There are 3 critical steps to protect yourself from “rogue movers” on your next relocation:
Step 1: Check the mover’s reputation at ProtectYourMove.gov.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is the agency in charge of regulating interstate Moving Company
, taking it over from the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995. The DOT has created a website dedicated to protecting individuals from moving scams. That site is ProtectYourMove.com, and has a variety of different resources, including a way to check for a mover’s registration and to investigate rogue movers. Always investigate your moving company before agreeing to use them.
Step 2: Watch out for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “red flags.”
The Department of Transportation provides a list of potential warning signs. Be aware of the list and see if your movers indicate any of the following:
o The mover doesn’t offer or agree to an on-site inspection of your household goods and gives an estimate over the phone or Internet-sight-unseen. These estimates often sound too good-to-be-true. They usually are.
o The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move.
o The mover doesn’t provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet movers are required by Federal regulations to supply to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves.
o The company’s Web site has no local address and no information about licensing or insurance.
o The mover claims all goods are covered by their insurance.
o When you call the mover, the telephone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving company,” rather than the company’s name.
o Offices and warehouse are in poor condition or nonexistent.
o On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned and marked fleet truck.
Step 3: Ask for, and confirm, at least 3 references.
Sometimes the most obvious steps are the ones we miss. People are used to asking for references from job candidates. So why wouldn’t you ask for, and confirm, 3 references from the past 30 days for “employees” who will be moving your most valuable treasures? If the movers stall or delay in providing this information, or if the references don’t check out, immediately take those movers off your list of potential “hires.”