I am often asked the question, "How do I know if my mover is legitimate?" The essence
of this questions needs to be extracted a little further. Do you want to know if
your mover is a good, reliable, and dependable mover, or do you want to know if
your mover actually exists (not a scam)? Knowing if your mover is the former takes
more than a little analysis. The main issue here is that your definition of "good,
reliable, and dependable" could vary from person to person - you might read 1 negative
review and 1 positive review on a particular mover, each person having a different
experience based on their personal expectations. So for the sake of simplicity,
in this article we are going to focus on the latter question - "How do I know if
my mover exists and is not a purely imaginative moving company solely existing to
scam me?" The big caveat here is that even if a moving company exists, they still
may partake is "scammy" business practices. So we'll distill this question down
to the pure base facts -
"Does this mover exist"?
The first and main thing you can do is verify and validate the license of your mover.
A Long Distance mover (a mover who performs moves between at least 2 states), needs
to hold a license issued by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
A Local mover (a mover who performs moves within 1 state), needs to hold a license
issued by the state they operate out of. If your mover holds the proper license,
there is a good chance (but not guaranteed) they exist (a real moving company that
performs moves). Though having a license is not a be all end all in knowing if you
have a real mover, it is the first step in the research process. If the mover does
not have a license, you can just forget about that mover at the outset.
If you manage to track down and verify a mover's license, there are a few other
things you can do to verify their existence. Sites like BBB, Yelp, and Angie's List
are a great way to get another level of verification to see not only the mover's
ratings and reviews, but also personal information about the company (such as how
long they have been operating for). You can also perform a simple Google search
to see if anything suspicious about the particular mover shows up (such as heavy
complaints on Rip Off Report).
So while knowing the reliability of a mover is difficult to achieve, simply seeing
if they are a real moving company is something you can easily research on your own.