It’s National Moving Month and we at Blackhawk Moving & Storage would like to celebrate the occasion by giving you the tools needed to avoid getting taken advantage of with your next move. We’ve all heard the horror stories about movers that were “lazy” or companies that were “careless,” but there's a recent story that we think really sums up the importance of doing your research before deciding on a mover.
In an article published by abcnews.go.com, writer Michael Edison Hayden chronicled the experience of one Georgia family’s horrifying experience when moving with a no name mover found on craigslist:
“They showed up and loaded the furnishings onto the truck and told the victims they’d meet them at their new residence,” Daniel told ABC News. “But then they never showed up.”
The victims say that their missing belongings are valued at approximately $75,000. The only items to have been recovered so far are “personal items,” which were found in a box.
“If I don’t get anything back, I want that box, because it has all of our social security, birth certificates in it. It has death records from my mom and son,” the homeowner said. “Of course, I had iPads and phones that were gone, but all the birth certificates, and all the records that I really needed were in that box, including my Bible, thank God.”
The family hired the moving company through
Craigslist, according to Daniel. Craigslist did not immediately reply to a
request for comment.
To read the full article, you can go here.
Now this is an extreme scenario, and is definitely not something that happens every day, but it does highlight the importance of vetting a mover before you let them pack up all of your worldly possessions. So how does one “vet” the right mover?
- Stay away from Craigslist
- We’ve all been there. In a pinch and need to find a lawn mower for cheap; it’s great for that. But never look for a mover on Craigslist. They may be “Cheap” but you just never know who it is that’s coming to load all your valuables into a truck. Maybe they’ll be great, or maybe they’ll be like the crooks in the previous story.
- Check Review Sites
- Though a moving company may sing praises of themselves on their website, a little more sleuthing may be in order. It never hurts to check if they have any Yelp, Google+, or Angie’s List reviews. They may tell a different story than what the mover’s website has to say. Note not only if there are positive and negative reviews, but if, and how, the company has responded to the negative ones. Any company that cares about their reputation will at least attempt to address any online criticism in a timely and constructive manner. Also check to see if they have a Facebook and/or twitter account. Previous customers will sometimes leave positive or negative reviews on Facebook, and also reach out to the company on twitter.
- Ask your Friends/Neighbors
- There’s no better way to find out which moving company is the best than good old fashioned boots on the ground. Ask your neighbor, ask a friend. “Who did you use for your last move? Did you like them?” No one will give you the honest truth like a close friend will. Who knows? Maybe you were considering using moving company A. They look good on their website, but not very many online reviews; so you decide to ask your sister, because she used moving company A for her last move. “Don’t use them,” she tells you, “They broke my fine China and wouldn’t reimburse me!” It never hurts to ask!
- Better Business Bureau
- When all else fails, turn to the Better Business Bureau https://www.bbb.org/ to find reliable information regarding complaints/resolutions, reviews, and overall ratings of any and all companies you’re considering.
- Get multiple Estimates
- Now that you’ve vetted your potential movers, start getting estimates! Don’t just get one either, get at least 3 estimates. Most reputable moving companies know that they’re not the only one coming through the door, so they shouldn’t be pressuring you into signing on the dotted line right away. Choose the estimate that provides the most value to you, and always ask questions. They’re your possessions going on that truck, so be sure that you’re comfortable with the company you choose.