Moving is an expensive and stressful experience, especially if you are doing a long distance moving. And if you do not take all the necessary precautions, it can quickly turn into an awkward situation, or worse, a nightmare. The big question is, how can you find a moving agency or a company that you can trust with your valuable items, and feel safe with your decisions?
While most experts suggest that you do the moving by yourself as much as possible, or use a hybrid mover where you pack your items, and they will deliver it to your doorsteps, we know that sometimes there are circumstances that are not in your plans. If that is the situation that you are in, get long distance relocation tips from this article to help you find the right moving company that will suit your needs.
First thing first: you need to put down your mouse and keyboard and step away from the Internet. While there are some reputable moving agencies that you can find online, most of the victims of fraudulent movers found these companies online. The Internet can be a big help later; for now, you need to search for movers locally.
Your next logical step is to pick up your phone, call your real estate agent and find at least three long distance moving company within your area. Try to find these companies that are in business for at least ten years. Make sure you do not hire a moving middle person to save some money. Consumer protection laws in the United States that are related to brokers are not adequately written, and most of them are not correctly enforced.
To know more about consumer protection law in the United States, visit this site.
You need to set up an appointment to the moving companies that you find and ask them to do an in house visit for an estimate so you can rank them from least favorite to your most favorite moving company. If they don’t want to do a site visit and do an in-house estimate, move on to the next company. Find out if they will do the moving by themselves or if they will find a sub-contractor to do the job.
If they are not the one who will do the moving, then you need to make sure that the company is what they say they are in their classified ads. Check their storage facilities and their moving trucks. Make sure that the vehicles are appropriately marked with the name of the company. A lot of fraudulent movers show up on the scheduled day of the move with a sign temporarily attached to the door of a rented truck.
That is why it is good to know as much information as possible ahead of time so you can have a better idea of what kind of company you are hiring. As the companies give you a rough estimate of all the items that you are bringing in based on what they see inside your home, ask as many questions as possible, including the difference in pricing.
Based on the price of their services, you can now determine the company can provide, the insurance policy that is included as well as the quotation of your items. Do not hire a moving company who gives you a price valuation based on the floor area of your house. You also never sign a blank document or any paperwork that has not been explained adequately.
Do you want to know more about your Bill of Rights as a consumer? Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Bill_of_Rights for more information.
Always read any documents they presented, understand word per word and do not worry about making them wait. You need to know that every mover that is registered as a legitimate business is required by the United States law to provide their clients with a “Your Responsibilities and Rights When You Move” kind of booklet. If they can’t provide you with one, move on to another possible candidate. Also, while talking to a sales representative, get as much information you can get about their company like:
- Full Company and DBA names
- Years in the business
- Physical company address
- Local and Toll-Free contact numbers
- MC and DOT license numbers
- Company website
- Email address
Now that you have the estimates from prospected companies, it is time to check the Internet. It is where the online method becomes a powerful tool that the consumer can use, and where all the information you gathered will finally pay off. Most states make it easy for consumers to search for any corporate data on the Internet.
If you cannot search the companies online, you can call the state office and ask for their articles of incorporation. You can use this document to verify how long these moving companies have been in the moving industry. Not only that, but you can also use the articles of incorporation to find out the address and the name of the company.
You need to remember that the DOT and MC license numbers because it can help you make sure that the company you are planning to hire has the proper license and authority to perform a long distance relocation. Not only that, but you can also check whether they have the right insurance to cover all your valuable items.
One last thing you can do is to call the Safety Violation and Consumer Complaint number of the FMCSA (1-888-368-7238) and ask them whether the company has prior complaints. The Hotline is open from Monday thru Friday, 10 A.M to 6 P.M EST. The call is worth your time and energy, trust me.
For more information about FMCSA’s Consumer Protection, click here.
You can post some messages on the message boards on the website MovingScam.com and ask if the company you are planning to hire is legitimate, and if anyone had any prior experience dealing with them. These message boards are very active, and there is a big chance that someone will immediately respond to your inquiries.
And lastly, if any group of people shows up during the scheduled move, other than the company that you hire, there is a big chance that these people are just taking advantage of your situation. Feel free to fire them on the spot. Do not, I mean DO NOT sign any blank paperwork; it is too dangerous. Read all the documents before signing, understand them and make sure you ask the expert’s opinion before signing them (a lawyer if possible).