Moving to a new place is a huge undertaking no matter where you are moving to or how much you are moving to that new place. Because of that, many moving companies have filled the needs of consumers across the country who are looking to relocate in the easiest possible manner. With so many choices when it comes to moving companies, it can be difficult to choose the one that will fit your needs the best, so you will ultimately have to do some research to discover the one that will both fill your need and offer the best service for the money that you will have to pay for the service.
But how do you find the one that is best for you? And how do you know that the company you choose will protect the goods that you are entrusting them with? One of the best methods of ensuring that you have chosen a great mover involves the licenses that the Federal Government and the state government requires movers to have. While these requirements exist, consumers often find themselves victims of moving scams because the industry is not well regulated. Thus, the responsibility for verifying licenses and ensuring that the company you hire is both legally allowed to operate, as well as legit, falls to the consumers. For this reason, the experts here at MovingQuotes.net have come up with the following systematic approach to knowing what licenses are required, and ensuring that the company you choose abides by the laws that are in place.
Getting License Numbers and Narrowing the List
Obviously, the first step involved in finding a mover who has the right licenses requires you to gather the license numbers that a mover might have. Each state is different in what they require, so you need to keep that in mind as you gather these numbers. Some companies may have multiple licenses, while some may only have one or two. Whatever they offer, take note of these numbers when you contact potential movers for estimates on how much the task of relocating your goods will cost. Here are some other ways to ensure the company you are thinking of hiring is legit and upstanding in the realm of moving.
- Look into Reviews – There are a number of good carrier review websites online that list moving companies along with their last known licensure information. Instead of using the phone book or a simple online listing, think about using a review site where you can not only find license information, but information on how the company has treated consumers in the past. What other people have to say about a given company is just as important as that company having up to date licenses.
- Check the Better Business Bureau – Reputable carriers will reflect their reputation on the Better Business Bureau website, where you will be able to see if a company has had any trouble in their past. Conflicts and problems will often be listed and the company will be given a grade based on the input from consumers who have hired them in the past. It’s best to stay away from companies with lower grades, but don’t discount them if they’ve only had one or two problems. There are always people who just can’t be satisfied no matter what.
- Ask for a Binding Quote – Moving companies who don’t offer a free binding moving quote are not companies that you want to deal with. Professional movers are not hesitant to come out to your home to review what you are moving so that they can give you an estimate that is binding for your move. This is also a great way to avoid a moving scam and get a good impression of the company you will be trusting your goods to, so take some time to schedule home visits from any companies you are really interested in.
- Don’t Pay Deposits – A good mover won’t require that you pay a deposit, so if you come across a moving company who is asking you to pay hundreds of dollars in advance, be wary. Most movers will make you sign paperwork, but if they are legit and honest, you won’t have to pay a dollar for their services until your goods are delivered to your new home.
Verification and Hiring
Once you’ve gone through the process of finding some great movers, you’ll probably have a short list of companies that you are considering hiring. This is when things start to get real and you’ll need to take some time to actually verify the information that you’ve been given. While binding quotes are good, you need to go through the process of verifying the license numbers that you gathered as well. Thankfully, this process isn’t that difficult because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set up a special database where consumers are able to plug in license numbers in return for specific information about a given company.
In order to take advantage of the system that the FMCSA has set up, simply visit the SAFER System website and put the Department of Transportation license number that all carriers are required to have by Federal law into the search box. Once there, click the search button and wait for the information to populate. Once it does, you’ll be able to review the company statistics, as well as the safety records of the company, the types of things that they are known to ship, and a file of accidents that they have been involved with. Because this site is run by the Federal government, you will be able to check license numbers and see helpful information about any company without having to worry about false information and advertising.
There are a lot of different moving companies out there that you can hire to transport your things from your old home to your new one, but finding one that is both honest and has the proper licenses can be difficult in a world where so many scams exist. For this reason, you need to make sure that you not only gather license numbers and binding moving quotes from companies you are considering hiring, but use the FMCSA SAFER system to dig deeper into these companies so that you know you are hiring a good one. Moving is a complex task in and of itself; make sure that you heed this advice and check into both reviews, as well as license information, to ensure that you get the most from your mover.