Moving is a tedious process, however, Americans move quite frequently. In fact, the average American moves about 12 times during their life according to the US Census Bureau. When you move so often it can be easy to get lax with the planning portion. However, the last thing that you need to deal with during this time-consuming process is hiring a bad moving company.
The horror stories that people endure after hiring incompetent movers is enough to make you want to put in the time doing your research before you hire movers. You may have your belongings damaged, or even stolen. You are also letting individuals into your home that are not verified, trained, and you may not have anyone to hold liable if something goes wrong with the move.
The Characteristics Of A Bad Moving Company
#1- They’re too cheap
Many people shop around for quotes and end up hiring whichever moving company is the cheapest. This is understandable, moving can get quite expensive. But if the company is too cheap, take it as a warning sign, not a sigh of relief. Super cheap movers often lack experience, professionalism, and possibly a license. They will not know the proper moving procedures or have the proper equipment to keep your furniture and belongings protected while loading, unloading, and most importantly while your belongings are in transit (which is when most damages occurs).
Save yourself the trouble and hire movers who know what they’re doing. The money that you think you’ll save with cheap movers will quickly disappear if they damage your belongings or home and if their inexperience takes them hours longer than it would a professional moving company.
#2- You can’t find credentials on the company
You need to know that you’re allowing people into your home that you can trust. Be sure to do extensive research on your moving company before you book. There are a few key credentials that can give you an idea on whether or not they are a trustworthy company. To start with do a basic google search on the moving company.
Do they have a physical address? If they do, Google it! Is the address an office building or an abandoned lot, apartment complex, or home? If so, you may be dealing with a shell company or individuals who are operating without a business license.
You should also check beforehand to make sure that the movers have a professional website. Is their website loaded with stock photos? Stay away from companies that have no photos of movers in branded uniforms. As a final step in your pre-booking research, find out whether they are an accredited business by the Better Business Bureau (which you can easily verify by visiting the BBB website).
Also, know that you have control over the move during every stage. If you don’t feel comfortable don’t book with them, even if they’re being pushy. If the movers get to your home and they’re in a non-branded truck and do not have a DMV number (which all licensed movers are required to display on their vehicle) you can stop the move right then and there. Trust your gut.
#3- The reviews on the movers are too positive or too negative
You probably already have a basic instinct to stay away from companies who have a large amount of negative reviews online. However, what you may not be looking out for are companies that have an unreal amount of positive reviews. You want to find a middle ground when looking at reviews of the moving company. There are many movers out there who have great reputations. Look out for reviews that look like they’ve been duplicated or are really generic. Those are signs that they could be fake or paid reviews. It isn’t crazy to say that you could find a moving company with a high amount of positive reviews but there are bound to be operational issues in any and every company.
When you do see negative reviews crop up, pay attention to the manner in which the company has chosen to respond to the negative review. Are they ignoring it, or seeking to understand and rectify the situation with the consumer? How they respond to an upset customer speaks higher than the fact that they received a negative review.
If you aren’t careful with the company that you choose to trust with your move you could end up like one of the many individuals whose homes and belongings have been damaged and those who have even been stolen from. Look out for the warning signs that we’ve outlined above, and most importantly trust your gut. When you are moving there’s a lot to get done and while it can be easy to overlook things that make you uncomfortable, just keep in mind the amount of money and time you could be out of if you entrust your move to scammers.