How to Research Local Movers Before You Hire Them
If you’re planning on moving locally in Davie soon, you’ll need to find a good local moving company. There are plenty of moving companies around the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, so many that the sheer volume of choices can be somewhat overwhelming. Not all moving companies are equal in their quality of service, so it’s important to find one that has a good reputation and does a great job at moving your stuff from one location to another.
But how do you separate the good companies out from the not-so-good ones? These tips can help you research a moving company before hiring them.
Use the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Search Tool
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides an online search tool that lets you access up to date information about registered moving companies. You can see their insurance status, Department of Transportation (DOT) number, location, contact information, and registration status. They may also have consumer complaints and a safety rating.
This registry only includes movers that provide interstate moving services, so if the company is local only, they won’t be on the list.
Check Whether They’re a Member of the American Moving and Storage Association
Membership in the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is optional for moving companies, but to join, they must meet the organization’s standards. If they’re a member, it’s generally a very good sign. However, there are still reputable companies which do not choose to join the organization.
Make Sure They Have Legitimate Contact Information
Moving scams will often give out fake contact information. It’s also usually not a good sign if a company doesn’t have a website. Not all moving companies’ sites are extensive and filled with in-depth content, but most reputable companies at least have a basic static “brochure” website with their contact information and list of services.
If you’re not sure about the information you were given, you can check it against the FMCSA database if the company provides moving services you are looking for.
Make Sure They Give You Paperwork
After giving you an estimate, moving companies are required to provide you with certain materials:
- The Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet from the FMCSA, or a web link to the PDF.
- A “Ready to Move” brochure, or a web link.
- Information about their arbitration program.
- Written notice about access to mover’s tariffs.
- Information about their claims handling process.
- A written estimate. (In the state of Florida, this must be fully itemized.)
Make Sure They Physically Look at Your Belongings Before Giving You an Estimate
Reputable movers cannot give out estimates via telephone or email. They need to physically see your belongings so that they can accurately estimate their weight, which they then use to calculate the cost of your move. However, moving fraud often involves giving out estimates without doing a physical survey first. This is also common among online moving brokers posing as moving companies, which often pull a “bait and switch” with their non-binding estimates, making you pay more than 110% of what they originally quoted you.
Check over your estimate to make sure that it’s complete before you sign it.
Get Non-binding Estimates From More than One Moving Company
If you haven’t moved before, or it’s been over a decade since you’ve done so, you may not have much of an idea of how much local moving should actually cost. For that reason, it’s a good idea to get free non-binding estimates from a few different companies. You should avoid local movers that charge unusually low rates, as this is often a sign of a scam or simply of poor quality service.
Look Up Companies on Third Party Review Sites
Most moving companies have customer testimonials on their own website, but these are overwhelmingly positive, and may not tell the whole story. Along with checking the FMCSA database for customer complaints, you can also check various third party review sites. Yelp is a popular choice, although it’s worth keeping in mind that they have a history of alleged extortion against small businesses. You can also check out the Better Business Bureau, where people often submit consumer complaints about moving companies, and the Florida Movers and Warehousemen’s Association.
Use Your Head & Trust Your Gut
Don’t be afraid not to hire a moving company if something about them just doesn’t feel right on a “gut instinct” level. Intuition exists for a reason, and while it never solved a math problem, it can clue you in if something is “off” about subtle aspects of a person’s behavior or demeanor.
Local Movers in Davie FL
At Orange Movers, we provide both interstate and local moving services in Davie and the greater Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. To find out more, or schedule an assessment for your non-binding estimate, call us anytime, or fill out our contact form to get in touch today.