Getting a mover (moving company) brings lots of convenience in relocation. However, people are not always satisfied with the mover that they hired, concerning poor service and overpricing. It is important to do some research before securing a reliable mover. Here are some guidelines.
1. Choosing the right kind of mover
You should know which one best fits your demand, among relocation service, interstate moving company, local mover, pack-and-stack service, household shipper or trucking service.
You can also talk with your neighbors and friends to get some recommendations and suggestions.
Don’t forget to check the mover's track record. Contact your state or local consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau to see if there is a history of complaints.
2. Verifying whether the mover has an operating license
For interstate moves, make sure the mover is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (you can double-check a mover’s license at www.protectyourmove.gov). You can also search for interstate movers and complaints about them here. For moves within states, check for similar resources in your state.
In addition, regardless of the type of move, check to make sure the company has at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the trade association for moving and storage companies, interstate movers must be rated at least satisfactory to display the association’s ProMover logo and be considered “a quality, professional” mover.
3. Getting a written estimate from several movers
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidelines for “choosing a reputable mover,” the estimate should be based on actually looking at your belongings. In addition, remember that the lowest estimate you receive may be an unrealistically low offer just to rope you in and you’ll end up having to pay more in the end, warned the Better Business Bureau and American Moving and Storage Association. Also keep in mind that movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10 percent above a “nonbinding estimate” of what your mover believes the cost will be.
4. Making sure the mover has insurance
If furniture is damaged during the move, the mover's insurance should cover it. Ask how to file a complaint if there are limits to the coverage.