More than 35 million people move every year, according to the FMCSA, which has led to the growth of the moving industry. Unfortunately, that opportunity has attracted both legitimate moving companies...and, let's say, less reputable moving companies. The best thing you can do if you're planning on hiring a moving company is know how to spot a fake.
Here are the green flags you should be looking for when hiring a professional mover:
This one is a no-brainer. Moving experiences have a way of making us passionate—both in a good way and a bad way. If your moving company has a lot of good reviews, those reviews are probably sincere and a sign that the mover does good work. If it has a lot of bad reviews, you should probably read them to see what their experiences were like.
The best moving experiences are the ones that offer peace of mind, and good insurance is all about peace of mind. Check your moving company's insurance policy. How much does it cover? Does it seem fair? Does it seem like the process is straightforward? How much preparation does a claim require?
Check out their positive reviews—do any of them mention filing an insurance claim? A positive review that involved an insurance claim is a hint that their insurance policy is fair and responsive.
Every mover who moves across state lines is required to register with the Department of Transportation. If your prospective mover is legitimate, they'll have a unique USDOT number that you can run through an FMCSA database. If they don't have a USDOT number but they're offering out-of-state moving services, run as far away as you can.
For moving companies that only handle moves within the state, licensing will depend on the state.
Less reputable moving companies will take your money and hire strangers off the street to serve as the "moving team." These people aren't vetted or trained, but some moving companies will call them their "team" when the company knows them as well as you do! The best way to avoid companies like this is to find moving professionals who are part of a permanent moving team.
- Check the staff page—is it a full team of people with names and photos?
- Check their reviews—do any of them call out movers by name? Do the same people get mentioned more than once?
When the movers are actually part of the team (not just people hired for the day), it's a sign that you're dealing with a quality moving company.
A high-quality moving company has been around for longer than a year. Are some legitimate companies young? Sure. But a lot of 'companies' will spring up overnight, take your money, move your stuff badly (if at all), and then disappear. As soon as you try to file a complaint, they'll be in the wind.
The best way to avoid that is to hire a company that's been around for a few years. Affordable Quality Moving & Storage has been around since 1996, which is more than enough time to prove that we're a legitimate business with a legitimate service. That's the sort of staying power you should be looking for.
Never trust a company that does moving estimates over the phone. There are too many variables involving your move that can't be described over the phone. The square footage of your home, how much stuff you own, how many boxes you'll need, and other important factors can only be decided in an in-home estimate.
Company-Owned Trucks (Not Rented)
This goes back to those companies that form overnight, hire people off the street, and haven't been around for longer than a year. If you hire a professional moving company, you should expect to see a company-owned truck show up in your driveway on Moving Day. Ask your prospective moving company if they have company-owned or company-branded trucks. Better yet, look at the company's website.
Physical Warehouse or Storage Area
A physical warehouse with a real address is another indicator that you're dealing with a legitimate moving company. Even if the company doesn't have a warehouse, they should have a real address—not just a P.O. box!
By holding your moving company to high standards, you can ensure that your moving experience is a rewarding one! Call (661) 622-2636 to set up a free in-home estimate with Affordable Quality Moving and Storage today.