The very thought of handing over all your belongings to a completely strange company can be quite frightening given the horror stories that we keep on hearing about. It can be a horrifying experience to be at the receiving end of unprofessional and unethical customer service. So, how can you try and identify potentially rogue moving companies so that you can stay well clear of them?
Conduct Online Research
Virtually every moving company that is serious about its business will have a website that can be explored to find the range of services, destinations covered, company background, details of affiliations and memberships as well as the physical street address and a telephone helpline that can be called for asking specific questions. Avoid virtual companies that do not possess any physical address. For all you know, they may be just brokers who will deal with your query and give it to some mover they are representing.
Obtain a Referral
One of the best ways of hiring a reliable company is to ask your friends and acquaintances for a recommendation. Also, if you have shortlisted a few moving companies DC; you can run the list through them to see if they have any negative feedback about any. While asking the company itself for references can alert them that you’re a savvy customer, do not place too much reliance on them as the company will obviously have given only the good ones.
Check Out Online Resources about Complaints
There are a number of resources like the website of Better Business Bureau, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), MovingScam.com, Rip-Off Report, etc. that have loads of information regarding complaints against specific moving companies. Try to opt for one that has got a good rating by the BBB and there is no specific area that it seems to be failing on repeatedly. Reading consumer complaints is also a very good way of educating yourself on the numerous ways moving companies may try to pull a fast one on you.
Typical Signs of Rogue Moving Companies
According to the FMCSA, you should be on the alert when a moving company does not insist on a physical inspection of your belongings before providing an estimate over the phone or email. Typically, a rogue company will insist on a large payment upfront, usually by cash and will not bother about providing either a written contract of a copy of the booklet “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” that is compulsory under Federal laws for interstate moves. The website will characteristically have no physical address and no information regarding their licensing and affiliations. It is very likely they will avoid answering specifically on issues of insurance, fleet ownership, own infrastructure and staff, and network.
To avoid being ripped off, you need to ensure that you deal only with legitimate businesses that are recognized by industry bodies and have a reasonably long and unblemished track record. Avoid offers that seem too good to be true, as they invariably are.
Author Bio: Simon Hirsch owns and operates a reputed website that provides comparative quotes from the top-ranked moving companies DC for interstate and local moves. He is also a guest author of our website.