Do not let moving cons spoil your relocation process. While most companies in the United States are excellent and reputable businesses, there are still bad apples who are trying to dupe property owners. According to FMCSA or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of complaints filed against fraudulent moving firms is rising – a lot of these complaints are because of rogue movers doing fraudulent practices.
If you are going to spend money on this activity, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that the moving firm is legit. After all, this activity is stressful enough without entrusting people’s precious belongings to the wrong company. The good news is, there are a lot of ways to check out a company’s credibility before people even pick up their phones. Here is how to know if a company can be trusted with your valuable items.
Is the company adequately insured and licensed?
Before hiring a firm, it is imperative to ensure that they are appropriately insured and licensed. The good news is, this article has done this for the readers – as every firm in professional mover organizations is required to be insured and licensed. People can find the list in moving organizations or group directories.
It is crucial to note that while long-distance movers need to register with the government and can be found in the United States Department of Transportation system, local companies are only regulated by the government. Every state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to licensing moving firms, so people need to read up on their state’s requirements to make sure that the local mover is legit.
Visit this site for more details about insurances in this industry.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, long-distance movers need to offer two kinds of liability options: A released and total protection value. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines these two options below.
Real value protection – It is the most economical protection available in the market today since most companies offer it at no extra charge. But it covers minimal protection. Under this kind of protection, the firm assumes liability for no more than 60 cents/pound per item.
Full-value protection – The Company is liable for the repair or replacement of damaged or lost goods during the shipment. It is a more comprehensive insurance plan available for the protection of the client’s items. The cost of this plan differs from firm to firm.
People can read more about the rules and regulations of both options on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. In addition to offering clients a liability option, the firm needs to have its own insurance. These organizations need to be able to provide proof of insurance if clients request it.
Are there complaints?
As most people used to say: “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” When individuals see more than one complaint from clients, homeowners need to take note. It usually signals a red flag. Individuals can check for official complaints from the FMCSA website by checking the reviews of each firm listed in the directory.
Suppose the individual is embarking on a long-distance relocation. In that case, they can also check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website directly to find out if there are official complaints. Every long-distance moving firm needs to obtain a United States Department of Transportation number.
How to file complaints in the BBB? Check out https://www.thebalancesmb.com/filing-a-complaint-with-the-better-business-bureau-1794757 for details.
As part of the system, clients can now enter the company’s number into the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s search engine. This tool reveals registered long-distance movers’ entire complaint history or the lack thereof.
Experts also recommend visiting the BBB or Better Business Bureau website to see complaints filed against the intrastate or interstate firms. The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit company helping individuals find firms they can trust. If the Better Business Bureau has accredited the firm, it means that they have met the BBB’s accreditation standards.
How are the reviews?
When it comes to finding a trustworthy and reputable professional or agency, checking reviews on directories is an excellent place to start. These directories include customer reviews for tons of firms all over the country. For the client’s convenience, review sites also have the firm’s United States Department of Tourism number, specific services, their fleet size, the BBB rating, official complaints filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as well as whether they had any association with AMSA or the American Moving & Storage Association. Experts also recommend clients asking their family members, friends, or neighbors for any recommendations.
Did the agency see the client’s items before giving an estimate?
Moving agencies need to perform either a video survey or in-person inspections of their client’s items before providing a quote. Otherwise, people could end up with bills that exceed the original estimate. If the professional or the agency offer to provide a quote over the Internet or the phone, based on the client’s account of the household items, they better run. It is a huge red flag, and it could mean a possible scam.
A simple rule to follow: any agency that quotes clients a firm price tag without surveying their items in-person or by video, there is a good chance that they should not be trusted. Experts recommend comparing three to five quotes from different agencies to make sure that clients get the best deal possible.
After multiple inspections, movers like movers in Charlotte, NC, need to send client estimates and possible charges in writing. They should leave no unnecessary surprise costs later. If the firm quote is noticeably pretty expensive compared to other estimates, it should also be a red flag.
Is the agency professional?
Besides the technicalities when it comes to insurance policies and licenses, clients need to use their common sense when hiring a reputable agency. Make sure to look out for whether or not the agency is a true professional. Do they have a physical office and a working business email address? Are they part of a respectable van line? Are their workers wearing matching uniforms and driving professional trucks? Have they provided clients with a legit Bill of Landing? Are their estimates too good to be true? If your instinct tells you something is off, you need to listen.