Ordinarily, hiring a moving company shouldn’t be a complicated process. There are hundreds of reputable moving companies all across the country.
But what happens when you hire a rogue moving company? Its easy to imagine the ordeal and horror stories that can follow.
Thankfully, you can play it safe to avoid hiring rogue movers by conducting a background check. A background check can let you know how to identify rogue movers and avoid moving scams. Also, you’ll be able to know how to protect yourself from identity theft when you move.
Most importantly, a background check makes it easier for you to find and hire a reputable moving company. This is why MoverJunction.com only recommend and connect people with licensed and BBB rated moving companies after a careful background check. Also, you’ll get up to 6 free moving quotes from reputable movers.
How to do a moving company’s background check in 5 easy steps
1. Check the company’s status on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) carefully screens moving companies before accepting and recommending them. In fact, the BBB has 8 standard criteria every moving company must meet before being accepted. These criteria are:
- Build Trust
- Advertise Honestly
- Tell the Truth
- Be Transparent
- Honor Promises
- Be Responsive
- Safeguard Privacy
- Embody Integrity
When a moving company meets all these criteria and is accepted by the BBB, the movers performance and service delivery will be assessed. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest) based on a moving company’s performance. Read the complete overview of BBB ratings here. Before signing a deal with any moving company visit BBB’s website. On the search tab type the company’s name, URL or phone number. You can refine your search based on distance by city, state/province or postal code.
You should avoid moving companies that are not registered with the BBB or has a ‘F’ rating. But in some cases, your search may return with NR or No Rating. This indicates that there is insufficient information and reviews about the company’s activities for the BBB to make a decision. This often happens when the moving company is a startup.
#MovingTips Your household inventory can help the moving company come up with an accurate estimate of your moving cost
— MoverJunction.com (@MoverJunction) June 2, 2016
2. Check the company’s activities via their USDOT Number
You can obtain a lot of crucial information about a moving company by obtaining its USDOT Number. Moving companies often have their USDOT Numbers printed on the doors of their cab and on the rear tractor.
If you can’t find it, ask the moving company. Once you have it, you can do a background check by checking the mover’s activities on this FMCSA’s web page. You’ll be required to enter the number on a form and click on search. Once you submit the form, you’ll be redirected to a page about the company’s activities.
The FMCSA mandates every long- distance or inter-state moving company to be registered with the US Department of Transportation and be assigned a USDOT Number. Moving companies that specialize in local moves or moving within state lines are not mandated to have a USDOT Number. But many state laws require local movers to be registered with a USDOT Number so they can be federally regulated.
3. Check reviews for any outstanding complain about the mover
Some websites are dedicated to simplifying how people do moving companies background check. You can take advantage of such sites to learn more about the movers you intend to hire. You can start by checking on Rip Off and Moving Scam.
You can do a background check of any moving company you intend to hire on these sites. Also, you can take advantage of Google Search type reviews about then add the name of the moving company you intend to hire.
4. Check if the moving company has been blacklisted
You can check if the moving company you intend to hire has been blacklisted by searching on Rip Off. Type the name of your moving company on the search tab or type in blacklisted moving companies to see a list of blacklisted movers. You shouldn’t consider hiring any moving company that pops up on the blacklist no matter how cheap they are or the discount they are offering.
5. Check references
Your background check shouldn’t be limited to online resources only. You can ask the moving company you intend to hire for references. Chances are the moving company will only recommend previous customers who are happy with their services. But you can still elicit some important information from such customers before you make up your mind.