Guide to Finding the Best Cross Country Moving Company
Moving Long-Distance with a Cross-Country moving company
There are many reasons why people move across the nation. Regardless of your reason for moving across the country is, moving is no walk in the park. Cross-country moving is almost like a regular relocation with extra steps included. We suggest working with professional movers because of the added difficulty. When you work with reputable movers, you add liability and convenience to your long-distance move.
Hiring professionals makes more sense if you need to protect and transport a large number of household goods. We suggest consolidating your items and see if you can move without professionals.
Compare quotes and find the right company for your needs if moving on your own is not an option. Choosing the cheapest option can seem like the best way to reduce costs. However, choosing the more affordable option can cost you in the long run, especially if you have priceless items that need extra protection. Reputable movers are one in many in this industry. Take the time and effort to find a company that’s right for your needs. Don’t risk the safety of your things by giving sketchy contractors liability for your goods.
Our network of professional mover’s put this guide together to help you find the best moving company. Stay clear of any potential problems and make your cross-country move as stress-free as possible.
Finding the Best Cross-country Mover
First, ask your peers to recommend a reputable moving service and use their experiences to help you choose the best movers. Don’t forget to check online for any reviews and ratings.
Stay away from Moving Brokers
Make sure you are hiring legitimate movers instead of a broker. Moving brokers act as middlemen between you and their contractors. Instead of moving your items, they’ll quote you and sell the move to a contractor or company. Consider the risks of hiring a broker. If your broker doesn’t give an accurate estimate, there’s a chance that the hired moving company will charge you more than the initial quote if the broker’s estimate was too low.
- Do not use an unlicensed mover or broker. Check the information below to learn more about bad brokers and moving scams.
- Reputable long-distance movers register their company with the American Trucking Association. The ATA helps identify quality movers and rogue movers. To see if a company is credible, look for a ProMover seal on their branding. Find a member in your area by using Moving.org’s searchable database.
- To Make sure your cross-country movers are licensed and insured, visit protectyourmove.gov. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) manages this service. Additionally, their contacts database can help you find local companies in your area. The FMCSA can also help you file any claims.
- Review companies on the Better Business Bureau. The BBB monitors complaints made by customers and employees. The moving process is far from perfect However, the best moving companies hold themselves liable for their policies cover. Please make sure the movers you work with are in good standing with the BBB like us.
- Want to know who sets the standard for customer satisfaction in the moving industry? Check The General Service Administration (https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/regions/welcome-to-the-national-capital-region-11/products-and-services/moving-shipping-and-transportation-services) and compare scores.
- Movers without registration are rogue and should be an immediate red flag.
- Your real estate agent is also a good resource for recommendations. Veteran agents have years of experience in this industry and may be able to refer companies for your move.
- As a rule of thumb, get estimates from at least three companies.
- You can obtain an in-person estimate quickly from most movers. If you prefer to do everything online, virtual and video estimates are growing more accessible by the year.
- Be on the lookout for any red flags. Legitimate companies own their fleet. Be wary of anyone who shows up in a rented u-haul. We’ve included an extensive list of red flags below.
FMCSA Regulations on Brokers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a process for regulating brokers. All brokers need to declare their broker status, including advertisements that specify that they do not transport items and only arrange the service. They also need to provide their motor carrier number and address.
Brokers also need to base both non-binding and binding estimates on your chosen moving company’s tariff. Whoever is closer, the mover or agent needs to perform a household goods survey within 50 miles of the customer. Only customers can waive these requirements.
Brokers also need to provide:
- FMCSA Proof of registration
- Their motor carrier number and address to their physical location
- Written agreements with the movers in their network
- Acceptable movers need to have registration within the FMCSA.
- Booklets from the FMCSA detailing Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move and the Ready to Move guide.
Red Flags for Rogue Movers
Instead of relying on a broker, it’s a much better idea to move with a reputable long-distance mover. Even though brokers can be trouble, at least they are regulated. An unlicensed mover is a more significant threat to your move, or more commonly known as a rogue mover.
- Reputable movers offer onsite or virtual inspection of your home and items. The absence of a binding or non-binding estimate is an immediate red flag.
- Do not trust movers that determine charges after the move. They can and will upcharge you for services you do not need.
- Investigate and compare with credible professionals if you receive an estimate that sounds too good to be true.
- Moving companies that demand payment before your move should also be of concern.
- Request contact information and ensure the address listed on their website is correct. Illegitimate movers address their ‘company’ with a generic name. A chain of elaborate moving scams unraveled in 2018 consisted of a chain of fraudulent business names.
- Carefully read any documents that need your signature. Missing information fields is highly suspect.
- Movers must provide copies of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move and the Ready to Move booklets.
- Be wary of a company website that lacks a physical address, registration or insurance information.
- It is never a good sign if a generic fleet rental truck rather than a company-owned vehicle appears on moving day.
- If a mover claims that your shipment weighs more than estimated, make sure the mover provides a revised estimate that lists the additional items and services charged. Don’t wait BEFORE they start packing and moving your possessions.
Goods Held Hostage
Holding goods hostage is the most prevalent moving scam and the stock-in-trade of the rogue mover. Rogue movers operate by drumming up business by providing low-ball estimates over the phone or the internet. The assessment doesn’t matter because they will demand more money before delivering or unloading your goods.
Naturally, you have to come up with this amount if you want to get your goods back in promptly. Unfortunately, the police will not intervene because this is a civil matter. The rogue movers will most likely sell your items if you do not pay them what they want.
If you are a victim of fraud, you can report the mover to the FMCSA with their online complaint tool. Make sure you collect any identification numbers or documentation to facilitate the investigation.
Avoid scammers at all costs.
After you have landed at your moving company, make sure you check out this guide to a perfect move for additional information.