. You can find this information at the U.S. DOT website or with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If for some reason the company is not listed on the BBB website, you should seriously consider going with another company that is.
One of the biggest red flags is a moving company that gives you an estimate sight unseen. In such cases, these companies like to inflate their estimate on the day of your move. By that point, it’s too late for many people to cancel their move, so they’re forced to accept the additional costs. Also be on the lookout for estimates that greatly undercut others you have gotten, as this should raise red flags as well.