Moving to a new home can be a huge hassle. Add an illegal moving company operating without licenses, unsafe vehicles and improper certification and the move can easily become a stressful event.
To reduce problems and stress during National Moving Month, Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest has teamed up with Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Justice, and Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to advise consumers to take precautions before hiring a mover.
Moving companies operating in Washington must have a valid permit from the UTC in order to legally provide residential moving services. Consumers who hire an illegal moving company have little or no recourse if their belongings are damaged, lost or stolen.
“There are moving companies falsely advertising they are ‘licensed and insured’,” said Steve King, the commission’s executive director. “Customers who hire these companies risk losing everything if something goes wrong.”
Oregon moving companies must have a Motor Carrier Certificate of Authority issued by the Oregon Department of Transportation in order to provide regulated moving services and a valid USDOT number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety administration.
BBB, UTC, ODOT and ODOJ recommend the following step before hiring a moving company:
Check for certification. Oregon intrastate movers must apply for certification through ODOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division. The process requires movers to go through criminal background checks and they must charge rates approved by ODOT. A list of authorized movers in Oregon can be found at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/pages/movers.aspx. Washingtonians should contact the commission to confirm the company has a valid permit by visiting utc.wa.gov/movingtips.
Washington consumers who have trouble with a company’s service and rates are advised to call the UTC at 1-888-333-9882. Oregon consumers who have trouble with a company’s service and rates are advised to call MCTD at 503-378-5985. The Oregon Department of Justice has also put together an online list of 10 Ways to Avoid Moving Scams. Consumers can use the guide to protect themselves.
Check out more tips on hiring a mover by liking BBB Northwest's Facebook page to check out Facebook Lives with accredited businesses. To report a moving scam, visit BBB Scam Tracker.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB Northwest serves more than 14 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Western Wyoming.