When it comes to moving companies for a long-distance or local move, there are tons of choices.
Most people just compare quotes and go with the lowest price. But not all moving companies are created equal and it’s all too easy to get scammed.
In this post, we’ll show you the six red flags to look out for when hiring a moving company in Boulder and how to choose the best one for your move.
Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing a Moving Company
We always encourage our customers to research different moving companies, but it’s important to know the red flags to avoid when you’re looking.
They’re not insured or licensed
All professional movers are fully insured to protect themselves from liability should an item get damaged. On top of that, they’ll be licensed with the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Always ask to see the insurance policy and license so you know you’re covered. If they can’t or won’t show you their documents, that’s a serious red flag.
Too good to be true estimates
If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Not all moving companies give their full costing upfront, so you might be given a low estimate by cheap movers and then get hit with a surprise extra charge at the end.
When you’re getting an estimate for local movers, make sure to ask if it includes everything and if there are additional fees.
They don’t offer comprehensive services
Long-distance moving companies should provide a full service to help you move. This isn’t just loading the van and transporting your belongings, it should also include helping you declutter, pack, disassemble and assemble furniture, and unloading the truck.
If you’re not getting a full service, you’ll end up doing a lot more work than you anticipated and the process of moving will become stressful.
References show you that people have used the company and found the services useful. If no one has vouched for the moving company, that’s a huge red flag.
Do a quick Google search of the company to see if they have Google and Yelp reviews. Although online reviews on their website are useful, independent ones are more reliable.
You should never pay for a service in full upfront. Although many moving companies might require a deposit to secure your moving date, if they want full payment or a large deposit upfront, run for the hills.
Unprofessional customer service
There should be a way to contact the moving company easily as well as a way to contact your driver during the move and a physical address. If the company lacks customer service or it’s difficult to contact them, they’re unprofessional and you’ll get frustrated with the lack of communication.
Steps To Choosing a Moving Company
Now you know the major red flags to avoid, here’s how you choose the right moving company for your move.
Do Your Research
Start by doing a Google search for moving companies in your area. You’ll get a list of local companies and might even have some local directories you can use to narrow down your research.
Decide if You Need Local or Long Distance Movers
A local moving company won’t go out of state, so make sure you know whether you need local or interstate movers and look for the right services.
Do Walkthroughs Take Inventory and Get Quotes
If a company offers a moving quote by phone without seeing your belongings, it’s a problem. You’ll need a walkthrough and a full inventory of items to get a real quote. A walkthrough is also needed to assess access challenges, the volume of items, how the moving day will work, etc.
It can be time-consuming having multiple walkthroughs with different companies but it will help you see who you gel with most.
Confirm whether they’re federally registered
Always request to see their paperwork before you make a reservation. The company should be able to give you their DOT number and insurance details.
When it comes to reviews, check the four and three-star reviews to get an idea of what people dislike most about companies. One-star reviews are often just people moaning, and five stars can be overly complimentary.
The ones in the middle will give you the truth about their complaint history and how they deal with negative feedback.
If you know anyone who has moved lately in your area, get a personal recommendation. If you don’t, ask friends and family if they have any referrals from the past – nothing beats a personal referral from someone you know.
Don’t pay a deposit
We covered this in the red flag list – a hefty deposit is a no-go. Remember, the movers will have a truck full of all your belongings. If they also have all your money, you run the risk of never seeing your stuff again.
Make sure they take a moving inventory
Once you have a reliable mover booked, they should take a detailed inventory of all of your belongings. Not only does this mean you’ll get an accurate quote but it also makes them responsible should something go missing.
If it’s in the inventory, there won’t be any arguments about whether or not it was actually on the moving truck.
Beware of added hidden fees
If you’ve found a company that is transparent about its fees, you’ll get a full price upfront. However, some companies will tack on extra costs like fuel or unpacking fees without telling you in the beginning.
Get a quote in writing so you don’t get stuck paying hidden fees at your new property.
Get everything in writing
If it’s on paper, it’s much easier to cover yourself. Make sure you have a copy of their insurance coverage, license number, your inventory, quote, and contact information.
When you choose a local, reliable moving company, you won’t have any issues. But it never hurts to keep yourself covered.
Looking For a Local Moving Company in Boulder?
At Free Range Movers, we’ve built a reputation for our reliable, affordable moving services in Boulder. We offer a comprehensive range of moving services and you’ll never get surprised with hidden fees. So, feel free to give our team a call if you’re looking for reputable movers!
If you’re moving home for the first time and you’re not sure where to start, head to our guide that shows you the step-by-step process of moving for the first time.