Home Movers or “household mover” are a big part of someone’s moving experience. Choosing the right mover can make the process easy and painless, choosing the wrong mover can make the process unnecessarily expensive and distressful. There are a few guidelines that can start the process off in the right direction. These are in no particular order.
- Choose a licensed mover and check their record. Each state has a governing body like the Illinois Commerce Commission in Illinois. A quick phone call to the agency can serve 2 purposes. First confirmation that the moving company in question has a license and the length of time they have had it. Second, if there are any complaints lodged against the mover and if there have ever been any license suspensions or revocations. Also check with your states attorney general’s office to check for complaints. Verify their workmen’s compensation licensing and general liability, but know that most states require proof of insurance to obtain a moving license.
- Check with Moving Associations. There are many states that having moving and warehousemens associations, and they can also be used as a good reference with laws, regulations, and steps to finding a reputable mover in your state, and any other moving related questions you may have. For instance in the state of Illinois, the Illinois Movers’ and Warehosemen’s Association would be a great reference tool, www.imawa.com.
- Check as many organizations or internet resources as possible for a reference. The Better business Bureau can be useful to see how many complaints a mover has had in the last 36 months. (www.bbb.org, go to the USA site, or if outside the US the other site, then click check out a business/charity, type in the company’s name-you must type the companies name and city exactly to view their profile) Remember 2 things about the BBB. New companies are not eligible to join for the first 12 months they are in existence. Just because a company is a member of the BBB does not mean that they have a good rating. If a mover has a small number of complaints like 2 or 3, this isn’t necessarily a reason to disqualify them. See what the complaint is about and discuss it with the potential mover. If they do hundreds or thousands of moves per year it can mean an approval rate of 99.9%. Find out how many moves they do in a year. For example 20 complaints in 300-400 moves are very high. Internet sites like www.yelp.com, or www.angieslist.com, can give you some more information on your moving company. Sometimes a pattern can be observed when visiting websites. Check local realtors to see if they have a preferred vendor list. Last but not least, see if your state has a moving organization like the IMAWA, Illinois Movers and Warehouseman’s Association to see if your potential mover is a member and if they are in good standing and have positive reviews.
- Ask relatives, friends, coworker, etc. if they have positive or negative reviews of any movers they have used or are familiar with. Ask as many people as possible but try and find people that have had the same type of move as you are in need of. For example is it an apartment, house move, local or interstate, self pack or carrier pack, etc. Find a mover that excels in your specific needs. If you get a good reference that seems promising go to # 1 and #2 for due diligence. You can also ask a mover for references, but remember everybody has somebody that likes them.
These 4 areas are a good start when trying to locate a good household or home mover.