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Educational Consumer Tips

Moving Companies

Author: Better Business Bureau
Category: Service

The report is derived from a consumer advisory developed by the California Public Utilities Commission.


The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates household goods movers who operate within the State of California.

The CPUC warns that a move can become a nightmare if you choose a moving company not licensed by the CPUC. Most movers are reputable, but a wise consumer guards against the few that might be a bit shady.

The following tips will help ensure a well-planned and uncomplicated move:

1. Call 1-800-877-8867 to find out whether a mover is licensed with the CPUC. To file a complaint or obtain information on maximum rates, call 1-800-FON-4PUC (1-800-366-4782).

2. Get written prices and services estimates from several moving companies. A mover cannot charge more than the CPUC rules allow. Verbal estimates are not binding and are illegal! All estimates must be in writing and given after visual inspection of the goods.

3. Get the booklet entitled, "Important Information For Persons Moving Household Goods", which must be provided on the first in-person contact.  The booklet outlines consumer protections and provides moving tips. A mover is liable to pay $100.00 to you if it fails to provide this booklet.

4. Obtain the correct name of the mover, its operating authority number, address and telephone number.

5. Before your move begins, the mover must inform you of a "Not to Exceed" price. This is the highest price that you will charged subject to "Change Orders for Service" that account for customer additions in service.

6. Your goods are protected against possible loss or damage at 60 cents PER POUND per article, although you may request more. However, before buying additional protection, be sure to check any insurance policies you have.

7. Keep the mover informed as to how and where you may be reached at all times until the shipment is delivered.

If you have problem that you and your mover cannot resolve please call 1-800-366-4782 mor visit the CPUC website at