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Avoid moving company scams when relocating home to home

Consumers filed more than 11,100 complaints with the Better Business Bureau nationwide. Nationally, moving companies rank among the top BBB complaint categories.

“When moving during the busiest moving time of the year, taking extra precautions when choosing a mover is imperative,” said the NE California BBB, in an email. “Know who runs the business, where it’s located and ensure you know who is handling your personal and important possessions.”

Get recommendations from friends or family. Check a company’s complaint history through the Better Business Bureau and its licensing status through state or federal agencies.

One mistake that consumers make is going on the internet to choose a moving company. It is highly suggested to deal with brick and mortar companies, meaning those that have physical real estate. Visit the office to get a feel for their professionalism.

Get at estimator to visit your home and get at least three estimates  Avoid firms that advertise on the internet who ask to you fill out a form and describe your homes inventory.

When the move is less than 100 miles, you should be charged by an hourly rate. For longer-distance and out-of-state moves, you’ll be charged by weight and mileage. Some companies have minimums such as the number of hours and the weight of the inventory.

Compare the estimated bids. Companies are required to provide a maximum price in writing on what it’ll cost, door to door. Before the first piece of furniture is loaded on their truck, the consumer should get a ‘Not-to-Exceed’ price. It defines the maximum they can charge.

Be sure to have a written inventory list. You and the moving company will list all the major items and their current condition. If any item is already nicked or damaged that should be noted.

Under federal law, moving companies are liable if they damage an item during a move. It’s 60 cents per pound, per item. The coverage should be included in your moving estimate. However, that might not be enough of coverage if you have antiques or valuable items. You can get additional coverage. Movers typically offer replacement or cash value coverage against loss or damage. Also, see if damages are covered with your home owner insurance policy.

Remember not to load anything onto the moving truck that’s personally valuable. Take your jewelry, important documents, photos, business records in your personal vehicle.

Use your phone book to locate the Florida moving companies in your area. Then take the time to visit them after you get at least 3 estimates.

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