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Moving Company >> Moving Scam

Moving scam

When you plan to relocate to other places you are left with no other choices than to rely on moving companies. Most people do surfing on online for hiring moving companies and some scammers take this as an advantage in making people fall victim. Through catchy advertisements and attractive discounts they tend to grab people's attention. Stay ahead of those companies. Here are some useful tips that will help you choose the right movers.

Try searching companies locally which are closer to your premises rather surfing on the internet. Many of them who are made as victims hired their moving company on the internet.

If you could not find the right moving company go picking up contacted numbers of local real estate agents and with their help find at least three moving companies that operate in your area. Choose companies that are reputed and has at least a decade of experience in the moving industry. Don't ever hire brokers as you may need to pay extra.

Arrange appointments with those selected companies to come to your house and do in-home estimate. Some companies may deny fixing up with those prior estimates, in those cases better move on to the next company. Once provided with an estimate, don't stop thinking your work got done. Make sure you visit the company's office and check out their trucks and storage facility. Check the company whether it operates on its own or sub-contracts the job to another company. If the company operates its own trucks then the company's name should be labeled on the trucks.

Once received an estimate, question the moving company on what basis they do fix up charges. The estimates may vary significantly with companies as each one have their own moving agendas. Never hire a mover who gives you a quote based on cubic feet.

Before signing any paperwork, read the explained contents clearly and make sure the paperwork has been fully explained. Don't ever sign on blank paperwork. All moving companies have to comply with quality standards and based on that every moving company by law need to provide customers with a "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" booklet.

Make sure you also get information about the company as much as you can such as:

  • Company name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • email id
  • License details
  • DOT and MC license numbers

You can check the originality of the motor carrier license information by logging to the SaferSys.org, U.S. Government information system site which is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) web site for getting the license information. Click on company snapshot in the center of the page where you'll see search areas in the center of the next web page. Type the company's DOT license number, and click 'Search'. If the DOT number is original then the company's information will be displayed on the screen. Here are some key elements which give good standards of the company:

  • The company details like its name, address and contact number should match with the details what the company gave you.
  • You could notice 'Out of Service' and 'Out of Service Date' fields on the form which should read as 'NO' and 'None'.
  • The two fields labeled 'Power Units', and 'Drivers' will give idea about the size of the company.
  • 'MCS-150 Form Date' field gives the date when the license was applied for.
  • There should be an X next to 'Auth for Hire' field under Operation Classification
  • There should be an X next to 'Interstate' if you are moving out of state
  • There should be an X next to Household Goods, under cargo carried.

For checking the insurance details, click on 'FMCSA Licensing & Insurance site' which is placed at the bottom of SaferSys report then you will find the following information:

  • Under 'authority type' three categories are listed: Common, Contract, and Broker. The 'Authority Status' header provides with the status whether it is active or not. If you notice 'Application Pending' or 'Revocation Pending', then something is wrong.
  • The last table lists the insurance required and provides both BIPD ($750,000 minimum), and Cargo insurance filed information.

Make sure you also make a quick check with BBB- Better Business Bureau. You can also contact FMCSA's Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at 1-888-368-7238 and ask the moving company history. The center functions from 10am to 6pm EST Monday to Friday.