Check Social Media and Consumer Review Sites
The easiest way to learn about your moving company is to read online reviews from previous customers. Places like Yelp, the BBB, Google Reviews, Facebook, and more offer insight from customers about their experience.
Hidden Fees and Hostage Loads
Always be wary of moving company estimates and ask a lot of questions. Make sure your movers are being transparent with you. Many movers have hidden fees on contracts that you sign with them that include shrink wrap, blankets, fuel, large items, stairs, etc. The movers can then hold your items once packed in the truck until you’ve paid. Instead of racking up storage fees while you argue with the moving company about your belongings, make sure you ask questions when you get your estimate. Ask your movers directly about hidden fees or any other fees that will be added on and get it in writing. Carefully review the contract before you sign.
Licensing and Name Changes
All movers with large trucks must have a DOT# that is displayed on their website and all advertising, per federal law requirements. Avoid using upstart moving companies on craigslist and similar sites that advertise their services without a DOT#. Not only could your items be damaged or stolen, the unlicensed movers could get pulled over by a DOT agent and have their truck impounded with your belongings inside.
You can also use a DOT# to check and see if a mover has changed their name to avoid a bad reputation. This is also easy to check on consumer review sites. Always do thorough research before you sign anything.
Be wary of movers who are using lots of stock photos. This may mean their quality of equipment, trucks, etc. is not as advertised. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they have real pictures of them on the job?
Per Pound Estimates and Per Piece Quotes
Many people see a low rate and jump on it, without paying attention to the fine print. If you are paying for a per pound estimate, you could end up paying tons of additional fees because of heavy items that you didn’t anticipate. Make sure you get a receipt with the total weight of the truck before and after your belongings are unloaded to ensure accuracy.
Per piece flat rate estimates are usually just fine. Estimates are typically created over the phone by describing the items that will be moved. But if you have some items that are added on moving day, you can be charged a much larger fee.
Pay Attention to Insurance
All movers will say they are licensed and insured, which is great. But the insurance that a mover is required to have by the DOT is only a $.60 per pound liability rate. Make sure you ask your movers about the different insurance options they offer and if they have a full coverage or replacement option. This way, if anything is damaged in the move, you don’t have to pay out of pocket.