Moving companies are part of an enormous industry, in part because moving companies serve people at a really vulnerable spot. Like the wedding industry or the funeral industry, the moving industry requires professionals to be sensitive, highly competent, and genuinely caring. Unfortunately, not all moving companies are the transparent and honest professionals they present themselves to be.
For us, moving is all about being with people on one of the biggest, most stressful days of their lives. By making a person's move easier, we can make their lives better. In the spirit of making life better for you, we've put together five things you should look for in a moving company before hiring them!
This is the first thing you should look for in a moving company, especially if you're moving across state lines. Why? Because every moving company that offers moving services across state lines is required by law to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each one will have a USDOT number that you can run through the FMCSA database.
If a prospective moving company is offering out-of-state moving services but don't have a USDOT registration number (which you can request), then run away as fast as you can. However, if the moving company only offers services within the state, you'll need to check with your own state's laws for any licensing requirements.
While there are a great many honest moving companies out there, some will take advantage of families by setting up 'fly-by-night' moving companies, or moving companies in name only. In reality, they may be a single person with their own truck who hires laborers the day of your move to be your "moving team."
Here's the problem: those people aren't vetted, trained, or insured. What happens if your jewelry gets damaged, or your furniture is damaged during loading? Who do you hold responsible? In many cases, these 'companies' are difficult to track down if you have a complaint.
Here's what you might want to look for:
- Reviews that mention movers or staff by name
- A staff page with permanent members of the team
This is another problem with the fly-by-night moving companies. It's common for a moving 'company' to spring up overnight, take your money, and move your things badly (if they show up at all). If you try to file a complaint, you'll find that there's no longer any trace of the company you hired.
The best way to avoid that problem is to hire a company that's been around for a few years. For instance, Affordable Quality Moving & Storage has been around since 1996—more than enough time for people to learn our names, build our reputation, and establish ourselves in Los Angeles and beyond. If you want to speak with us, we're always available by phone or email. That's why you want a company that's been around for a while: accountability.
With this tip, what you want to avoid is someone who bought or rented a truck to set up shop as a "moving company" with zero experience or licensing. What you're looking for is a true moving company, not to hire a guy and his friends just for them to get a U-Haul truck. That means owning their own facility and their own trucks with their own branding.
Never, ever trust a moving estimate over the phone. The variables that go into your moving estimate include the square footage of your home, how much you own, the number of boxes you're moving, how much furniture you need moved, and other important factors. The only way to accurately gauge the cost of your move is by visiting your home and doing an in-home estimate.
Frankly, the common reason moving companies even offer over-the-phone estimates is to get you to agree to a contract as quickly as possible; in many cases, that estimate is knowingly inaccurate, and you'll end up paying a lot more than you agreed to in the end.
Looking for a Los Angeles moving company with 1.) licensed movers, 2.) permanent staff, 3.) a long history, 4.) company-owned trucks, and 5.) that offers in-home estimates? Call Affordable Quality Moving and Storage at (818) 960-1988 today!