20 Tips: How to Hire a Long Distance Moving Company
20 Ways to Guarantee You Choose the Right Movers
Choosing a Ann Arbor long distance moving company, it might seem intimidating. However, there are a few steps to ensure you're making a good choice for what you need. You can make things easier by asking 4 very important questions and using some practical advice when hiring your mover.
Ask every long distance moving company you interview these four critical questions prior to hiring them:
- Is the long distance moving company asking you for a deposit before your move?
- Does the long distance moving company have a physical local address (and not just a PO Box) on its website?
- Does the company include licensing information on its site, such as their Department of Transportation (DOT) number?
- What is the company rated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and are they certified with the American Moving and Storage Association?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you could be dealing with a “rogue mover”, or be falling victim to some other type of moving scam.
The following is a summary of the steps to take to be certain you make a wise move when deciding between moving companies.
Where to start
- Begin your search for a long-distance mover by asking your friends, family members, and business associates] about Ann Arbor movers they’ve hired and liked.
- Contact a real estate agent you trust to get a minimum of 3 moving companies that have physical offices in Ann Arbor.
- If you are using a phone book, remember—just because a moving company has a large ad does not necessarily mean it’s reputable.
- Once you have made a shortlist of potential moving companies, contact the companies via phone to get the full name and “doing business as” names, contact information, and DOT / MC license numbers.
- Go to the the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website, and search for the company using the DOT and MC license numbers to see safety information, any orders to cease operation, licensing, and other information. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau or other consumer groups in Ann Arbor or Michigan.
- Schedule either an in-home or virtual estimate, which should be provided without cost. A trustworthy long distance moving company WILL NOT give you an estimate via a phone call, or without reviewing your belongings, home, and logistics.
- Don’t rely on an estimate provided without seeing the items over the phone or over the Internet. When moving across state lines, your charge is based on the weight of your shipment, and the destination and origin of your move. You are better off speaking directly with the mover’s representative to make sure that you both understand the details of your move.
- During an in-person assessment, be sure to show the estimator everything that will be moved. Don’t forget about the items in the basement, or the big items you’ve you may have sent away for maintenance. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either. The representative should also ask you questions – about your new house, the schedule of your move, and other related matters.
- Request information on “valuation” options. Valuation offers protection from breakage to your items. The valuation option you choose determines the basis upon which any issue will be adjusted and the maximum liability of the moving company. The liability of a mover for loss or damage is based upon the mover’s tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations, and has certain limitations and exceptions. Valuation is not insurance; it is simply a price-based level of motor carrier liability.
- Be wary of quotes that are significantly lower than the rest. "Unrealistically low" price quotes could result in significantly lower-quality service, or they could be an indication of a mover who plans to "up" the price in a "scam" moving ploy. Some "rogue" movers are known to take household goods "ransom" and demand exorbitant fees before returning the possessions.
Go with a name you know
- There are a lot of quality reputable van lines in Ann Arbor to choose from. If you have never heard of a particular long distance moving company, and you have no recommendations from friends or business partners, be very careful! Don’t be swayed by a low price from an unfamiliar business; remember, you’re placing faith in your mover with nearly all of your personal possessions.
- If you're looking to hire a moving company, you should consider how attentive your sales representative is. Do you have confidence that your representative will be there to help you through the planning process? Are they able to provide the names and information of additional support employees such as a customer service agent?
- When considering a moving company, you may want to take a drive past the mover’s headquarters. This will give you a sense of how they operate and present themselves. It's important to select a service provider that meets your expectations.
- Long distance movers are required by law to provide you with a digital copy, or make it available on their website, “Your Rights and Responsibilities.” In this brochure, the “110% Rule” is explained. The rule states that under a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than the amount of the original estimate, plus ten percent more, at the time of delivery. You are obligated to pay any remaining charges over the 110 percent amount within the following 30 days.
Timing is important
- Make arrangements for your move well in advance – at least four to six day before the moving date. If possible, try not to move during “peak” times.
- All year long, the last the month is a busy time for movers, because of the expiration of leases and preferred closing dates.
- During summer – May to mid-September, when children are out of school, are “peak season” for movers. Schedule summertime moves as far in advance as possible…and again, try to stay away from month-end moving dates. Peak season moves should be planned at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance to be certain the dates you’re looking for are available.
If you fall victim
Unfortunately, some customers will fall victim to deceitful moving companies this year. Fortunately, there is an organization called MoveRescue available to help. Those who suspect they may have been scammed should contact MoveRescue at 800-832-1773. Homeowners who call this number will talk to a specialist who will review the situation and direct the caller through the appropriate course of action. MoveRescue, which is supported by a coalition of legal firms throughout the United States, and supported by premier van lines, serves as a core reference for people who need legal help or anti-fraud information. In some cases, MoveRescue even offers “Shipment Rescue” for possessions being held by rogue movers.
Call CorriganThe best way to make sure you have a hassle-free move is to reach out to Corrigan. Backed by United Van Lines, Corrigan has over ninety years of industry experience. Our dedicated employees are committed to providing premium service in every move we make.