How Do You Choose a Good Moving Company?
With moving companies, your choices are the good, the bad, and the criminal!
As if moving itself isn’t stressful enough, now you have to worry about the moving company you choose, aren’t they all about the same?
When you are shopping for a moving company, it’s a buyer beware market. Some moving companies are great, some are pretty good most of the time, some have good intentions and some are criminal outfits.
Rules that govern moving:
The amount that a moving company can charge in the state of Washington is semi-regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). For a local move, the client is billed in 15 minute increments for the actual time that a move takes. If a job takes longer than the estimated time, the final charge will be higher. But if the scope of work changed after the original estimate and a supplemental estimate is NOT presented, the charge cannot not be more than 25% higher than the original estimate. Of course, if your move does not take as long as the original estimate states, your final charges will be less than the estimate.
These are the legal rules. The danger to the consumer comes from the companies that don’t follow the rules, especially companies that charge too little. (Surprised? Read on.)
Some companies offer unusually low estimates, because unaware customers will usually choose the lowest bid. These companies will come to your door, load up all of your worldly possessions and then tell you that the job took longer than expected. And then the extortion starts. They may require that you pay an extra $10,000 to have your possession unloaded at your new home.
It’s a horrible experience! People have called the police when faced with this. But the typical reaction of the police is that this is a regulations violation, and there isn’t anything that they can do about it.
In 2001, the Seattle Times ran a series of articles about a local company, whose owner was ultimately convicted of conspiracy and extortion for running this kind of scam… Moving Company Founder Convicted .
My contacts in the moving industry tell me that there are other similar scam operations still running now.
Don’t let a moving scam happen to you!
Just because a company has a listing in the yellow pages (or online) does not mean that it is legitimate. Rogue movers can operate for years before they get put out of business.
To be safe you can either choose a moving company that has satisfactorily moved someone you know personally, or even better call a company called Moving Link.
Moving Link will collect the data that is needed to do a move estimate. They send it out to their currently qualified list of moving companies, who send back bids from the data. Moving Link will send you the lowest 3 bids and then (and only then) is it safe to choose the moving company who gave the lowest bid.
Many moving companies apply to join the Moving Link list, but they only accept the best. Companies must provide steadily good service or be removed from the list.
Moving Forward has worked with Moving Link for over 5 years, and we are very happy with the quality of work their moving companies have provided.
By the way, although they are located in Redmond, Washington, they can arrange moves in other states and even in other countries.