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Picking a Moving Company: How Do Your Choices Stack Up?  April 22, 2017 – 12:00 pm
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A little research can go a long way toward ensuring your belongings are in good hands.

By Manuella Irwin

Selecting a moving company from among the many available options can be overwhelming. You probably have a few friends who have recently relocated and can recommend a company, and there are plenty of movers’ ads online and offline. You can easily find a moving company — but is it the right one?

The process of choosing a mover varies slightly depending on what kind of move you’re planning, but a few key factors are constant.

Licensed means safe

The first and most important point to investigate is the company’s legal status. Movers may claim to be licensed and insured, but unless you can confirm the veracity of that claim, do not take it at face value.

  • In-state moves. Many states have implemented rules and regulations to monitor household goods carriers at a local level. Usually the authorities responsible for overseeing intrastate movers are either the state Department of Transportation or the Public Utilities Commission. Contact the relevant authority.
  • Out-of-state moves. Check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency that grants permits to all moving companies engaged in the interstate transportation of household goods. The FMCSA regularly executes safety, economic and legal compliance audits to protect consumers, and the data is available as a public record. The agency’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System website allows you to check whether a mover is licensed and insured, as well as the results of their inspections.
  • Overseas moves. Make sure that the ocean transportation intermediary involved in the moving process is certified by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the federal agency responsible for regulating U.S. international ocean transportation to protect U.S. consumers. Don’t even consider moving to another country without researching whether your chosen company has been approved by the FMC.

Reputation research

Once you have verified a mover’s legal status, size up its reputation. Moving businesses spend a lot of money on advertising, trying to persuade you that they are the best pick. Don’t be an easy catch — remember that ads are skillfully designed to attract you and sometimes mislead you.

Recommendations from other people who have experienced the difficulties of moving can be valuable and trustworthy. When you comb through reviews of movers, pay attention to comments about companies’ attitudes throughout the entire moving process.

Do not rush to write off a moving company just because someone had a bad opinion of it. Note how the company has tackled the problem. The customer who left the negative feedback might have been too picky. However, if there are too many bad opinions about the company, then you should steer clear of it.

Source: www.zillow.com

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