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Jul 17, 2017

How to Hire a Moving Company and Prevent Fraud

While 123JUNK does not providing moving services, we work with a lot of moving companies to help clear out spaces both before and after people move. And we hate to hear bad stories about movers. We don’t operate our company that way and certainly don’t want to see our customers have bad experiences either.

Because we care about the homeowners in our territory throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., here is some advice on how to choose the right moving company and prevent fraud.

  1. Ask for recommendations. As your friends, relatives, real estate agent—or us—for recommendations on a good moving company.
  2. Get an in-person estimate. Don’t rely on internet estimates. Be sure the mover has come to your home or office to assess the quantity of items to move. Get a written estimate or a binding “not-to-exceed” estimate. Ask about differences in estimates: one company may provide items another does not.
  3. Check with several companies. Have several companies visit your home to provide estimates. Make sure the estimate contains the words “Written binding estimate” as well as the mover’s signature and date. Never sign a document that isn’t fully filled in or hasn’t been explained.
  4. Show them everything. Take the estimator into every space in your home, including the attic, basement, shed and closets. They will need to get an accurate assessment of the items you want to move, and prepare the correct size truck for the job. Do not hire a mover that provides a quote based on cubic feet.
  5. Don’t assume the biggest companies are the best. You may be able to get a better referral and a sweeter price from a smaller company.
  6. Research the company on line. Check references, testimonials and even consumer-advocacy sites like the Better Business Bureau or MovingScam.com or RipOffReport.com. Take heed if you see a bad report. Call the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Safety and Consumer Complaints hotline at 888-368-7238 to check for complaints.
  7. Prepare the mover for issues at your new home. If there a parking problem, distance to the front door, stairs or other complications at your new home, let your mover know this ahead of time or they may challenge the estimate.
  8. Expect the final cost to be more than the estimate. Estimates are based on weight and distance, plus the amount of time a job will take, and often unexpected items come up.
  9. Read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” This is a free booklet provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Federal law requires interstate movers to provide you with it. Download a copy at fmcsa.dot.gov.
  10. Check the moving company’s licenses and insurance. Make sure you are covered through their company’s policies. You can also purchase additional insurance.
  11. Make sure the moving truck is branded. A reputable moving company will provide trucks that are permanently marked with their company’s name. Do not use a mover that uses a magnetic sign on a rental truck.
  12. During the move, keep their contact information handy. Do not pack the estimate, packing list or contact information. Keep it with you during the move.

What about the stuff you’re not moving?

We hope this information helps you to have a pleasant moving experience. And remember, when you’re ready to move, call 123JUNK to help clear out unwanted items you don’t want to pay to move, or even help prepare your home for showing by hauling away clutter or yard debris.

With our three-pronged approach of Donate, Recycle and Dispose, 123JUNK will sort through your items and delivery usable ones to our charitable partners, providing you with a tax-deductible receipt. Items that can be recycled, such as old electronics, metal or components we deliver to the recycling center. And only then do we take the rest to the area landfills. It is our goal to protect our environment to our best ability while providing the utmost service to our customers. Call 123JUNK today for a junk removal estimate or to schedule your appointment.

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