Moving can be a stressful experience, especially if you don't know who to trust. It's important to do your research and make sure you're working with a reputable moving company that offers Mobile Storage Services. To ensure you're working with a legitimate business, there are a few steps you can take. If you can't find any mention of a potential moving company offering Mobile Storage Services on the Internet, it's best to avoid them. Additionally, if the sellers who visited your home didn't show any identification or weren't wearing uniforms, this is also a red flag.
The same rule applies on the day you move in. A truck that doesn't display logos or names of moving companies is highly suspicious, unless proven otherwise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires moving companies to provide a free quote for their home transfer. It's always recommended to work with a certified moving company. To confirm the credentials of a moving company that claims to be certified, visit the DOT site and select “search for carriers”.
You can also check out the Better Business Bureau and other online directories to find out if a moving company is certified by the American Moving & Storage Association. In the past, reputable moving companies never asked for payment in advance. However, to meet the needs of modern consumers, times are changing. To set moving dates for customers, many moving companies will request a deposit before handling any of their belongings, especially if they are moving within the same city. This protects customers so that a disreputable moving company doesn't find a more desirable move. In addition, the practice of requesting payment in advance is also common when moving abroad.
Since most international moving companies pay in advance for ocean freight and destination services, it is common practice to request payment before providing the services. When consulting with a potential moving company, be sure to come prepared with lots of questions. How long has the company been in operation? Can they provide any references? Does the quote include additional charges and possible fees? If they can't explain any concerns you have, it could be a sign that you're better off with another company. You don't want to be stuck paying for services from a moving company that handles your belongings carelessly or doesn't show up on time. A moving company that doesn't insist on an on-site inspection of your household items is giving you an estimate that can't be seen with the naked eye and is generally too good to be true. If they don't pay, carriers can unpack their belongings and leave them on the street or sell them.
Many moving companies will even offer an in-person consultation or video call to give you a more accurate estimate. Try to ask your friends for help when the moving company is unloading and open each box to examine it for obvious damage. Worst-case scenario, some moving thieves have been known to leave and disappear with everything in their truck. This brochure also contains information about what to do if your assets are lost or damaged during the move. Accredited moving companies (especially interstate ones) charge you based on the weight of your shipment, not the amount of cubic feet of space a moving truck would take up. If you purchase this coverage separately, in the event of loss or damage that is the responsibility of the moving company, they will only be responsible for an amount not exceeding 60 cents per pound per item, and the insurance company may recover the balance of the loss up to the amount of insurance contracted. You can even keep some moving containers under lock and key in your front yard so you'll have access to your most precious belongings while you're on the move. Some moving companies may also offer additional liability insurance separately if you release your shipment for transportation at a value of 60 cents per pound per item (the alternative liability level).
The problem with packing your own belongings is that if something gets damaged during transit, the moving company is generally not responsible for it. If you let them pack up your items, you're paying excessive prices for boxes and other packaging materials, not to mention time and labor. If something goes wrong and your belongings are stolen or held hostage by a disreputable moving company, you should file a complaint but can also contact the State Attorney General's office or law enforcement agency in your state.