Educational Consumer Tips

Moving Companies

Author: Better Business Bureau

The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices or record of any particular company.

Plan a move 6 to 8 weeks in advance. Ask friends or neighbors to recommend companies. Contact each company about cost and types of services offered and compare. For regulations concerning moves within a state, contact your local or state government. Charges for state to state moves are determined by weight, volume and distance shipped.

Ask for estimates. Show movers every item to be moved, including contents of your attic, basement and garage. Ask the mover to explain the estimate and reach a clear understanding about the packing and other services. Keep a copy of the estimate.

Before packing begins, an inventory of household goods is made. An inventory record is an important shipping document so make sure all copies are legible, and that all items are numbered, listed and described correctly.

You may want to pack part of your belongings. However, movers usually will not accept liability for breakage to "owner-packed" items or they may require the driver to inspect the cartons. Ask about company policy and for advice on packing materials and procedures.

Try to be present when the mover loads and unloads. Immediately report missing or damaged items in detail on the van driver's copy (original) of the inventory sheet before you sign it. If you notice damaged items after you unpack your goods, you will need to file a claim.