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hiring a mover atlas boxes on dolly

Hiring a Mover: Five Must-Follow Rules

movers carry furniture upstairs

The moving company you choose can make or break the ease of your move. Moving with a company that is knowledgeable, honest, and experienced is generally a much better experience than moving with one that lacks these qualities. However, it can be difficult for homeowners and renters to discern these qualities when hiring a mover. In 2009 alone, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported 8,400 complaints against moving companies. Common complaints include lost items, damaged items, and increasing prices after providing estimates. 

To ensure the best possible experience for your money, always follow these five rules for hiring a mover. 

1. Check Movers’ Grades

Contact the BBB at BBB.org to see if the moving company you’re considering for the job has any complaints against it. The BBB also issues letter grades to businesses. Grades read like a school report card, with “A” being the highest grade a company can receive, and “F” being the lowest.

2. Request Interstate Licenses

Aside from the various regulations that local movers must comply with, interstate movers must also comply with federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues licenses to interstate moving companies. Clients should always request to see licenses when hiring a mover for these types of moves. 

3. Look for the ProMover Seal

The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) issues a seal of approval to moving companies that operate within a set of basic and honest business principals. The ProMover seal is the letter “M” above ProMover. Approved moving companies usually display the seal on their website and advertising materials. AMSA’s goal is to protect individuals from unlicensed and unregulated companies (referred to as “rogue operators”) within the moving industry.

hiring a mover atlas boxes on dolly

4. Get In-Person Estimates

Leave enough time before your move to receive estimates from several different companies. Experts recommend that individuals looking for a mover should get at least three in-person moving estimates. In-person moving estimates are firm, legally-binding estimates, while phone and online estimates are not. A legitimate moving company will not issue a firm estimate over the phone or online. If an estimate is increased, many unethical moving companies will even hold the client’s household goods hostage until the increased rate is paid.

5. Know Your Rights When Hiring a Mover

Movers should know their rights when it comes to their goods and their move. If you are moving across state lines, research your rights as a client of a business, and specifically as a client of a moving company. Look at the rules for both states. An educated client is always much more difficult to take advantage of.

Following these simple rules when hiring a mover can have a huge positive impact on any move, no matter the distance. Whether you’re moving across town or across the world, take steps to protect yourself and your family from unethical and dishonest business practices. While many professional moving companies are more expensive than unregulated movers, the saying “you get what you pay for” applies to choosing a mover. Your property is too important to trust to an unregulated, unlicensed, or inexperienced moving company. By doing a bit of research, you can choose a trustworthy company and avoid a potentially scary situation.

man looking at laptop thinking on sofa

8 Things You Can’t Overlook When Choosing a Moving Company

couple choosing moving company with atlas moving truck

Choosing the right moving company can be a confusing and frustrating process for homeowners and renters. The stakes are high; picking the right mover can drastically reduce the stress associated with moving. To help make your move as smooth as possible, here are eight important things you should always look for when choosing a moving company.

1. Necessary Licenses

Make sure that the business is legitimate and authorized to act as a moving company in the state they are based out of. Also, ensure that all drivers are licensed, especially on trips where the moving truck will be traveling alone to the new home. An unlicensed driver runs the risk of getting caught and, in a worst-case scenario, could be forced to abandon the truck on the side of a highway while the company tracks down a new driver.

2. Insurance

Is the company insured? Will somebody pay to replace household goods if the moving truck is damaged or burglarized? With the ease of access to online classified sites, many people who happen to own trucks are running unlicensed moving businesses on weekends. These unregulated individuals increase the risk of insurance hassles if anything happens to the payload while in transport.

3. Experience

Every company has to start somewhere, but no client wants their personal belongings to be the guinea pig. Always go with a reputable moving company that has been in the industry for at least five years. Don’t be afraid to verify those years of experience, either. Ask for a list of references, conduct a bit of internet research, and generally do what you can to verify that the company is trustworthy.

4. Moving Specialties

Every industry is full of specialties, and the moving industry is no exception. Some companies focus solely on local, in-town moves; others specialize in international relocation. Some movers offer “do it yourself” moves, allowing clients to pack their own household goods and/or drive to the destination on their own. It is important to understand what kind of mover each company you’re considering is, because hiring a mover for a job that’s outside of their specialty can be more expensive than hiring one who specializes in the type of move you need.

5. Availability

Clients should make sure that their moving company provides a firm date and time for when they will be available to move their household goods. This is especially important when a client requires possession of their goods by a specific date and time, as is often the case for small business owners and those who work out of a home office. Availability and clear communication can help avoid any schedule conflicts between the moving company and the client.

