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Asked by Laura

March 18, 2013 under Moving Companies

the movers i an dealing with is a pack & ship company. no dot or license. is this safe? they are located in austin while i am moving stuff from san antonio to nyc.

Answered by Nicole La Capria

April 16, 2013

Unfortunately, the moving industry is plagued with scams and untrustworthy companies. When hiring an unlicensed mover, you may be making yourself vulnerable to becoming a victim of one of these scams. While not all movers are required to have a US DOT number, if they do not have any operating license at all, it is difficult to be sure they are a legitimate company.

What is a DOT number?

A US DOT number is required of all interstate movers by the FMCSA. Licensing regulations for intrastate carrers will vary, but many companies operating solely within state lines are required to have one as well. Other licensing requirements vary state to state, and some states do not require movers to have any license at all. While being unlicensed does not neccessarily mean the company is illegitimate, it certainly increases your risk.

How Else Can You Check a Company's Record?

Although the company does not have a DOT number for you to track their record on the FMCSA website, there are other available resources to check their reputation.

  • Check the Better Business Bureau. If the company is an accredited business by the BBB, you can check their statistics and view outstanding complaints from customers on the company's record.
  • Ask for customer references. Any legitimate moving company will be more than happy to provide you with references from satisfied customers.
  • Read online reviews. You ca browse through the extensive list of reviews at Movers.com as well as check other websites to determine if this company has a history of professionalism and excellent customer service or a reputation riddled with complaints.

What are the Signs of a Rogue Mover?

There are some basic things to look out for when hiring a moving company to ensure that they are reliable and not rogue movers looking to scam you.

  • Asking for a cash deposit upfront
  • No on-site estimate
  • No physical address
  • Drastically-low estimates
  • Unmarked moving trailer
  • Unprofessional phone ettiquette/poor customer service

If you are considering hiring an unlicensed mover, you may be at risk. You may opt to hire movers because of the low prices they offer, but consider the costly consequences if they wind up being rogue movers, damaging your goods or hiking up your estimate. Exercise the utmost care and caution when hiring any company that is handling something as important as your move and start comparing free quotes from moving companies today at Movers.com.

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