May is National Moving Month, and when nearly one-third of consumers choose to use a professional moving company to move their items big and small, BBB wants you to be wary of this local moving and storage company.
Unique Moving and Storage is a local company with a D- rating with BBB. The business has a pattern of customer complaints alleging suboptimal customer service, failure to deliver items on time, failure to pick up items on time, heavy damages, and lost or stolen property.
BBB has contacted Unique Moving and Storage twice requesting their voluntary cooperation in providing steps to eliminate the underlying cause of the pattern of customer complaints, but the business has not responded.
In 2016, BBB handled 5,640 complaints against movers, making moving businesses the 24th most complained about type of business nationally.
BBB and the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) offer the following tips on preparing for a move, finding a trustworthy moving company and avoiding scams:
- Do your research. Look up moving companies on bbb.org and on moving.org. Many movers that are BBB Accredited Businesses are also AMSA ProMovers; these companies have pledged to uphold high standards of trust and to resolve complaints quickly. Note the length of time a company has been in business and read reviews from previous customers.
- Get at least three estimates. Written, in-home estimates help you make an informed decision. Show the mover everything that needs to be moved (don’t forget sheds and garages). Be wary of unusually high or low estimates. If someone says they can give you an estimate over the phone or by email, it’s possible they’re trying to scam you.
- Get all agreements in writing. Read everything carefully and make sure you have it all in writing. Get copies of everything you sign, especially the most important document, the bill of lading, which is the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Never sign any blank forms.
- Know your rights. Interstate movers are required by law to provide you with certain information that explains the moving process, as well as your rights and responsibilities during and after the move. Ask for proof of licenses, insurance, etc.
- Protect your possessions. Make sure that your mover provides full-value protection insurance for any lost or damaged possessions. Note that insurance is by the pound, so expensive items such as a flat-panel television may need additional replacement cost coverage in case they are damaged in transit.
- Be wary of unusual requests. If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be a red flag. And if a company says it won’t return your items to you without more money than you agreed to pay, contact BBB or local law enforcement for help.
- Take your valuables with you. Cash, coins, jewelry, photographs and important papers should be taken with you or shipped separately using a shipping service with tracking numbers and insurance.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company can’t or won’t answer your questions, you might want to look for another mover.
Consumers can search for BBB Accredited moving companies at bbb.org. For more information, follow BBB on Facebook, Twitter and at bbb.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.