6. Budget

Is it possible to find a good mover at a reasonable price? Yes. Once you know you’re moving, start to shop around for a moving company that fits into your price range. Just keep in mind this timeless advice: you usually get what you pay for.

7. In-Person Estimate

Online estimates and telephone estimates are never guaranteed. Instead, seek out a moving company that is willing to provide a free, in-person estimate. Also, don’t be afraid to get estimates from more than one company. Multiple estimates will give you a better indication of reasonable pricing. This process can also help you discern which movers are honest and which ones are price gougers.

8. Written Contract

Legitimate moving companies will offer a written contract to the client outlining the responsibilities of both parties. Clients should read the contract fully and ensure that they understand it. This will prevent any surprises should anything unexpected happen during the move.

Most people hate moving, even if the move is for the better. The daunting process of packing everything up, loading it onto a big truck, and unloading it at the new house or apartment just tends to cloud a person’s outlook on their move. While there is no way to avoid these parts of moving, there are ways to reduce the amount of stress involved. Choosing the right moving company for your move is one of the best ways to ensure a less stressful experience.

The One Key Thing to Look for in Your Moving Company

Atlas moving truck operator with couple

Moving ranks as one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever go through. The sheer volume of work—packing, transporting, and rearranging all of your possessions in a new space—is undeniably daunting. It can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a two or three bedroom house. Moving your kids and getting settled into new schools and jobs only adds to the stress and exhaustion. It certainly doesn’t help if you’re also worried about the quality and service of your moving company the whole time.

Luckily, finding a reputable, professional moving company is not as difficult as you may think. By following a few simple guidelines and remembering to look for one super important key quality, you can take the stress out of your next move.

Choose Experienced Movers

As many philosophers will advise you, experience is the key to solving life’s difficulties—and that definitely applies to moving. Safely transporting a lifetime’s worth of furniture and belongings to a new home is a difficult, complex process.

The best moving companies advertise their years of experience, rather than rock-bottom prices. Fly-by-night affairs that trumpet their cheap rates usually also have a tendency to misplace items or provide poor customer service. No matter how little they may charge, the high amount of stress that they cause is never worth the price. There are plenty of other ways to save money on your move. Hiring an inexperienced company simply isn’t worth the risk. In the middle of a big move, with so much already on your mind, you need an experienced moving company you can trust.

Moving Company Connections

A trustworthy mover’s principal occupation is the art of transport. Generally, moving companies that have existed for decades will have built ties with the local community and business circles. This ensures that movers stay motivated to continue providing excellent service to all their customers.

Professional moving companies make moving their priority, so that you can focus on all the other challenges associated with this major life event. The finest moving companies often form multi-state affiliations or networks with other reputable moving companies, allowing for a smooth transition across state lines. No matter where you’re going, a great moving company will be able to provide you with solid service through its time-honored, trusted network of associates.

Family Values

Ultimately, the best way to choose a moving company is to think of them as a temporary branch of your family. These are people who will be helping you relocate your life. Like family, you want to be around people who value the same things you do: commitment, honesty, and professionalism.

Always avoid the cheapest listings when it comes to selecting your moving company. These companies only want your money, and don’t want to do the work to earn it. Instead, select a company that can literally deliver on its promises, backed by years of accumulated experience and a solid reputation.

Why add to the stress of moving? If you hire an experienced, community-based relocation service, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time, money, and stress.

San Jose Moving Companies

San Jose Moving Companies

San Jose Moving Companies

 

San Jose moving companies

San Jose, or the capital of Silicon Valley, is abuzz with numerous high tech companies contributing to the nation’s economy. Companies such as Adobe, Cisco Systems, eBay, Becton Dickinson, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Qualcomm, Samsung, TiVo, and many others have headquarters and/or offices in San Jose.

Usually people move in to and out of San Jose for better job opportunities amongst many other reasons. In fact, San Jose has been selected as the number one city in Forbes’ list of The Best Cities For Jobs in 2014. It also has one of the highest costs of living in the country. Some of the more popular neighborhoods in San Jose are Downtown, West San Jose, Santa Teresa, Japantown, Silver Creek, and Willow Glen.

When you are moving you get what you pay for.  Moving can be very overwhelming. It can get very tedious to choose the best from a multitude of San Jose moving companies.

San Jose, California

San Jose, California

If yours is a company sponsored move, it is highly likely that your company has selected the most professional of the San Jose moving companies. If you are given an allowance, you may sometimes have to look for a moving company yourself.  The key to a stress free move is good research, planning, and preparation.

