What to look for when hiring movers

Posted at 9:14 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 10:53:32-04

BOISE, Idaho — The housing market continues to remain hot in the Treasure Valley as more people move to the Gem State. In fact, US Census Data shows nearly 80,000 people moved to Idaho in 2018. But, as you plan your move, there's more to think about than just packing and unpacking.

A new survey from PEW Research Center indicates that 1 in 5 Americans have moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who has. Whether it’s because of school closures, job loss, or health reasons, people are relocating.

A new BBB in-depth investigative study finds that scams are widespread in the moving industry, particularly when it comes to interstate moves. BBB receives an average of 13,000 complaints and negative reviews about movers each year, with many complaints describing how experiences with dishonest moving companies have turned into financial and emotional nightmares.

So how are people being targeted? The BBB study reveals a fraudulent moving company initially may be helpful on the phone and may have a well-designed website boasting its many years of experience, well-trained workers, satisfied customers, and appropriate licensing. However, the red flags begin when the company provides a low-ball quote without a walk-through. The move seems to be going smoothly until you arrive at your new home and the movers demand more money before releasing your things from storage. They may claim you have more belongings than originally estimated and keep your items hostage until you pay up.

Because most consumers only hire professional movers a few times in their lives, they are often unsure of just what to look for in a reputable company.

Here's what you should look for when hiring a mover:

  • Do your research. Look up Business Profiles for moving companies on BBB's website. The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) also identifies movers that have pledged to uphold high standards of trust and to resolve complaints quickly. Note the length of time a company has been in business and read reviews from previous customers.
  • Get it in writing. Get three written estimates from different movers based on visits to your home and make sure it includes documentation of all the services you are receiving. Ask for a quote based on weight, not cubic feet which can be easily manipulated. If an estimate seems too good to be true, it likely is.
  • Talk about money. Find out how and when payment is required. Watch out for large deposit or cash demands. Other than a small down payment, honest movers don’t have you pay until after they have delivered goods.

For more on mover scams, click here.