As much as we would like to think that everybody has each other’s best interest in mind, that is not always the case. There are always countless stories in the news about companies that scam and steal from people, until they are reported and investigated. This can especially be the case when it comes to unlicensed moving companies.

It is really important to make sure that when you are looking for a moving company that they are registered with the Department of Transportation. If the company that you are looking into is unlicensed, the quote that they give you may not be the actual amount that you pay. We’ve done some research for you about warning signs that hidden costs may be added on when moving with an unlicensed contractor.

Are they insured? Hands down, one of the most important questions to ask of a moving company is for their proof of insurance. Without insurance, you can become liable if any type of injury or accident occurs on your property. Depending on the situation, this could cost way more money than the actual move itself, and can bring a lot of hassle and stress that could have been easily avoided. It is the moving company’s responsibility to make sure they have the proper insurance to keep both their employees and customers like you protected.

Is the price too good to be true? If there is an advertised hourly rate, you should think twice before hiring the company. There are a multitude of reasons why if a moving company is featuring an hourly rate that it should be avoided. They scam customers by offering a flat hourly rate, but at the end will add on extras that can rack up hundreds and even thousands of extra dollars onto your bill. There is no way for them to be able to judge the amount of stuff, the layout of your home, or the difficulty of your move without providing an in-person estimate.They might charge you for your larger furniture after claiming they did not expect to move this, or add the cost of the packing supplies that they offered to provide. An estimate by a moving professional will also decide how many workers will be needed for the job, so they do not show up with additional movers and add the fee of extra labor onto the bill.

Do they provide a contract? Having a contract that states the quote, agreement, and the parameters of your move is one of the best ways to avoid additional moving costs. Go over the contract to find any loopholes with open-ended possibilities to make sure you and your mover are on the same page, cost-wise and service-wise. Be careful for companies that provide contracts but do not breakdown what is included in your moving costs. Unlicensed contractors try to mime what licensed contractors do, but will never be able to provide you all of the proper information that you are searching for.

These are just a few questions that we feel are necessary to ask when looking for a moving company. There have been horror stories of unlicensed contractors holding people’s belongings hostage until they receive the amount of money they are demanding for the move. We want to make sure that you are aware of these possibilities and that you choose a moving company that is looking out for your best interest and will give you a positive and safe moving experience.

At West Coast Moving & Storage, we provide residential, commercial, and long-distance moving, packing, and storage services for furniture and pianos. Feel free to contact us today with any additional questions or concerns that you may have!