Moving companies are like any business out there. Most exist to legitimately, legally, and authentically help you move. Others only do the work partially or not at all. If you want to find out if your moving company is the real deal, ask them these 12 questions:
Does the moving company operate a legitimate, legal business?
In this day and age, it is very easy for someone to start a business. Many entrepreneurs start online, hoping to sell their services on the internet. However, with moving companies, that solves only half of the equation. Yes, a moving company should have an official website. But they should also have an office and a phone number. After all, they should have trucks to transport things because it is not reasonable to have that kind of operation out of a home, which is the way most internet based businesses perform services.
Can they provide references or reviews?
Established companies with even somewhat established brands should be easily searchable to see if they have real customer reviews. Moving companies are no different, and with the way the internet has enhanced mass communication, it should not be hard to find references and reviews for any company. If the moving company has very few, or obvious, genuine reviews, stay away.
Do they have an official website?
Every business that is interested in selling products or services needs to have an official website. If the moving company does not have a website that displays what they provide and the location of its office, it may not be worth requesting services from the company.
Is the mover working with an actual moving company or a broker?
A moving company needs to be a team with a staff. Some moving companies are brokers who tell people they know to masquerade as a moving company. Some of them even have official websites. However, they only do this to sell information. If you get an estimate that is too good to be true, it usually is. Ask this question if you get an unusually low price.
Does the mover have FMCSA authority?
Moving companies must be licensed because they are in the interest of transporting items cross-country. This is a federal requirement and should be the second question you ask if you get an unusually low rate.
Is the mover licensed for local, in-state, and interstate transport?
As noted briefly in the last question, a mover must have an FMCSA license in order to transport things across the country. This can be proved with a federal tariff. Anyone who wishes to be FMCSA licensed needs to have a copy of this tariff at all times.
Do they belong to the American Mover and Storage Association (AMSA)?
This is yet another form of certification that all moving companies must have. The AMSA works with lawmakers to protect consumers from unethical moving practices.
What paperwork will they provide?
Because moving companies are entrusted with the belongings of others for a significant amount of time, federal law requires them to provide their customers with a copy of your “Rights and Responsibilities” when you move. Additionally, you should ask for copies of your detailed estimate, bill of lading, and inventory forms. If the mover in question struggles to answer questions related to these, look at your next option.
How does the mover charge for their services?
Ask about minimum charges and additional fees when choosing a mover for your moving. Their answer should be related to the weight and miles. Also, ask for a full written description of potential charges and services covered by your contract. If you get an unclear answer regarding this, find another mover.
What payment methods does the mover accept?
You want the answer to this to be all payment methods. We live in a high tech world nowadays, and there should be no excuse for any organization to accept only one or two payment methods. For example, if a mover says that they accept cash or check only, those methods are not as easy to track as a card, which is automatically tracked.
What services does the mover’s estimate include? What does it exclude?
It is extremely important to verify the details of your estimate with a mover before signing a contract. For example, if a move is quoted online or over the phone, movers will fail to include a number of things that should have originally been included in the estimate. Again, this is another case where, if your estimate is unusually cheap, you should walk away.
Does the mover have questions for you?
If a mover is the real deal and interested in getting money from you to transport your belongings, they should be asking you questions about said belongings. Remember, it is a federal law for movers to have a detailed inventory of all these things. You should hear them say “I need to know what our inventory is going to look like before I give you an estimate” or a similar query.
Good luck moving!