What you need to know before hiring a moving company

Moving from place to place can be stressful.

If you’re hiring a mover, you’ll want to make sure you hire the right one for the right price. But, the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii warns, the cheapest one might not always be the best one.

BBB Hawaii says its received 33 complaints involving movers within the past year. CEO Greg Dunn says the number-one thing people are doing wrong is not thoroughly researching a company before hiring them.

“In many cases, the folks you are hiring have very bad reputations. They have long histories of defrauding consumers out of money,” he explained.

In Hawaii, moving companies must be registered with the federal government and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, and be licensed with the state. They also need to be insured.

Dunn says some of the most common complaints include damaged or missing items, invoices that were higher than the estimate, as well as items being held hostage in exchange for additional payments not agreed upon in the first place.

“Many of us are working two or three jobs trying to make ends meet, and so we look at price as the determining factor. We look for the cheapest mover to use,” Dunn said.

But that may not always be the best strategy, because what may seem like a great deal upfront may end up costing you more in the end if problems arise with the quality of the work.

Instead, BBB recommends getting at least three quotes, as well as looking at other factors including whether a company has any history of complaints.

“It’s not necessarily the fact that a company may have a complaint against them that’s the problem. What you’re looking for is how they resolve the complaint. Did they work with the consumer to try and find a resolution?” Dunn said.

Some red flags include movers who only accept cash, movers who don’t make an on-site inspection before giving you a quote, movers who don’t give you a written contract, and a moving company that asks you to sign blank or incomplete documents.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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