Moving is perhaps one of the most strenuous things to plan for. Everything from packing your belongings to filling out the paperwork for a new place to stay, the last thing you want is to fall victim to a moving scam or have a horrendous experience by hiring an incompetent moving company. Unfortunately, there are dishonest and fraudulent movers that run rampant in the United States. In fact, the Better Business Bureau receives around 13,000 complaints about moving companies every year.
Whether it’s a short local or long-distance move, a bad moving company can damage your belongings as well as wreak havoc on the entire relocation process. This is why you must be diligent and do thorough research on any moving company you want to hire.
Here are four tips to avoid hiring the wrong moving company!
The initial step you should take to avoid a bad moving company is to take a look at its online presence. A simple google search should reveal what others are saying online about the company; take a look if there are any reviews or testimonials left by previous customers. Exploring their website and checking if they have an active social media profile can also be a solid indicator that the company is trustworthy. If there are multiple negative reviews, it’s a clear sign to proceed with caution, or even avoid them all together.
If you want more in-depth reviews and ratings, MovingReviews is a great place to look. They offer a great resource with important information on state-specific, local or long-distance movers, including the movers’ contact and licensing information.
At OneRelo we take pride in our reputation and strive to provide the best moving experience possible. We tailor each move to suit your needs to help you move easily, no matter the size of your home. With over 60 years of combined experience in the relocation industry, we have cultivated a moving company with a reputation for unparalleled commitment to quality.
Lack of proper insurance information
The law requires moving companies to assume proper liability for the value of the client’s items they relocate from one place to another. As a consumer, it’s your right to ask for proof of insurance. It’s also smart to request additional information to understand each individual insurance policy fully. If a mover fails to provide you with a sufficient coverage plan, this is a major red flag.
At OneRelo, we are proud to be partnered with relocation industry leaders Mayflower and United Van Lines. Both of our partners offer two types of moving coverage:
Standard Insurance: This is the default coverage that is offered for free, however, it is not recommended. If there is any damage or loss, the mover is required to pay back only $0.60 per pound.
Full Value Protection: This protection is strongly recommended and is automatically included in both Mayflower and United Van Lines quotes. If something happens to any of your items, the protection rate jumps from a mere $0.60 to $6 per pound. For example, if your shipment weight was 3,000 pounds, your valued protection would be $18,000.
As you have probably noticed, the protection is based on your shipment’s estimated weight, not the actual monetary value of a lost or damaged item. High-value items like jewelry, electronics, and high-end furniture, can be listed on a ‘High-Value Inventory’ form for additional protection.
Lack of licensing information
Federal law requires all interstate movers to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can verify a company’s licensing status by simply heading over to the FMCSA website. If a company is unable to produce the proper licensing information, that is a major red flag.
Local movers that don’t cross state lines, abide by local state rules. Therefore they may not necessarily be registered with the FMCSA, however, any trustworthy moving company would adhere to the federal relocation regulations.
Buying third-party moving insurance is also an option that many people consider. If you already have home insurance, you can reach out to them and ask if your current plan covers your belongings during a move. If not, you can normally negotiate with your insurance to get a coverage option for a small additional fee.
Traditionally if the mover provides an estimate to you via online or over the phone, that would be a red flag and a sign for you to stay away from the company. However, due to the pandemic, some things have changed. At OneRelo, we are committed to protecting you from COVID-19 and offer a virtual assessment option. By conducting an online survey, along with a virtual tour of your household, we will be able to get a detailed and accurate moving estimate. Our virtual tour is just as thorough as an in-house visit. We will record everything from special packing requirements, to exactly how many items are being moved. The OneRelo representative will be able to note down and give you a comprehensive plan and estimate for your move.
While the above outlines the method to avoid bad moving companies, there are a few other factors that you should keep your eye on. A good rule of thumb is to use common sense and never be afraid to ask questions!
● Slow responses or lack of communication. If getting in contact with the moving company is difficult, chances are your experience with them won’t be too pleasant. At OneRelo we put customer experience are the forefront of our business.
● If the mover attempts to get you to sign an incomprehensible or incomplete contract, you should certainly avoid that company. It’s always good to read anything you sign thoroughly to avoid any deception.
● Avoid paying the movers upfront before the move is completed. The rule among any trustworthy moving business is that payment is made once the service has been provided.
Moving to a new place whether it’s across the street or in a new state can be filled with challenges. Hiring the right moving company can take so much pressure off your back.
Remember to do your research, check out their online presence, verify that their paperwork is in order, and use the tips above to help choose the moving company that can facilitate a seamless move.