May 27th, 2013

Finding A Moving Company In Easy Steps (Part 2)

In Part 1 you compiled a list of local movers and now you can move on to the second stage.

Researching the companies on your list:

There are several ways that you can use the internet to research the companies on your list but there are four searches that should be compulsory.

1. Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Let’s say you are researching Astro Moving & Storage, you live in Albany, NY and your Zip is 12203.

First you have to find the BBB that covers your region by entering your Zip Code in the search form on this page http://www.bbb.org/us/find-a-bbb/. You will see that there is a link for the BBB of Upstate New York http://upstateny.bbb.org/. On their home page is a link “Check Out a Business” (or similar it may be different for some regional BBBs). Go to the page and enter the business name Astro Moving & Storage in the search form. Once you are on the business review page for the company you will see (in this case) that it is a BBB accredited business. However you will also see that there have been 18 complaints in last 3 years and it is only rated B+. Cross off your list any company that is not rated A or A+ by the Better Business Bureau.

2. Yelp

Let’s say you are researching Puma Moving Company and you live in Excelsior, San Francisco, CA.

Go to the Yelp home page http://www.yelp.com/ and enter Puma Moving Company into the FIND search box and San Francisco into the NEAR search box. Search and the company will appear at the top of the page of a list of companies. Click on the company name to go to the relevant Yelp page and you will see it has a 5.0 Star Rating with 91 reviews which is a very good result. However cross off your list any company that does not have a 4.5 to 5 star rating or has only a handful of reviews.

3. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces Federal consumer protection regulations related to household moves that cross State lines. So this check is only if you are planning an interstate move. Let’s say you are researching JK Moving and Storage for this purpose.

Go to the FMCSA search page http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/hhg/Search.asp and enter the first part of the company name and it should take you to the relevant page. You will see a lot of useful information including details of complaints, safety data and licensing and insurance details (example). The search by company name is not very good on this site and there is a good chance that you will see the message “No Household Good carriers found for selection”. However moving companies registered with the FMCSA must have a USDOT number and using this number can provide a better search experience. You should be able to find the USDOT number easily on the moving company’s website but if not call the FMCSA Information Line 1-800-832-5660 and ask for assistance. On no account miss out this piece of research if you are planning an interstate move.

4. MovingScam.com

Searching on MovingScam.com is not as essential as searching on the three previous sites and it also requires some selective interpretation. To make it easier there is a search box below, just enter the company name and view the results. There will be a lot of very old reviews appearing in the results and these should be ignored. Try adding a year to your search, such as “2012” to bring up more recent results. Be warned this site has been going since 2001 and there probably isn’t a moving company that does not have at least one bad review. Interpret the results with care.


Aim to have three companies remaining from your original list and you can move on to the third stage – contacting companies on your short list.

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