How do you find a moving company?

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This article describes about the safety tips to find out a reputable moving company.

Moving Companies

Article Body:
Moving is a very tense and costly experience, and if you don't take safety measures it can quickly turn into a nightmare. So how do you find a moving company that you can confidence with everything that you own and feel safe in your decision?

The first thing that you should do is put down your keyboard and step away from your computer. While there are some reputable moving companies that have web sites, nearly all of the victims that contact us found their moving company on the Internet.

Your next step is to pick up your phone book, or call your local real estate agents and find at least three moving companies that have offices in your area. Try to find moving companies that have been in business at least ten years, and do not hire a moving broker. Current consumer protection laws related to the movement of household goods only apply to Motor Carriers and not to Household Goods Brokers.

Set up appointments for them to come to your house and do an in-home estimate in the order of your least favorite to your most favorite company. If they won't come to your house to do an in-home estimate, hang up and find another company. Find out up front if the company will be doing the move themselves, or if they will be sub-contracting out the job. If they won't be moving you, then move on. You should also visit their office and make sure that the company is who they say they are. Check out their trucks and storage facility. Make sure that their trucks are permanently marked with the companys name.

As each moving company gives you an estimate based on what they see in your home, leave the paperwork out where the next moving company can easily see it. Ask questions about the difference in pricing since it may have to do with what services one company provides that another doesnt the amount of insurance included, or valuation of your belongings. Never hire a mover who gives you a quote based on cubic feet. Never, ever sign blank paperwork, and know what you're signing. Read the document, understand it and don't worry about making the moving company wait.

You should know that every moving company is required by law to provide you with a "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" booklet. If they don't provide you with this, send them packing (so to speak).

Also, while you have the sales rep's attention, get as much information about the company that you can such as:

* Full company name and any DBA names (doing business as)
* How long they have been in business
* Company address
* Phone numbers (local and toll-free)
* DOT and MC license numbers
* Company web site address
* Email addresses
* Get references (and call them)

Now that you have your three estimates, it's time to get back online. This is where the Internet is a powerful tool for the consumer, and where all of that information that you gathered pays off.

Many states make it easy to search for corporate information online. We've made it easy to find each state's corporation search. Just select the state on our Links page that your moving company is based. If you can't search online, then call your secretary of state's office and ask for the articles of incorporation. You can use the Articles of Incorporation that you find to verify how long your moving company has been in business, as well as the company's address and owner's name.

Remember those DOT and MC license numbers that you wrote down? Well, it's time to make sure that your moving company not only has the license authority to perform your move, but if they have the insurance to make it legal! Let's start with SaferSys.org.

SaferSys is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) web site to search for motor carrier license information. First click on Company Snapshot in the center of the page. In the center of the next web page, you'll see a search area. Put in your company's DOT license number, and click 'Search'. If the DOT number that they gave you is accurate (which it better be or it's time to move on again) you'll be presented with a screen with lots of information. Here are some key elements to the SaferSys report

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