We have great eBooks that can help and guide you on every step of the move until you are settled. These eBooks contain relevant moving tips as suggested by expert and professional movers with experience of over 40 years in the moving industry. The eBooks have gone into great detail and provide very helpful information.

To access these eBooks, please click here

 

Affordable Movers in Austin

Affordable Movers in Austin

Affordable Movers in Austin

Austin is one of the most diverse and lively metropolitan cities in the state of Texas.  People move into, out of and around Texas for better job opportunities or for personal reasons.  When moving, some may choose the cheapest or the most affordable movers in Austin that they can find.  However it is important to keep in mind that our belongings weren’t cheap.

We usually buy things that we like, are appealing to us, or fit our home decor.  We don’t always just buy the cheapest things for our home.  But when it comes to moving, we want the most affordable movers in Austin. Good quality moving may not necessarily be the cheapest.
Moving is very overwhelming and emotionally draining.  It is very important to choose professional movers of the highest quality to move all our belongings.  This is certainly not a time to choose one of the cheapest or the most affordable movers in Austin.  You don’t want your belongings to be broken, damaged, lost or even held hostage by these self-proclaimed affordable movers.

The movers who claim to be cheap or affordable movers in Austin may offer quotes via the web or over the phone.  But legally, the only way a moving company can provide a binding quote is by performing an in-person survey of the items to be moved from a particular area.  Print out the list of 10 questions that you must ask a moving company before you select one.

Most of the affordable moving companies in Austin are legitimate.  But there are a small number of these affordable movers in Austin who are dishonest and rogue.  Click here to know how you can identify these fraudulent moving companies.

Find out more about Ace Relocation systems Austin office on our website.

Happy Moving!

Affordable Movers in Seattle


Affordable movers in Seattle

Affordable movers in Seattle

 

Did you know that the beautiful, lush and evergreen forests have earned Seattle, the nickname ‘The Emerald City’?  Seattle is also home to many large corporations such as Starbucks, Jones Soda, Amazon, Zillow and Microsoft. People are always moving into, out of and around the Puget Sound area. When it comes to relocating, most of us tend to choose the cheapest or most affordable movers in Seattle.

Moving has been documented as one of the most stressful times in a person’s lives. It can be emotionally draining and exhausting. Most of the affordable moving companies in Seattle are professional and deliver on their commitments.  However in the guise of being “affordable movers in Seattle”, some moving companies want to take undue advantage of one your most stressful times to make a quick buck. Sometimes, choosing one of the cheapest or most affordable movers may come at the cost of quality.

It is easy to fall prey to the allure of saving a few bucks. After all you get what you pay for. When it comes to our belongings, it is better to be safe than sorry, as they were acquired through hard earned dollars. Click here to read about ways to identify the rogue movers who claim to be the most affordable movers.

A quick online search showed a range of complaints from consumers who chose some of the most affordable movers in Seattle. Some of them are listed below:

  • Damaged goods
  • Being charged much higher the original estimate given
  • Delayed delivery
  • Lost goods
  • Goods being held hostage until the customer pays thousands of dollars

While most affordable moving companies in Seattle are genuine, it is very important that you do your due diligence and research them before arriving at a decision.

Click here to find out what you need to look for in a moving company, as shared by one of our expert relocation consultants.

Happy Moving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Biggest Moving Mistakes to Avoid

5 biggest moving mistakes to avoid

Here are the 5 biggest moving mistakes to avoid. These tips will help you before and during your move to make the best and smartest decisions and prevent you from getting scammed. 

1. DIY

People underestimate how hard moving can be. There are many pitfalls to (Do It Yourself) DIY moving. The most common ones are: the potential damage to goods, the time needed to pack, load, move and unpack and of course the stress of moving.

2. Getting quotes over the phone

This may work if you have a small move but in most cases getting a quote over the phone is never a good idea. When talking to a moving company, insist on an in-home estimate or video survey. In order to get an accurate estimate the consultant needs to see everything you are planning to move.

3. Moving during busy season

With 40 million Americans relocating each year, there can be times of the year when its super busy. Summer is the busiest time of the year to move mostly because the kids are out of school and no snow. The two most popular times to move are around Memorial Day and Labor Day. The best idea for people is either not move during busy season or, if they have to, book a mover at least 4-6 months in advance.

4. Not looking more into insurance

 During a move things can go wrong. The box with your favorite china set was accidentally dropped and broken. Who is going to pay for that, if your mover doesn’t have insurance? The sad truth is no one. If you don’t want your beloved belongings to get damaged and not replaced then the best advice is to investigate if the moving company provides insurance before you commit to the big move.

