Brace yourselves — moving season is just about here. While moving onto greener pastures is undoubtedly an exciting time, the process of getting your things from point A to point B can also be stressful. Whether you’re moving across the country or just across town, moving is kind of a big deal, and an expensive one at that. As such, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently released a list of tips to help consumers find moving companies in their area that are not only reputable but affordable as well.
“Moving can be difficult even in the best of times,” said Paula Fleming, vice president of the local Eastern BBB serving Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. “But if you check with BBB before hiring, contact references and understand your contract with the moving business, there should be few, if any, surprises.”
Every year, the BBB fields thousands of consumer complaints against moving companies. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the most common complaints filed against residential moving companies include shipments held “hostage,” loss, damage, delays, use of unauthorized movers or personnel, and overcharging among others.
In addition to the BBB, consumers have other tools to help them find the right moving company. The internet has proved to be an invaluable resource in terms of scoring great deals and finding the best movers for the best price. However, “going online to find a new pair of slacks is very different than finding the person who’s going to take everything you own, put it on a truck, put a padlock on it and drive away,” cautions John Bisney, director of public relations for American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA).
The AMSA has even gone as far as to create the ProMover program to help consumers connect with professional, trustworthy moving companies. In order for a moving company to earn the ProMover title, they must pass an annual background check among other criteria. ProMovers “have five times fewer unresolved complaints,” said Rod Davis, senior vice president of marketing, programs and partnerships at the BBB.
In order to avoid common moving issues, both the BBB and the AMSA recommend getting personal references, if possible, or references from consumer groups, public agencies, or associations. In addition, consumers are encouraged to get an in-house estimate prior to signing a moving contract. Also, it is recommended that consumers purchase full-value insurance coverage for their belongings.