Researching the right moving company can seem like a daunting task. But it’s more than worth the effort.
One of our clients, a public relations professional in Fairfax, VA, had to learn that lesson the hard way. A few years ago, before learning about Tristate Moving And Storage, she decided to move with the help of a moving company that left a flyer in front of her house. It would be a major understatement to say she was dissatisfied with the service.
She paid her initial deposit online, plus an extra $300 in cash on moving day. But it turned out the company was understaffed that day–she actually had to call her friends and family for help in order to complete the move on time! She asked the moving company for a refund, but it took the threat of a lawsuit in order to get her money back.
Unfortunately, experiences like this are relatively common. Since moving companies don’t typically work with the same client more than once, many of them focus more on marketing and advertising than actually providing good, or even adequate service. Even worse, some companies are just scams…they might take a hefty deposit while failing to show up at all.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from having to deal with an unprofessional moving company…or being scammed. Here are some tips for finding the right moving company.
Go With A Reputable LOCAL Moving Company.
The best way to avoid scams is to hire a local moving company, says Pejman Sayas, founder of Tristate Moving And Storage, one of the Washington, DC area’s premier moving companies. Scam artists tend to operate on the internet, but having multiple physical locations, its own moving trucks, and a team of best movers is a strong sign that a company is legitimate. Sayas suggests visiting a moving company’s physical location, or at least checking for verified locations on Google Maps, to ensure that a company is legitimate.
Compare Different Estimates
Scam artists will often lure people in with unusually low prices. Don’t get us wrong–there’s nothing wrong with looking for a reasonable price! But if a price seems too good to be true, there are reasons to be suspicious. If a company’s quote is unusually low, it’s likely that the moving company prioritizes low cost over providing stellar service. Worst case scenario: it’s a scam.
To know if an estimate is too good to be true, it’s a good idea to compare estimates from different companies.
Check Every Moving Company’s Credentials
The Department of Transportation issues a unique number to all companies that conduct interstate moves. This number essentially functions as a license, verifying that a moving company is a federally validated interstate moving company. If a mover is officially licensed, its DOT number will be listed on dot.gov. A simple way to check for this number is to conduct a quick Google search for “[company name] department of transportation.” There should usually be a dot.gov page on the first page of the search results.
Read The Reviews
Check a company’s website to see if they put customer reviews on display. (Here at Tristate, we display a full list of our Google reviews on every single page of our website.) Simply put, no moving company worth its salt will be afraid to show you its reviews.
Be Suspicious Of Unusually Expensive Deposits
This is one of those situations where you need to use your gut, says Sayas. A credible moving company won’t ask for an enormous deposit prior to a move. And if they do, it’s likely because they expect you to be dissatisfied with their service. Sayas suggests paying all deposits and payments with a credit card, so you can dispute any charges in the event that you receive inadequate service.
Any company that refuses to return your possessions until you pay is committing a crime. In the event that this happens, calling the police is within your rights.
If you work with a moving company that is unprofessional or a scam, we encourage you to give them a negative online review.
In late 2016, a moving company in the DC Metro Area was accused of holding customers’ possessions hostage, essentially demanding “ransom” in exchange for the returned items. This company was fined roughly $500,000. To put it another way, there is real justice in the world, and no moving company is entitled to treat its customers poorly.
Are you ready to work with a reputable moving company with an outstanding track record of customer satisfaction? Get a free quote from Tristate Moving And Storage, the DMV’s Premier Moving Company! Our Professional Trained Movers go through over 200 Hours of intense training, so you can rest assured that your precious cargo will only be handled by experts!