How to Hiring a Moving Company You Can Trust?

The right moving company can make all the difference with how smoothly your move goes. Choose the right movers and the job will get done quickly, without any broken items, and affordable. Choose the wrong mover and you could even end up getting scammed and having all your belongings disappear in a rogue moving truck! Here are the steps you need to take to make sure you find a moving company you can trust to get the move done right.

1. Look for moving companies in the right places
The best place to find moving companies is through referrals. Ask your real estate agent to recommend a few good movers. You can also ask family and friends. As a last resort, search the Yellow Pages and then look at the company’s website and online review sites like Yelp.

2. Call the moving companies
Now you are going to have to call the moving companies to get some basic information. If you like what they have to say, then request a moving estimate. Note that a reputable moving company will not try to give you an exact moving price over the phone or online. All moving estimates should be done in your home so the estimator can see exactly what you are dealing with.

3. Get (at least) three moving estimates
Choose at least three of the moving companies you liked and have them come to give an on-site moving estimate. The moving estimate should be given in writing. This is not a contract. However, the written estimate should have a date to which it is good for (most moving companies will uphold the written price for about 1 month after that the price may change).

During the estimate, make sure you ask for this information from the movers:
• Their official name and any other names they operate under
• Their DOT number
• Their MC number
• Their insurance coverage
• The number of trucks and drivers they have

Make sure you start researching moving companies well in advance! It takes time to get estimates and research them. And, if you don’t book the moving company soon after the estimate, your date may not be available anymore by the time you go to hire them!

4. Check DOT Number and Insurance
Now go to http://www.safersys.org, which is the site from the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Once there:
• Click on Company Snapshot
• Enter the DOT license number and hit search
• If the number is valid, then you will get a page of information about the company and a link to their insurance

If the DOT number, license info, or insurance info isn’t in order, then run away from this moving company!

5. Check their Rating with the BBB
Now go to the Better Business Bureau website and type in the company’s name to see what their rating is and if they have complaints against them.

6. Check Review Sites
No moving company is perfect, so you can expect to find some negative reviews of the moving company at sites like Yelp. But do be on the lookout for a high percentage of bad reviews. Use your judgment and now choose a moving company that you feel suits your needs best.

Read More How to Hiring a Moving Company You Can Trust?
November 29, 2015

12 Things to Know if You Moving Away from Home for the First Time

12 Things No One Will Tell You about Moving Away from Home for the First Time

Moving out of your parents’ home and into your very own place for the first time is a big deal. You can find all sorts of advice online about how to deal with the stress of it, how to handle the financial aspects, how to set up home, and how to get situated. However, there are some things which no one will mention.

Cockroaches make a really gross sound when you squish them. And don’t even get me started on the sound rats make when dying!

The cost of postage stamps will start to annoy you, along with how terribly made the utility websites are.

Groceries don’t buy themselves. It takes a lot of time to choose what brand of on-sale laundry detergent to buy, and then you’ve got to lug it all home on the bus.

You will learn to love carrots dipped in hot sauce and peanut butter, because that is all you’ve got to eat in the house.

You will start to understand why your mom obsessively clipped coupons. 50 cents off is a lot of money!

Your roommate will be a complete jerk. And you will be too. Fights will break out because you ate the yogurt he had in the fridge and because he doesn’t know how to put the cap back on the toothpaste.

You will start to miss your parents. Really. Especially all of that nagging.

Throwing parties is not as fun as you thought it would be. Who likes babysitting a bunch of drunk friends who don’t know how to use a coaster, and then cleaning up after them the next day?

Your standards will drastically reduce. Yes, that bookshelf made out of crates looks fantastic! And microwave pizza for dinner becomes your definition of luxury.

You will eventually learn to like the Laundromat and think of it as a peaceful place where you get to read and relax – but only after spending months wearing dirty clothes because you hate going there so much.

You will love it when your mom comes to visit. It means home-cooked meals in Tupperware containers and someone to help cleanup… because your roommate never does.

After making countless mistakes, you WILL learn to take care of yourself and revel in the new freedom you have.

Read More 12 Things to Know if You Moving Away from Home for the First Time
November 19, 2015

How to Check Out a Moving Company

If you are going to hire professional movers for your next move, it is imperative that you take the time to thoroughly investigate the company. While moving scams are rare, they do happen. The last thing you want is to have a rogue moving company driving off with all of your stuff. Even if the moving company is legit, they may not be licensed or insured, which can spell many other problems. Here is what you need to know to check out a moving company before hiring.

Moving Company License Requirements

A license is required for ALL interstate moves. Interstate moves are regulated by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). However, it is different with local (in state) moves. Some states do not require a license at all, whereas other states have strict laws regarding licensing. Even if moving companies are not required by law to have a license in your state for local moves, you should still always choose a licensed mover. This is a sign that the moving company is reputable and trustworthy.

What is a DOT Number?

All interstate moving companies are required to have a Department of Transportation license, more commonly called a DOT license. Many states also require a DOT license even for local moves. Ask the moving company to provide you with their DOT license number so you can look them up.

What is a MC Number?

In addition to a DOT license, moving companies must have the proper operating authority. This can be MC, FF, or MX depending on the type of authority. MC (Motor Carrier) is the most common operation authority for moving companies. You should also ask the moving company for the MC number, and this too can be used to look up the company.

How to Check DOT and MC Numbers

You can go to this page at the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to look up a moving company by their DOT number or by their name or state. Alternatively, you can access the page through http://www.safersys.org/. From here, you will need to:

• Click on Company Snapshot

• Enter the DOT license number and hit search

• If the number is valid, then you will get a page of information about the company

You should look for these things in the DOT license listing of the moving company:

• Does the company name, address, and phone number match?

• Look at the “power units” and “drivers” area. This is how many trucks and drivers they have. Does this match up with what the moving company told you – like if they say that they do 200 moves per month but only have 1 truck listed.

• Look at the area titled “MCS-150 Form Date.” This is the date that the moving company applied for the license. It should match with how long the company said they were in business.

• The following areas should have an X next to them: “Auth for Hire”, “Interstate” and “Household Goods”

How to Check the Moving Company’s Insurance

It is CRUCIAL that you check the moving company’s insurance. Don’t just take their word for it when they say they are insured! Otherwise, this could cause some serious problems for you. For example, if a mover gets injured while moving your belongings and the company doesn’t have insurance, then you can be held liable for all medical expenses for the mover. You can check the insurance at the same place you checked the DOT license info. At the bottom of the report on the SaferSys page, you will see a hyperlink to a page called “FMCSA Licensing and Insurance Site.” Click on this link. Here you will find information about the moving company’s insurance policies. As before, you will need to make sure that the name/address/phone number of the company match up. Then look for this information:

• Authority Type: There will be an area titled Authority Status. This should read “common” or “active.” If it says “No” “Revocation Pending” or “Application Pending”, then find a new mover!

• BIPD: You will see a table which lists the BIPD insurance. The minimum requirement is $750,000 coverage. Look for the area titled “Insurance on File.” If it says “No” or “$0”, then find another moving company!

Check the Better Business Bureau

If everything is okay with the USDOT number and insurance, then you will want to check out the moving company at the Better Business Bureau. *Tip: When talking to the moving company, ask them of any other names they operate under. You will want to look them up at the BBB for all the names they use. Sometimes even good moving companies get complaints with the BBB. However, the moving company should be actively maintaining their reputation and resolving all complaints to maintain an A+ rating with the BBB. So, use your best judgment when reading the complaints and deciding whether you can trust the company.

Read More How to Check Out a Moving Company
September 27, 2015