When you hire someone to move all of your possessions, you're putting a lot of trust in that person. Moving is also a stressful life event, and having the right moving company there to manage the process is key to a smooth transition into your new home. How do you avoid the scammers and ensure you hire a moving company that's dependable and legitimate? Here are a few tips:
Look in the yellow pages.
That phone book may still be useful after all! A company that advertises solely on social media sites could be some fly-by-night scam or a brand new company that's still working out the kinks. However, companies that pay to advertise in the yellow pages are usually established and tend to have been around a while—since the days when advertising in the phone book was standard practice.
As you should do with any hired service, look for online reviews for a moving company you're considering hiring. Read the bad ones. Did anything actually go wrong, or does it sound like the reviewer is just a disgruntled customer?
Check license numbers and insurance information.
Any reputable moving company should be able to provide you with a license number from the Department of Transportation (DOT) as well as proof of insurance coverage. Ask for copies of these forms for your records. Any company that refuses to give you such documentation is not a company you should hire.
Don't pay a deposit.
It is not standard practice among reputable moving companies to ask for a deposit before moving your items. Payment should be due in full once the items are delivered, and if you opt for unpacking services, unpacked. A reputable moving company should also agree to let you look through your items and make sure nothing has been damaged upon delivery—and before you pay.
Ask for an estimate.
If a company gives you a very broad or wishy-washy estimate, that's not a good sign. A reputable company should ask you a lot of questions about what you're moving and where you're moving it to so that they can give you as accurate an estimate as possible. They should be willing to give you that estimate on paper, too.
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