5 Tips for Finding a Reputable Moving Company
Guest post by: Joshua Thompson
So, you’ve recently purchased a house or found the ideal apartment. Now, it’s time to uproot your life and transport all of your belongings from your current home to your new one. Finding a reputable moving company is the key to a successful relocation. To do so, you’ll need to do plenty of research. The goal is to ensure that the movers you choose aren’t going to break your stuff or take advantage of you.
Before you book a moving company and sign a contract, consider the following tips for finding a reputable moving company to partner with.
1. Ask around for recommendations
While numerous referral websites provide recommendations that have been assessed by former customers, before you check these out it’s highly recommended that you consult your friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues first. More often than not, they will have first-hand reports and authentic testimonials, as they don’t have anything to gain or lose from giving you a referral. Or, if they haven’t used a moving company recently, they may know someone who has.
This method of collecting recommendations can be as easy as posting on your social media accounts, asking if any of your friends have worked with a company to help them move, and whether or not they had a pleasant experience. When inquiring about recommendations from your family or friends, consider asking the following questions about their experience with the movers:
- Did the movers arrive and deliver on time?
- Were any of your belongings damaged during the move? If so, was the claim handled properly?
- Did the moving company stick with the original quote? Or was the final price higher or lower than expected?
- Was the cost of your move reasonable?
- Did you experience any hidden or unexpected fees?
You can also try reaching out to other trustworthy sources in your area, like real estate agents. They are dedicated to helping people move and have a strong network.
2. Do extensive research on moving companies
In addition to collecting recommendations from people you trust, you should also do your own research. This means checking referral sites like the Better Business Bureau, Angi, Yelp, and Google Reviews. The Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource to find out if the company has complaints filed against them. You can also check the mover’s complaint history by consulting the Department of Transportation’s mover search tool. Ultimately, what you’re looking for is whether the moving company has an unswerving pattern of pleased customers or documented complaints and issues.
In addition to examining reviews and complaints, you also want to verify the moving company’s credentials. More specifically, they must be properly licensed and insured. It is critical that the company you choose carries insurance. The last thing you want is for one of your movers to accidentally fall down your stairs, and you be held liable. Ask the company for their certificate and verify the coverage options that they carry.
For interstate moves, movers are required to have a number from the Department of Transportation (DOT). This number functions as a license to distinguish commercial vehicles that are hauling passengers or cargo in interstate commerce. If the moving company that you are considering is properly licensed, they must list their DOT number on their website and on their advertising. Additionally, the company needs to have a carrier number issued by the Federal Carrier Safety Administration. For intrastate moves, on the other hand, requirements vary based on the jurisdiction. Some states do not regulate intrastate movers, while others demand that they have a federal DOT number.
3. Communicate your needs clearly
Once you’ve chosen at least three moving companies that seem to be reliable, call them up to request quotes. During these calls, verify that the companies follow moving regulations. We highly advise only working with companies that have local offices and can send a representative to your home for an on-site estimate.
It’s best to avoid companies that provide estimates over the phone or via email, as these may be too low or too high without actually viewing the items in your home to be moved. Instead, make sure that the moving company can send someone to your home to calculate the estimate. During this in-person estimate, be as clear as possible about the nature of your move and your unique needs.
Point out all the items you do and do not need to be moved, and if you need your stuff picked up or delivered by a certain date, let them know. Make sure that your movers know exactly what you expect from them and any specific deadlines they have to meet. This will ensure that you receive the most accurate estimates possible and there are no surprises.
4. Compare multiple estimates
Again, we recommend gathering in-home quotes from multiple companies – at least three. Get the estimates in writing so that you can do a proper comparison between the companies. A written estimate will also ensure that no additional charges get stuck at the end of the job.
Be wary of estimates that are uncharacteristically low or if the company insists on providing the quote over the phone or internet. These are all strong indications of a moving scam. When you receive all three estimates, compare the pricing and choose the company that best suits your needs and budget. However, remember: don’t just simply go with the lowest quote because it could be a scam.
5. Be cautious about large deposits.
Most moving companies will not require any sort of deposit or payment before the move is completed. However, if they do, the deposit should be no more than 20 percent of the quoted price of the move. Regardless, put any payments or deposits on a credit card so, if needed, you can contest the charge at a later date. Never give cash to a moving company as a form of payment.
If you end up having an issue with a moving company, submit a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. For interstate moves, file the complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instead.
By following these simple steps, you will be on the right path to finding a moving company that is reliable and reputable while fulfilling your needs during your relocation.
Joshua Thompson is a relocation and logistics expert and moving industry professional. Over the past 10 years, he has held various positions in the industry. This, in addition to him having moved six times himself, has allowed Joshua to gain substantial knowledge in the relocation process from both sides. Being both behind the desk and on-site, Joshua is armed with all the details of a house move. This extensive knowledge and insight are translated into his writings.
As one of the main contributors to the blog, Joshua provides informative guides, specialized articles, and valuable tips and tricks to help homeowners and renters streamline and simplify their move. His topics range from how to find a reliable professional mover and how to cut down on moving costs to moving checklists and customs regulations guides. All of his articles are written with the goal to help readers achieve a successful move. And by successful, we mean cheaper, safer, easier, more efficient, and virtually stress-free.
Joshua is known to infuse his positive attitude, raw passion, and utmost dedication into all of his work, which has been featured on numerous industry blogs and publications. He is committed to discovering the most common issues that people encounter while moving and then providing the best possible solutions for them. When he’s not writing or assisting customers, Joshua is spending time with his kids, trying out new recipes on his family, or looking for his next favorite podcast.