Features of First Rate Van Lines

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Features of First Rate Van Lines

Staff Writer · Oct 1, 2009

If you’re going to entrust your precious belongings to van lines, you should make sure that they’re first rate. There are movers that scam and rob people all the time, and you don’t want to become a victim. Here are some things to look for when hiring a moving service:

Good BBB Rating

One of the first things you want to do when researching moving services is see how they handled complaints brought against them by others on BetterBusinessBureau.com. You can also see what types of complaints keep coming up for that company. For example, if people keep complaining that their items arrived damaged, or missing, then you want to stay away from that van line. However, if there are only a few complaints, and if each one was properly resolved, then those movers are still an option if they meet your other criteria. 

Many Years in Business

You don’t want to hire a brand new company, unless you’re willing to gamble on your things showing up to your destination. You need to find companies that have been in business for at least five years, and have a track record for being reliable. New companies can vanish with your things, and all of their assurances go with them. You can research how long a company has been in business on the company website and you can check your state department that handles business licenses. You can also search their motor license on www.SaferSys.org to make sure they can legitimately offer moving services in the first place.

Detailed, Written Estimates

First rate van lines will provide you with detailed, written estimates every time. You want to avoid moving services that give you a blank estimate and then expect you to sign it. If they’ve been in business for many years, they should be experienced enough to be very detailed with what they can and cannot do. They should be able to itemize all costs and services, and should be able to explain each to you, including how or why the estimate is different from their competitors’. If you don’t get this kind of detail, you should look elsewhere.

A Registered Van Line

This is important when you’re looking to move across state lines. Another way to make sure that you are dealing with a moving company that has the proper insurance and a United States Department of Transportation license, is to check protectyourmove.org. This is the official site of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which tries to protect consumers from getting ripped off by van lines that are not first rate. You can also file a complaint with the FMCSA or check for complaints filed against movers.

Personal Recommendation

Personal recommendations from family and friends who have used and like the van line you’re considering is one of the most important considerations when looking at movers. Ask people you know who have moved across state lines. Ask them who they hired and whether they would recommend them. You’ll learn a lot from both the positive and negative recommendations. If one moving service keeps coming up as a good company to use, then give them a try.

Finding the right van line to use to move your belongings is important, because many of your items may not be replaceable. Although there aren’t any guarantees, you want to do everything you can upfront to select movers that will get your items to the final destination without theft, damage or loss.

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