It’s an unfortunate truth that not all moving companies are reputable with trustworthy employees. But, in today’s world of online reviews, social media, and incredibly accessible platforms for spreading word-of-mouth information, you can easily find out about experiences others have had with specific movers. That’s the good news.
The not-so-good news is that you do need to put a little effort into finding the right company for your move. Let’s talk about why this is so important and how you can find out what you need to know before you hire a moving company.
What Harm Can They Do?
To make our point about the importance of a trustworthy moving company, we’ll look at how the actions of a dishonest employee or company can negatively affect your life. A quick online search can find you countless stories about people’s moving experiences that turned into living nightmares. Here are some things that can go wrong in cases where the company isn’t very reputable:
Broken or damaged belongings
Damage to homes (coming from or going to)
Invasion of privacy
Some of these are quite obvious, like broken or missing items. However, you may not have thought about how a moving company employee has access to things of a private nature, like photos, diaries, personal articles of clothing, or intimate items. They also have access to things of monetary value and any documents and other paperwork that isn’t properly secured somewhere.
In the majority of cases, you wouldn’t have to worry about any of this, but not all people live with integrity. You want to make sure you’re working with a company that’s provided excellent and honest service to customers before you.
There are usually some “red flags” you can look for that may indicate a less-than-reputable company. Note that if you run into any of these, it doesn’t always mean there’s something dishonest about the company, but it should cause you to look a little closer at the company before you decide to hire them.
First off, a moving company should be certified. That means that if you ask them, they should be able to provide you with a certificate that is legal and proves legitimacy if nothing else.
Does this mean on its own that this is a reputable company, or that everyone working there is going, to be honest, and work with integrity? No. But, it does mean that the business is recognized and tracked by the appropriate governing agency, so it’s a good place to start.
We’re all looking to save some money most of the time. Moving can be incredibly expensive. You’re going to compare the moving estimate and we highly recommend that you do that. You’re also likely going to want to pick the company that offers you the lowest price for your job. That can be ok too.
You do need to be leery of insane deals from moving companies. When you’re comparison shopping for these services, you should get a good feel for what the average cost looks like. If you come across a mover who’s offering to make your move for much less than any of the others you’ve checked with, either move on or, at the very least, do more research to find out why the quote is so low. If you don’t, you might end up paying big time for it later.
Lack of Insurance
Reputable moving companies should have a number of good insurance options for you to choose from. It goes with the territory of moving that things will get damaged or broken during the process. That’s why insurance is expected to be part of the process too.
Ask upfront about the insurance options they offer. If they don’t have any, don’t waste your time. If they don’t offer much, that one might be a waste of time too. If they show you something resembling an insurance certification, but there are no other prepared documents or accompanying information about the plans, that’s a red flag too.
Find out what the name of the insurance provider is. You can contact them directly to get more information about the coverage the moving company has through them. You might need to make a claim for something that gets broken in the move, so take the steps to ensure you’ll be able to do that, should it become necessary.
No Physical Address
All moving companies that are legitimate will have a physical address. You should be able to verify it yourself. If they don’t, do not hire them for your moving job. Why not?
Here’s what’s happened to people who have gone this route. The company shows up to pack and load the household goods onto their truck. They’re polite, seem friendly, and incredibly fast. They drive away with all of the stuff that belongs to this customer. Then they shut down their website, disconnect the phone numbers that were used, and the customer never sees their things again. They’re left with no means to contact anyone and no means to make any sort of claim.
Moving companies will always need space to maintain their business. They have to have a physical location. If there isn’t one, it can mean this isn’t a legitimate moving company.