Just spending a few minutes on the internet will provide quite a multitude of moving companies and local moving service websites. The real issue is determining exactly which of these companies are legitimate, as well as being fully licensed and possessing all of the required documentation and qualifications. If the company you are researching isn’t licensed, it is best to keep on researching. It is illegal for any moving company to transport your belongings without a license.
You can verify any company’s license numbers with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Canadian Association of Movers to make sure they are legitimate. You should be able to check the company’s regulatory qualifications on-line. Just as imperative is the need to investigate whether or not these moving companies have not only adequate insurance policy coverage, but that the policy will fully cover the costs of reimbursement should any damage or loss of your belongings occur.
While sites like Craigslist and other on-line classified venues represent some of the best places for buying and selling all kinds of products and services, unfortunately they also provide the perfect opportunity for scammers to operate, and moving scams of various types are certainly no exception. All too often these sites will list a moving offer or service that is just too good to be credible. In most cases, that is exactly what it will be, and what you may have thought was a professional presentation by a legitimate moving company is really just a clever scammer at work. Most of the pitfalls that arise when choosing a qualified and reputable moving company can be avoided by following a few of these guidelines.
Reputable and highly professional moving companies invest a considerable amount of time and resources in building and maintaining their websites. Through these efforts, they allow their potential clients and customers to fully investigate the legitimacy of their services, as well as provide a complete range or outline of their scope of operations. There is also the all-important customer feedback available to review on these sites, which is the best form of valuable information and ratings regarding how well those professional packing services and the quality of their performance have been provided.
Go on-line and search for customer reviews about the company, and don’t be afraid to ask the company for any references that you can call. If you cannot locate any information on-line about the moving company, or they do not seem to have any references, it is best to steer clear of them.
The most important strategy is to get estimates from three different and reputable moving companies. These estimates may vary somewhat, but should all be roughly in the same general range of cost. If one estimate is notably lower than the rest, be careful, because that company could just take your money and disappear. This is chiefly true if any moving company requests any kind of payment up-front, or worse, refuses to put any form of contract for their services in writing. Both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Canadian Movers Association stipulate that all qualified moving companies must provide written estimates.
Should the moving company refuse to provide an in-home estimate, or attempts to offer an estimate based on cubic feet, it is best to avoid them. In addition, make sure you are conducting business with an ‘actual’ moving company who moves household goods and belongings, and not a moving ‘broker’. A broker is someone who merely arranges for an authorized moving company to provide the transportation but does not have trucks, equipment, or personnel of their own.
The FMCSA and the CAM warns that these types of brokers have no authority to provide an estimate on behalf of any specific moving company, nor would the ‘arrangement’ be binding, and you could be putting out more funds to the actual moving company than you had planned on. Bear in mind that if any of your belongings are damaged, stolen, or lost during the move, this broker would not be responsible for the losses.
Make sure you ask all the right questions, and get as much information that you can about the moving company you plan to deal with, including the business’s full name and address, motor carrier numbers and all pertinent license numbers, phone numbers an e-mail addresses. It is also very important to find out if the moving company uses full-time employees or just hires laborers on a per job basis. Moving companies that use day labor may not have the required insurance to cover any injuries that occur while on your place of residence, which makes you potentially liable. You should definitely request a review of the company’s insurance policy in this regard.
Indeed, all this research takes up a lot of valuable time and effort, but it is definitely worth that effort to protect yourself and most importantly, your valuable belongings. Hiring the right moving company or the best moving service, a professional and reputable one with a history of great customer satisfaction, can be the difference between a great move, and a moving disaster.