Every year, more or less three million people in the United States move across the country’s state lines. While moving is not an easy task, companies that people hire to help them move can make this transition a lot smoother – or a nightmare. Last year alone, the National Consumer Complaint Database received at least 4,000 complaints from customers for everything, from having their items held hostage by movers to delayed delivery.
That is why if you are planning to move across state lines, or just crossing the bridge to a new state, takes these simple steps to make sure you hire the best movers who can do the task right, get your items to the destination safely, and not get ripped off in the process.
Research your options
Start the search as soon as you know that you will be moving. Ideally, people can book their shippers at least 20 to 30 days in advance, while there are also companies that will let their potential clients make early bookings for at least 90 days. The client’s first line of defense is to ask people close to them some recommendations (either from friends, co-workers, neighbors, or family members).
If you do not know people who have made a recent move, skip the Internet and look up for moving companies on websites like the Better Business Bureau. They are rated on different factors like legal actions against them or client complaints. It is easy for fraudulent people to pull together a credible-looking website on Google search.
Check out https://www.investopedia.com/what-is-the-better-business-bureau-5024818 form more information about BBB.
People can also check out customer reviews on sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, or Craigslist, but as always, they need to take these reviews with a grain of salt. As customers start their search, they need to get familiar with all the terms they will encounter from moving firms – for most people, it is an all-new vocabulary, including words and phrases, which is considered the receipt of their contract and goods for their transportation.
Check the movers
Once customers have a list of potential companies to hire, look deeper into their operation and history. People will need the firm’s name, their United States Department of Transportation number, and their Motor Carrier number. If they are missing these numbers, it should be a red flag and cross them off your list.
It means that they do not have the necessary licenses to operate as moving companies across state lines. Look for companies using their Motor Carrier number or their Department of Transportation number at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSAs website.
The result will show people whether the company is a freight forwarder, broker, or carrier. A freight forwarder will take responsibility for the client’s items, but use more than one carrier to move them, sometimes integrating smaller moves into one large truckload.
To find out more about FMCSA, click here for more details.
Carriers are companies that people hire directly to move their possessions, while brokers will hire carriers for people who are trying to move, usually for free, but sometimes they ask for a small fee. Beyond understanding the types of companies that potential clients are using, safety administration websites will give them the company’s recent insurance data and safety rating, as well as the type and number of complaints filed against them in recent years.
There are at least ten different complaint categories. These include loss and damage, holding cargo hostage, and weight disputes. While it is common for these businesses to have a few complaints, be cautious of numerous complaints about repeated damage and loss claims, as well as delays in the delivery.
Get an in-person estimate
Call at least three moving companies for estimates. A respectable firm will send a representative to do on-site inspections for them. We have found that it is hard to get an in-person estimate if you are making small moves like out of an apartment. That is why customers need to be prepared to call other firms for plan B.
Ideally; these estimates will give people a clear idea of how much it will cost them to move their items instead of a vague estimate based on the number of bedrooms. When shipping agents arrive, they are obligated by the law to hand their customers a flyer called Your Responsibilities and Rights When You Move.
Then it is up to the clients to show them everything in their home to get the most accurate in-person estimate possible. It includes all the useless stuff stashed under their beds and things outside their homes, like garden equipment, strollers, bikes, and boxes in their basement or off-site storage.
As you go through the items in your home, flag things with an extraordinary value like antiques and artwork. These items need to be handled with care or insured at a higher value. A lot of companies recommend potential clients to transport items with a high personal value like car keys, photo albums, or medical files, personally.
And be aware that these firms will not transport perishable or hazardous items like alcohol, cleaning supplies, pantry goods, meats, or plants. Movers like exclusive movers in Charlotte NC should supply their potential clients with a detailed list of things that they can or cannot put in their truck. You will want to use them, donate to charities, or transport these items by yourself.
Prepare for the day of the move
As the pickup date approaches, check-in with the carrier to confirm the information and make adjustments in writing. Pack up things that you will be bringing or moving by yourself, as well as things you will need to live in your new place for at least two weeks (like plates, spoons and forks, bed linens, pillows, medical documents, birth certificate, bank statements, house keys, or kitchen utensils) before the rest of household items arrive.
Make sure to plan to supervise the pickup, which can take more or less three days. Make sure to plan to do the same for the drop-off. When the moving day arrives, you will be handed a bill of lading and the inventory list. Make sure to read them to the letter before signing them, and hold on to these documents to compare during the drop-off.