A MOVING COMPANY CAN BE A CONVENIENCE, OR NOT!
…Depending on who you hire! Moving companies are one of the most active topics at the Better Business Bureau – They process thousands of complaints each year in regards to overcharging, theft, damage to property, and missing items. Listed below are a few things to consider when choosing a moving company. Keep reading to see who my favorite and least recommended moving companies are!
SCREEN, SCREEN, SCREEN!
Before trusting your valuables to strangers, you need to do your best to screen for the most reliable moving company possible. Your first step – screen every mover for quality and trustworthiness. Visit Yelp, Google and Facebook and PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS specifically. Do you see a recurring complaint theme? It’s likely it’s true. DO NOT only look at the number of stars a company has! Sometimes company staff ask friends to click 5 stars on their behalf giving a “false ranking.” It’s even possible for companies to pay for bots who give false reviews to help out with their rank on Google.
Every moving company that does interstate moves is required to be listed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Before you sign up with a mover, you should use the Administration’s search engine at ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/hhg/Search.asp to check for any user complaints.
If the moving company you’re using only operates within your state, they only need to answer to local regulations. In this case, you should consult protectyourmove.gov for information on your state’s regulator. When you arrive at the website, you should find out about the screening services offered.
Lastly, you should look up the names of the moving companies that you are considering on the website of the Better Business Bureau. If they have any open complaints on file, notice if the complaints are in line with the negative reviews you’ve seen.
ASK EACH MOVING COMPANY FOR A WRITTEN ESTIMATE
Whatever services you need, you must make sure that each estimate includes it all. Acompany representative should personally come out to verify the contents of your move. If not, make sure to send them pictures or video of your belongings so that there are no surprise fees associated with the amount of items you have to be moved. Sometimes, moving companies offer attractive, low quotes by quietly charging separately for “essential services” such as taking apart furniture. They hit you up with extra fees on the day of your move for those services. When you compare quotes from different movers, you need to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE INSURANCE PROVIDED
If a moving company misplaces your possessions or breaks something during the moving process, they are liable for it by law. To assure that moving companies are always in a position to offer compensation, the law requires that they use special relocation insurance. It works similarly to the third-party insurance that automobile owners are required to buy. In the event of an accident, the insurance makes sure that any victims are compensated. Shady moving companies often disregard the law and provide moving services even when they hold no relocation insurance.
To guard against such operators, you need to ask for proof that the mover has insurance and look at what the coverage excludes. Moving companies usually offer clients different levels of coverage. If you pay nothing extra for insurance coverage, you only get baseline protection – 60 cents for every pound of possession lost or damaged. If you want full value compensation, you will need to pay extra for it.
When you get such insurance, the mover is obligated to repair, replace or otherwise compensate you for anything that’s damaged or lost. If a mover’s full value insurance is expensive, consider buying it from the company that holds your current homeowners’ insurance policy.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THESE MOVES
- Ask the moving company if they plan to do the entire move themselves or subcontract the work to another company. While reputable moving companies do work with other movers at times, such arrangements can involve having your possessions moved from one truck to another at some point. It brings in added risk!
- Ask if the mover has its own crew members on the company payroll, or if they simply get temporary hires for each move. Ask to see their workers’ background verification forms. One Loudoun County, VA moving company named Barry’s Best Movers, uses subcontractor help for the majority of their moves. We don’t recommend this because there is no telling who will actually be handling your belongings. Also, there is no comradery amongst team members when the crew tires out.
- If the mover has no physical local address, no customer service phone number or website, they are probably not professionals and are best to stay away from. Do not buy the excuses such as “we are in the process of re-branding, re-locating’ etc.
WHO TO TRUST?
If you’re looking for a good moving company, I have a great referral for Virginia state moves! This is by far the BEST QUALITY moving company I have ever used, and I’ve used many! The name of the company is: Mountain Moving LLC. Their website is www.mtnmoving.com. Though they are based near Harrisonburg, they will travel statewide and are very affordable as well as careful, respectful and concise.