CHICAGO - May 10, 2016 - Half of all moves occur during one-third of the year - between the beginning of May and Labor Day; for consumers planning a move the number one rule when selecting a mover "do your homework". The BBB says, that simple step can go a long way toward protecting yourself against potential scams and fraud when changing your residence.
"There were 460 consumers who filed complaints against movers and moving and storage companies in the past 12 months. That number remains pretty consistent compared to previous years," says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "Anyone can claim to be a mover, so checking a mover's credentials is critical and fortunately it's easy to do."
Bernas notes, "It's equally important for consumers to know their rights, and take necessary precautions before turning their belongings over to a mover."
The BBB offers the following checklist for finding a trustworthy moving company:
- Research the company thoroughly. While state regulations vary, all interstate movers must, at minimum, be licensed by the federal government and are assigned a motor carrier number you can verify. Anyone can get a free BBB Business Review on movers from across North America, including ratings and complaint information at www.bbb.org/chicago.
- Get at least three written in-home estimates. Not all price-quotes online or over the phone are legitimate. Keep in mind that the lowest estimate can sometimes be an unrealistic low-ball offer, which can cost you more in the end. Get free quotes from BBB Accredited Businesses at http://ask.bbb.org/
- Know your rights.Research your rights as a consumer for interstate moves or for moves within Illinois. Also, enlist the help of BBB or local law enforcement if the moving company fails to live up to its promises or threatens to hold your belongings.
- Consider getting full-value protection. It may cost a few dollars more up front, but it may provide some peace of mind and eliminate a headache after your move. Investing in full (replacement) value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made to repair the item or to replace it at its current market value, regardless of age.
- Encounter problems. - File a complaint with the BBB at http://ask.bbb.org/ or the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Bernas added, "The Chicago BBB had more than 82,000 inquiries about movers in the past 12 months. Those kind of numbers show that consumers do have many concerns when it comes to hiring a moving company."
The BBB also offers these tips for a smooth move:
- Best days of the week to move are during the middle week - from Monday to Thursday - because most people plan their moves for the weekend.
- Worst days of the week to move are on weekends - Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The reason: most people tend to move on weekends when they are not working. Weekend days can also cost more even if you make the reservation ahead of time.
- Best day of the month to move is mid-month - on around the 15th.
- Worst day of the month to move is on the 1st of the month. That's typically when everyone else is moving.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.