How to Spot a Bad Moving Company

Moving house requires many things, but planning and preparing are two of the biggest. These tasks help make a relocation easy and more successful, and you do want that, don’t you? Sure you do! Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put into orchestrating a move that is flawless, certain events can occur that are simply out of your control. One thing, in particular, is to hire a bad moving company. After putting so much time and effort into planning and preparing a good local or long-distance move, it can be truly disheartening to have a poor moving company ruin it all. Though there are some movers out there who are dishonest, disreputable and fraudulent, let it be known that there are also many good and respectable moving companies that strive to make your relocation a success. So how do you bypass the “bad” movers and end up with a “good” one? The first step is by learning how to spot a bad moving company.

Bad Online Reputation

When on the search for a moving company to help with your relocation, one of the first things to research online are reviews and testimonials left by former customers. Good, reliable movers care about their reputation and work hard to keep their online record clean by providing excellent service and handling any claims, disputes and issues with clients in a quick and fair manner. Yes, there will also be a few bad reviews every now and again no matter what the business, but if a moving company is followed by mostly bad reviews, proceed with caution because you may be next to leave a bad review.

Not Licensed

All legit businesses must be registered with and licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This includes interstate movers. Before hiring a moving company, you should check out the FMCSA’s website and ensure they have the required licensing information. If they do not, run the other way because you may be dealing with scammers.

Refuse to Insure Your Belongings

Just as moving companies are required to have the proper licensing, they must also assume proper liability for the value of items they relocate. As a consumer, it is your right to ask a moving company for proof of insurance, request any additional information about insurance options they offer, and what their process is for filing a claim in case of lost or damaged items.

If a mover refuses to provide you with the proper moving coverage for your items, this is a big warning sign that something’s not right and you should take your business elsewhere.

Phone or Internet Estimates Only

Getting a moving estimate via the phone or internet is incredibly easy. But consider this – how will a mover be trusted to provide you with a precise moving estimate without performing a detailed, in-home inspection of all the items you have to move? Obviously, they can’t.

In order to get a detailed and accurate moving estimate, it is important to request an in-home inspection by a qualified representative from the company. The primary job of a moving expert is to determine exactly how many items a person has to move, along with any special circumstances there may be (e.g., an item is too heavy, awkwardly shaped, fragile, etc.). They are also responsible for noting any details that will affect the final cost of the move, such as special packing requirements, long flights of stairs, narrow hallways or doors, and so on.

With all of this said, to ensure you are not handed an alarming bill after your move, never accept moving estimates solely over the phone or internet. Also make sure you get an in-home estimate from several reputable moving companies (not just one!) before making your final decision in who to hire for your relocation needs.

Other Red Flags to Watch Out For

We have already discussed several things you should do to ensure you don’t hire a bad moving company for your relocation, but there are some additional red flags to be aware of. If you experience any of these things during your search for a moving company, don’t hire them.

  • They do not answer the phone with their company name.
  • They do not have a website, or their website does not provide licensing information, insurance options, nor an address.
  • The mover does not provide flexible payment options, but instead demands a large deposit or cash-only payment.
  • On moving day, your movers show up in an unmarked moving truck, seem unprofessional, bring dirty or damaged packing materials, or behave in a rude manner.

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Tips to Conquer the Most Common Moving-Day Problems

After making the difficult decision to move to a new home, you have spent the last several weeks, even months, organizing, planning and packing. As much effort as you have put into your move, you have made certain that nothing could possible go wrong come moving day. Right? Well, hopefully this is true. However, there are some moving-day glitches that may occur. But don’t panic! With every problem there is a solution. Here is a list of the most common moving-day problems, along with a handy list of tips to conquer them.

Weather Hazards

Mother Nature is tricky. One day, the sun is shining and the temperature is perfection. Then the next, you may find a torrential downpour wreaking havoc outside your front door. This being said, weather is one glitch that can put a serious damper on moving day. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent bad weather from sweeping your way. However, there are ways to conquer it. How, you ask? By being prepared. Here are some weather glitches you may have to deal with on moving day and how to be prepared for each.

Extreme heat. High levels of stress, strenuous movements and scorching temperatures outside can pose a great threat to your health. Temperatures that are too high can lead to a serious risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Not only that, but high temperatures can also be damaging to certain belongings. Extreme heat can even cause your moving truck to overheat and break down. With all of the potential problems caused by extreme heat, it is a good idea to postpone your move until temperatures drop to safer levels.

If the heat is not too intense and you decide to continue with your move according to plan, be sure to take the necessary measures to stay cool and hydrated, by dressing in light-colored and lightweight clothing and drinking lots of water.

Heavy snowfall. One pro to moving during the months of winter is that it is typically less costly. However, moving in winter can lead to unpredictable weather conditions, like heavy snowfall. If you live in a snowy region, there are a number of problems that can stand in the way of your moving plans.

Your driveway or road between your current and soon-to-be home may be blocked by a snowdrift. Driving and maneuvering your moving truck on snowy, icy roads can be dangerous. It may also be impossible for your moving truck to access your property. Your moving shipment may even be delayed or damaged by freezing temperatures. If you intend to perform your move regardless of inclement weather, be sure to keep your driveway free of ice and snow, dress in warm clothes, and add extra layers of protective wrapping to your household items.

