If you’re looking for a long distance moving company, you’ve likely got many things on your mind. With planning, collecting quotes and shopping for a deal that fits your budget, it can be a lot to juggle. Furthermore, if you’ve never used a long distance moving company, you might also be concerned about how to tell if the moving company you’ve chosen is legitimate.
- How do you know that the team you’ve hired will handle your items with care?
- How can you tell which company will respect your home?
- How do you know your belongings are safe with them?
These are common concerns, and rightfully so. While most moving companies are professional and reliable, there are some businesses who either don’t value their reputation, or are ( in some cases) purposely targeting unsuspecting families.
Here’s your guide to help ensure you select a long-distance moving company you can trust.
Vetting Your Long Distance Moving Company
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, consumers have filed a higher-than-average number of complaints against movers in recent years. These complaints are due, in large part, to fraudulent practices related to rogue movers.
Protect yourself from those issues with these tips:
This should be one of the first steps when it comes to hiring a mover. When a mover is properly licensed and insured, you know your belongings are protected in the event of an accident or loss. Mover’s insurance will also frequently cover injuries that happen on your property or which take place during your move.
While licensing regulations vary from state to state, all interstate movers are required to register with the Federal Government. A list of these movers can be found in the U.S. DOT System. Local movers, meanwhile, are only required to register in the state in which they operate. For this reason, it is important to research your state’s unique requirements.
Beyond this, there are also two types of liability insurance you should know about when it comes to hiring a mover. FMCSA defines these types of insurances as follows:
- Full-Value Protection: Full-value protection means your moving professional is responsible for the replacement costs associated with lost or damaged goods. It’s a comprehensive plan that offers outstanding protection for consumers.
- Released-Value Protection: This is less expensive, but also less comprehensive protection. Released-value protection means the mover assumes the liability of no more than 60 cents per pound of your belongings.
Since the coverage payout is different, it is important to know which type of liability insurance your quoted movers carry when evaluating your long-distance moving company options.
Your next step in determining a legitimate mover should be to see whether there are complaints currently open against the company. As a general rule, any company with multiple consumer complaints slated against it is one you want to avoid. To find complaints, check the FMCSA “Reviews” tab next to the moving company of your choice.
You can also check the Better Business Bureau website for complaints lodged against both intrastate and interstate moving companies. Since BBB is a non-profit organization, you can trust the information offered on the site is legitimate and non-bias.
Once you’ve checked into a company’s complaints and insurance, it’s time to check out their reviews.
Review sites are valuable sources of information and can go a long way to tell you what to expect from a moving company. If customers are predominantly happy, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve selected a great moving company. However, you can identify red flags if you read that:
- majority of customers are disappointed,
- the nature of complaints are extreme,
- the circumstances of reviews point to negligence
- or if complaints seem to go unaddressed
In these scenarios, it’s a safe bet to move on with your search.
Taking a stranger’s testimony into consideration, however, may only buy you so much peace-of-mind. In this case, the testimony of a friend, neighbor or family member may also be useful. A personal experience is worth its weight in gold, and asking the opinions of the people you value most is a great way to find a reputable company.
Of course, pricing is a major factor in determining which mover to hire. You want and deserve a fair deal. However, the price alone shouldn’t ultimately determine which mover you chose. Fortunately, you can utilize your moving estimates to learn more about which long-distance moving company is right for you.
With this in mind, consider the moving company estimate. If you haven’t received any yet, now is the time to shop around. When comparing estimates, consider whether each mover took a visual estimate versus verbal. This is important because it can be difficult for movers to provide accurate estimates of your actual inventory based solely on your verbal explanation – unless you are detailed and specific about the items you are bringing and leaving behind.
To improve your chances of getting the best possible deal, get quotes from three or four moving companies. Ensure you get these things in writing and that you understand them. Once you’ve got a few in front of you, compare them to the other quotes. Anything that is drastically more or less expensive is likely a red flag.
As you collect your estimates with your top contending moving companies, pay close attention to their interaction with you. This is your golden opportunity to assess their professionalism, character, and values.
Here are some factors to consider as you try to gauge their level of professionalism during the estimate process:
- Are they knowledgeable about the moving process?
- Did they take the time to understand the full extent of your needs?
- Are they pleasant, patient, and willing to educate you about parts of the move you may be unfamiliar with?
- Did they arrive on time and in uniform for your visual estimate?
- Do they have an office with a business name and address?
- Are they pressuring you to commit?
When you are hiring a long distance moving company, there should be no hesitant feelings rumbling in the pit of your stomach. Ultimately, if the price sounds great, but your gut says “no,” you may need to keep searching. After all, your movers are people you need to trust. You’ll be spending a decent amount of time working with them. Of course, there may be some bumps down the road, even with a legitimate mover. However, if you choose a reputable mover, they will be professional and helpful throughout any hiccups, and you’ll have an easier time working with them to address any issues.
Finding the Right Long Distance Moving Company
Choosing a long distance moving company can feel like a stressful experience, especially if you’ve never hired a team like this before.
Luckily, there are a few sure-fire ways to ensure the movers you’ve hired are legit. By looking into reviews, insurance, and complaints, as well as trusting your own gut and getting a few estimates, you can select a reputable and trustworthy moving company.
Need some additional help making this decision? We offer some resources on our website that break down your moving rights and responsibilities as a consumer. Contact our team to learn more!