5. The dramatically low quote

Anyone who gives you a quote that is 25-40% lower than other quotes is likely scamming you. The case that usually happens is that you get the quote now and then all of a sudden extra charges start piling up and end up costing you more than the estimates you received from other movers. Even worse, if you don’t pay the quote they can hold your belongings hostage.

Warning Signs of Rogue Moving Companies

Being aware of the warning signs of rogue moving companies is the best way to avoid them. These unreliable and dishonest movers often end up charging more than originally quoted before delivering your possessions, ultimately keeping your goods “hostage” until you pay.

These are “The Warning Signs” of rogue moving companies to watch out for:

No Formal Examination

A representative does not come to your home to view your household goods, and instead gives an estimate over the phone or internet. These estimates often sound (and are!) too good to fulfill.

Collect Money First

You might be demanded to give cash or a large deposit before the move.

No Information provided about “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”

Movers are required to give you a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” by Federal regulations. Be sure that the mover gives it to you when you are in the planning stages of interstate moves.

No Local Address, License or Insurance

If you cannot find the moving company’s local address and information about licensing or insurance on the mover’s Web site, it is definitely a warning sign!

Suspicious Assertion

The mover assures you the all goods are covered by their insurance.

No Company Name

The mover answers the phone with “Movers” or “Moving Company”, instead of saying the company’s name.

Poor Office Conditions

The office and warehouse are in poor condition or even nonexistent.

Generic Rental Truck

The mover doesn’t have their own trucks and they use unmarked fleet trucks.

If you pay attention to all of these factors you will be able to weed out all rogue moving companies that will ruin your relocation process.

 

Source: The Household Goods Program

https://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer/awareness/protect/red-flags.htm

Helping Real Estate Clients Find a Mover

Once a property has been sold, real estate clients will often look to their agents for advice on hiring a mover.  Before offering their advice, agents should make sure that the moving companies they discuss are the best companies for the job.  Several factors will determine whether or not a company should be hired, including the specific needs of the individual client, the cost efficiency of each company, and the history of the moving company in question.

Real estate agents know that no two clients are exactly the same.  Each client will have different needs, concerns, requirements, and standards.  When offering their advice, real estate agents should ensure they only discuss moving companies that have the resources to actually meet their client’s expectations.  Whether it’s assistance with packing a large antique collection or maneuvering through foreign customs and security requirements, the moving company eventually selected will have a major impact on the outcome of the entire move.

Real estate agents should ensure that the services they recommend are cost effective to their clients.  By determining the spending limits of their clients, agents will be able to help their clients find a professional moving company that can offer quality services within their budget.  Clients should be reminded to collect bids from as many quality and affordable moving companies as possible and to only make their final selection from their top three to five bids.

Service history will also be a big factor when deciding what moving company real estate agents should recommend to their clients.  Helping clients get in touch with moving company references will offer a tremendous amount of help when the client is ready to hire a mover.  Instead of recommending references from all types of past clients, agents should advise their clients to look for references from individuals in situations similar to their own.  For example, real estate agents representing large families selling a large home should only recommend references from other large families, not single persons occupying small apartments or condos.  Only another large family would be able to offer the most honest review of past moving services as they pertain to large family units.

Feds Move in on Moving Frauds

Online fraudsters posing as licensed moving companies have been the target of recent investigations conducted by state and federal agencies across the country.  These fraudulent moving companies have been accused of providing false estimates and even holding property hostage.  Law enforcement agents in states including California, New Jersey, and Illinois conducted undercover operations against the illegitimate movers over the last two years, resulting in several hundred citations and 25 charges of operating a moving company without proper licensing.

The good news for consumers is that investigators have already shut down several illegitimate moving companies and appear to be pursuing these fraudsters to the fullest extent of the law.  By taking an active stance against fraudulent moving companies, federal and state governments, along with various private industry trade organizations, hope to clear the moving industry of as many rogue business operators as possible.

According to Linda Bauer Darr, president and CEO of the American Moving and Storage Association, these fraudulent moving companies are more likely to rip off consumers than their legitimate competitors.  In some cases, illegitimate moving companies have been known to charge clients up to double their original estimates and have even gone so far as to hold their client’s personal property hostage until their egregious fees have been paid.

The two best ways for consumers to remain protected against dishonest movers is to deal directly with moving companies and to always check applicable business licenses.  Moving brokers acting as middle men between movers and consumers drive up costs with administrative fees while unlicensed movers provide no protection to the consumer should any of their property be lost or damaged while in transit.  Consumers should contact their state business licensing authority to determine whether or not the company they want to hire maintains all of the necessary licenses and whether or not any major complaints against the company have been filed.