Late delivery. Inconsistent communication. Damaged furniture. These are just a few of customers’ most common moving company complaints.
Perhaps one of your friends arrived at their new home only to find missing and damaged furniture. You may have heard through your family grapevine that a local moving service was unprofessional and rushed the contract process. One way or another, the process of moving always seems to sow seeds of doubt.
If you want an accurate idea of what to expect before hiring a moving service, read our common moving company complaints from customers below. Once you’re done, you’ll be aware of possible setbacks and equipped with the knowledge to reduce your risk.
First, check out these helpful resources:
- Moving Cost Calculator: Don’t leave your moving budget up to chance. Get a close estimate of how much your move will cost with our calculator!
- Best Interstate Movers: Not sure which interstate movers to hire? Our list will show you the most popular options by price, service, and moving type.
- Best Moving Container Companies: Need a moving container in a pinch? We gathered the most reliable options in the moving industry.
Late delivery for long-distance moving
If you’re just moving a few blocks down the street, you may not worry as much about a late delivery job. Long-distance moving has much less wiggle room, making late delivery potentially disastrous for your job or budget.
Your Bill of Lading outlines the services your moving company is legally bound to. These services include estimated delivery dates. If your movers are days past their written estimate, you have solid grounds for compensation. After all, several days of delay may rack up extra costs for a hotel stay, food, and missed days at your job.
Unfortunately, late delivery is one of the most unpredictable elements of moving. Everything from weather to bad traffic can delay your move, so be proactive. If you have a strict schedule for arriving at your new home, consider executing your move on an earlier date so you can better adapt to setbacks. Use a moving cost calculator to budget your move and create a little peace of mind.
Showing up late for the job
Similar to the first point, showing up late for the job is another frustration many moving customers share. When you’ve already got so much to do in your busy schedule, just one missed day can cause a ton of stress.
A mover that’s just an hour or two late can cause customers to worry they’ve been the victim of a moving scam or given out the wrong details. How do you respond to a late arrival? Keep your movers’ contact information on hand, and don’t be afraid to call for updates.
Damaging or losing items
Seeing your items damaged at the end of a move is demoralizing after the money and hard work you’ve put in. Lost items are even worse, especially if they have many fond memories attached.
Movers aren’t perfect. Their work is often taxing and complex, making it easy to bump or scratch your belongings. Other times, you may get movers who are simply negligent and can’t be bothered. Whatever the reason, keep a cool head if you find your furniture damaged or missing.
Before you commit to a moving service, take clear photos of all your household goods in the event of damaged or lost items. You’ll need this evidence to file a potential consumer complaint form for reimbursement.
The movers aren’t doing enough work
If you hire a moving service for packing and transportation, you may be frustrated by slow or distracted workers. Customers paying by the hour may wonder if they’re being stiffed when witnessing this behavior.
If you’re concerned about the pace, be polite and ask about their estimated completion time. More often than not, the workers you’ve hired from today’s best interstate moving companies aren’t malicious. They’re just tired and doing their best.
Moving companies give you multiple steps to help you estimate the final cost and keep your transition within your budget. Additional charges are usually avoidable with careful vetting and communication.
Let’s be clear: additional charges are not always shady. Sometimes an additional charge or overcharging is actually a stated fee you overlooked in your haste to move. Similarly, if you didn’t pack your items properly, forgot to list furniture in your estimate, or tack on additional services, the movers will justifiably raise the price.
Other times, you’re the victim of a moving scam that adds extra fees on arbitrary details, such as not having a large enough street for easy parking.
What is the best way to find a good moving company?
Finding reputable interstate moving companies or container moving companies is easy with a bit of research. Even if you’re in a hurry, you shouldn’t overlook the value of customer reviews or licensing.
Visit the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The Better Business Bureau is a handy resource for determining the validity of businesses in your area. This site vets and compiles ratings from verified customers to give you the most accurate impression of the company you want to hire.
They also have useful tools such as their Scam Tracker, a regularly updated database that informs you of trending scams in your area.
Check the U.S. Department of Transportation
Another must-read resource when hiring a reputable moving company is the U.S. Department of Transportation. This organization verifies trustworthy moving providers in areas such as licensing and safety.
You can visit the USDOT website and look up your moving company to see if they have a registered USDOT number. Keep in mind that lacking a number doesn’t mean the company is automatically a fraud. Some local moving services are instead registered through their state licensing department.
Look up customer complaint history
Common moving scams rely on people being in the dark about their usual tricks. Customer complaint history will keep you informed on what a business is up to.
What is the customer’s responsibility when hiring a moving company?
While you can’t completely eliminate risk when moving, you can significantly reduce it. The Internet makes it easier than ever to gather resources and plan your move down to the letter.
Below are a few tips on your responsibility as a savvy, prepared mover.
If it’s too good to be true…
Does your moving estimate look surprisingly low? Does your moving service offer amazing insurance without much explanation?
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. It’s your responsibility to follow a well-researched moving process where you look up the company on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and USDOT websites, read online reviews, and ask questions.
(For the record: very low moving estimates are usually a red flag, and moving insurance should always be explained in detail.)
Never work without a contract
Protect your move by always working with a contract (preferably a paper copy and a digital copy). Details such as filing a formal complaint or preventing moving fraud are very difficult without this legal document.
Plan for possible storage needs
When your original moving plan doesn’t pan out, you may need to store your items before you can move everything into your new home. Have a backup plan for possible storage, such as writing down the number of a moving container company with flexible scheduling.
No moving company is flawless. When you have a little furniture damaged or see a surprise fee, give your vetted business the benefit of the doubt. There’s a high chance your movers simply overlooked a crucial detail, and they’ll be more than willing to make things right. While moving company complaints should always be taken seriously, don’t overlook the positive reviews, either!
With proper documentation and preparation, you will complete your move successfully and (relatively) smoothly.
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