Finding a reputable mover can be a daunting task. It can sometimes be difficult to decide where to begin. Whatever you do, take your time and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Failing to take the proper precautions up front can lead to a rocky situation down the line.

Plan Early

It’s important to do your research and decide on a company plenty of time before your move. This way, you can ensure you have a moving company lined up well in advanced – at least four to six weeks before your move. By planning early, you will have more control over your move and will still have time to handle any unexpected challenges that may arise.

Finding a Mover

There are many ways to find out about movers in your area. The best advice on the right company to use is to listen to people you know. Friends and family can give you information on great and not so great experiences they may have had. Also, don’t be afraid to research on your own. The Yellow Pages or the Internet can be great resources for movers in your area.

Important Questions to Ask

When you first speak with a moving company, there are several important pieces of information you will need:

  • Full company name or any DBA (doing business as) names
  • How long the company has been in business
  • Address
  • Phone numbers
  • DOT and MC license numbers
  • Web site address
  • Email address
  • Ask for referrals! A reputable mover will be happy to provide you with information on satisfied customers. A company unwilling to give you this information should not be taken into consideration.

Getting Estimates

Once you have narrowed down your search to several movers, it’s important to get an estimate from each company. Obtaining estimates from at least three companies will help you determine the best mover for you.

Check Them Out

There’s nothing wrong with going to the company’s office to check them out. It’s your right to make sure they are who they say they are. Be sure to ask whether they will be doing the move themselves or whether they are outsourcing the work. If they aren’t doing the move themselves, you should probably select a different company. Also, make sure their trucks are permanently marked with the company’s name and that they have an adequate storage facility (if storage will be necessary).

In most cases, it is rather easy to check up on a company simply by visiting your local Secretary of State’s office. For example, if you live in Florida, visit www.google.com and type in “Florida Secretary of State.” You can also call the Secretary of State’s office and ask for their Articles of Incorporation. This will help you to verify how long your company has been in business, as well as their address and phone number.

As for those DOT and MC license numbers you asked about when you first called the company – make sure you have them handy. You will need these numbers to check the company’s licensing and insurance.

It’s also a good idea to check out potential movers through the Better Business Bureau (BBB). A reputable moving company should be listed with this agency and will have no claims registered against them. The BBB depends on dues from its members; therefore, it will not report negative comments about its members’ business practices if they are untrue, as that could cause them to lose their members. Ask the BBB for reports they may have on the company and use the reports as a guide.

Also, call the FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at 1-888-368-7238 and ask them about the complaint history of your moving company.