Planning a Long-Distance Move? Know Your Moving Company First!04/07/2017Imagine this scenario (if it hasn’t already given you nightmares!): You’ve been planning a long-distance move for months. You called three different local interstate moving companies, all of which seemed reputable, and finally decided on the one that gave you the lowest estimate. Moving day arrives. The moving crew loads your household goods on the truck. The truck takes off for your new home. And it never gets there. It disappears – along with most of your worldly possessions. Ah, come on! That hasn’t really happened, has it? Sadly, it has. But that is an extreme scenario. What’s more likely to happen with, shall we say, “less than honest” movers is that they won’t steal a homeowner’s possessions outright; they’ll just hold them hostage until the homeowner agrees to pay a higher fee. Of course, these are just two of many kinds of moving scams. Sites like Moving.com and MovingScam.com alert you to more. So if you’ve had any qualms – any nightmares – about something like this happening to you, take them as a warning: DON’T HIRE A MOVING COMPANY UNTIL YOU KNOW THAT COMPANY’S LEGIT! Be wary of moving companies that … don’t have a physical address. P.O. boxes are a big red flag. Check the phone book. And check online at Google Maps or Google Earth. have a poor record with the Better Business Bureau. Go to bbb.org. There you’ll find reviews of more than 20,000 moving-related companies. charge a fee to provide you with an estimate. That’s not something any reputable mover would do. don’t provide written estimates – or tell you they’ll determine your charges after loading. Again: that’s just not done by reputable movers. give you an estimate that sounds to good to be true. It probably is! (You know the old adage!) ask you to sign documents that have blank lines to be filled in later. All details should be spelled out in writing and agreed upon before you put your signature to anything. (Another old adage you surely know!) don’t have a current U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) license, don’t have a current Motor Carrier (MC) license, and don’t have a DOT or MC number that’s less than 3 years old … or aren’t insured. You can check all this out at the DOT website’s Mover Registration Search, https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gove/hhg/search.asp. Remember, all moving companies for hire as interstate movers must be licensed and insured for interstate commerce. Here’s one more old adage for you: It’s better to be safe than sorry. Exercising a little due diligence up front and learning all you can about the movers you’re considering before you hire can save you a lot of headaches and heartaches when your move is underway. And your best research tool? The Internet! Or it is so long as you’re not just going to the websites of the movers you’re considering. Follow the links we provide above for solid, dependable third-party verification of a long-distance mover’s credentials … or lack thereof. While you’re at it, we invite you to use these sites to check out A-1 Freeman as well. We’ve been long-distances movers – not to mention local and intrastate movers – of great repute for many decades. And we’re happy to provide tools like these to help you make wise decisions for smooth moves.