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Moving Company Research 101—Doing A Background Check

Moving Company Research 101—Doing A Background Check
Moving Company Research 101—Doing A Background Check

When you need a moving company, you might be surprised to find how many options are out there. So what can you do to help narrow down the field to the best choice that most suits your needs? Luckily, there’s a few simple tactics you can employ that will ensure you get the best service at the best price.

Research Using A Moving Company's DOT Number

The Department of Transportation issues a registration number to any company that provides moving or hauling services, commonly referred to as a USDOT number. Using this number, you can easily research a company through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) household goods company search. If you are unable to easy locate the USDOT# for a certain company, you can also search the database by name.

A simple search of the FMCSA moving company database can yield some very useful information for anyone considering hiring a moving company. Information that can be found there includes safety ratings, complaint history, how many trucks they have at their disposal, insurance information, and performance metrics.

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Investigate Using The Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau has a very functional and helpful website that can also provide helpful information. 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

It’s important to 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

Look to see if there are any outstanding complaints against a moving company, just 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 moves 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.

Moving Resources

Interstate Moving Companies - A thorough and in-depth article about the ins and outs of the moving industry and what you should expect from a company in terms of service and expertise.

National Consumer Complaint Database - Another great resource that is for filing a complaint against movers, but also has several helpful links and information to help further round out the information you’ll need before hiring a company.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport Serves the World

We ship to locations in all 50 states and countries across the world.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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