Moving Company Research 101—Doing A Background Check


Whenever you apply for a new job, the company is going to try and find out everything they can about you. Many times, this means they are going to conduct a background check. You can do the same thing, by performing a background check on a moving company that you are considering hiring.

Focus On Moving Company’s DOT Number

Most moving companies are going to have a Department of Transportation (DOT) number. Visit the FMCSA website and then investigate the company, finding out their DOT number. This should pull up all types of records and information including the type of insurance they have on file, their license and actual history. The DOT number investigation should start to give you an idea as to how reliable this company might be.

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Investigate Using The BBB

The Better Business Bureau has a very functional and helpful website. According to their own standards, in order for a business to be accepted as a BBB member, they need to meet a number of criteria, including:

  • Honest Advertising
  • Telling the Truth
  • Building Trust with Customers
  • Keeping their Promises
  • Being Transparent
  • Timely Communications
  • Exemplify Integrity
  • Protect Customer Privacy

Just understand that membership, or acceptance, does not mean the BBB is endorsing a particular company. They haven’t done a full evaluation, just made a general assessment regarding some of their business practices.

Search For Complaints

Go ahead and also look to see if there are any outstanding complaints against a moving company. Bear in mind that anyone can file a complaint, so maybe a single issue might not be enough to discredit the company. However, having a long list of unresolved complaints would be a problem. Also, focus on how recent those complaints might be; problems from a long time ago might not be as much of a concern as those filed more recently.

Look At References

You can search on the internet for positive reviews and references for your potential movers. Or, you might even want to ask the company directly for some of their references. Be as professional about this as possible, but check them out. On the other hand, if a ‘reference’ calls or contacts you, treat it with suspicion and a healthy dose of skepticism; it could be the moving company just trying to manipulate you, knowing their record is less than stellar.

Look At Their Stats

Moving companies will be able to provide you with hard information about they have done. This should include things like how long they have been in business, the number of moves they have done (possibly also differentiating between local, interstate, and/or international moves). These can then be checked against other independent sources.

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