Gil Ben Shoushan, owner of highly rated Movers USA in Jessup, Maryland, says you should meet movers in person at their office if possible. “A lot of the disreputable people are operating from a fake address or one that’s just a mail forwarding address,” he says. “If you’re about to do business with a company you don’t really know, go and visit their office.”
He also recommends paying by credit card, and treating companies suspiciously if they refuse. “I don’t know of any good mover that refuses credit cards,” he says. “But those other companies, the bad ones, they don’t want to have to deal with the credit card program where you can dispute the charges.”
Also, look out for companies that work with unmarked trucks. “A company that can’t afford to have their own rolling billboard in the streets is a definite red flag,” says Kamaul Reid, owner of highly rated Rare Moving & Trucking in Boston.
He recommends hiring established companies. “During the busy season, from April until September, there are a lot of jump-up companies that aren’t licensed, aren’t insured and just grab anyone they can find to fill the jobs,” Reid says. “A lot of them aren’t efficient movers, which means you’ll be paying them for more hours.”
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Tanya Morrow, sales marketing manager for highly rated Wrightway Moving in Dallas, says she frequently hears customers talking about competitors with very low rates, and knows they’re setting themselves up for trouble. “Some of these rates are so low, it would be impossible to accomplish and pay everyone,” she says. “I’ve heard of items being damaged or disappearing and leaving homeowners no recourse to file a claim.”
She recommends customers get everything clearly in writing before your belongings are on the truck. When checking out reviews for a moving company, whether on the BBB, Angie’s List, or another source, Morrow says you need to make sure you’re getting information on that specific location. “A lot of those large van line companies are owned by one local individual even though they carry a national name,” he says.