Torrential rain. A few raindrops aren’t worth fretting about, but torrential rain like that of thunderstorms or hailstorms can completely ruin your moving plans. Not only does rain increase the risk of slipping and becoming injured, but your belongings are also put at an increased risk of becoming damaged. Luckily, with most rainstorms, they typically taper off within a few hours, and moving can commence. To help make rainy conditions more manageable, dress in appropriate clothes and sturdy boots, and make sure your belongings are properly wrapped and kept dry and safe.

Bad Movers

Hiring a moving company to help you with your move is a great idea. However, if you fail to do adequate research prior to hiring movers, you may be caught in a moving-day dilemma. There are two types of bad movers – incompetent movers and rogue movers.

Incompetent movers. A moving company may have great intentions but may simply lack the experience and proper equipment to make your move a success. Problems like these can lead to mistakes that will result in broken items, property damage and a lot of wasted time.

Rogue movers. Incompetent movers are bad, but rogue movers are even worse, leading you to fall victim to moving fraud. Rogue movers will give you a good offer, but as soon as they get your money, they may disappear with it. They may even arrive on time and load your household items onto the moving truck as expected, then disappear with your items.

To avoid these types of moving-company disasters, be sure to do plenty of research before booking!

Poor Organization

So you’ve planned ahead and organized everything prior to moving day. Before you start calling yourself a lean, mean, organizing machine, here are some things you may have overlooked.

Measuring furniture and doorframes. Not measuring large pieces of furniture and doorframes of your house-to-be can end in major problems on moving day. It can result in you trying to accomplish an impossible feat, like pushing a couch through a too tight doorway. Not only will this waste mega amounts of time and energy, but it will also cause your stress level to elevate. It can also result in damaged property and belongings, and even having to discard new or favored pieces of furniture.

Failure to warn movers of limited home access. Failing to warn your movers about limited access to your home can result in big problems. One, for example, is having a moving truck that is too large. If your moving truck is too large to access your property, it may be impossible to complete your move. It can even lead to other inconveniences, like extra expenses.

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Tips for a Manageable Holiday Move

A move is always stressful, whether big, small, long distance or local. But planning a move during the holidays takes moving stress to a whole new level – especially if you have kids. Is it actually possible to pack boxes, organize and clean your home, shop for presents and decorate for the holidays all at the same time? Well, some things may have to take a backseat during the moving madness, but with our helpful tips, moving during the holidays will be much more manageable.

Find a Moving Company for the Holiday Move

If you want to focus more on the holidays and less on the stress of your move, then opting for professional movers is the ideal choice. Not only can they tote and haul your belongings, they can also pack for you. Win-win. But, as you know, the holidays are a busy time, and this can make it much harder to find professional movers that are available to help you move – especially if your move falls during the week Ol’ Saint Nick heads to town. With personnel asking for time off during the holidays, moving companies often run short on staff. As a result, they aren’t as able to take your business, and it may also cause moving costs to increase. The best solution to finding efficient and trustworthy movers is to contact moving companies ASAP.

Research Your Holiday Moving Company

To keep your sanity during a holiday move, it’s basicallya must to hire a licensed and insured moving company. While you may be too busy to think during such a hectic time, it’s important to take the time to research your movers before actually booking them. Christmas is a time of giving, but unfortunately, many use the holidays as a time of taking – like rogue movers who are purely in the business of scamming you. To choose a reputable holiday moving company, and avoid scams, here are some tips:

  • Check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Here you can find out if your selected moving company is registered and licensed.
  • Run a check on your moving company via the check Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
  • Ask family, friends, neighbors, etc. for recommendations on moving companies they’ve used in the past.
  • Read reviews and testimonials online from former customers.

Prepare Your Kids

A holiday move can be a tricky situation when kids are involved. Youngsters love the holiday season – the games and all the activities. But moving during this time can cause them stress. Teens don’t want to leave their friends, and little ones worry that Santa won’t be able to find their new home. To ease anxiety, talk with your child(ren) and prepare them about the events to come. Encourage them to get involved in the holiday relocation. Have them help pack. Discuss the exciting opportunities waiting for them at the new home. And, most importantly, ensure little ones that Santa knows exactly where their new house will be.

Pack for the Move

The holiday season is typically spent with family and friends – grabbing coffee, window shopping, decorating the tree, attending parties, and more. But when your holiday plans include moving house, many of these cheerful events get bumped aside, leaving you staring down the barrel of moving box after moving box. Cheer up! Make packing fun by inviting friends to come help. Just throw on some Christmas tunes, serve a tasty treat and a good time will be had by all. What’s more fun than friends, music and sugar?

No Involvement Holiday Move

Want to ditch the packing, unpacking, moving day and stress of it all? Well, there is a way around the burdens that come with a holiday move. Sounds amazing, right? To tame the lust-filled gleam in your eyes, here’s how: hire a full-service moving company. Many professional moving companies offer luxury moving services that require no involvement from you – except covering the final bill, that is.

If you decide to opt for these high-end services, you will leave everything to the moving company. They will do all the packing, loading, moving, driving, unloading and unpacking of all of your belongings. They will even set up your items in your new home to mimic that of your previous home so when you and your family get back from holiday vacation, you can pull up to your new place and truly feel right at home.

A holiday move may be a time of chaos, but with these helpful tips, you can tame the mayhem down a few notches. For more moving-related tips and tricks, click here.