Reading this article may take a few minutes of your time, but you will understand how to choose the right long-distance moving company for your move by the end of it.
You are probably searching the internet for the best long-distance moving companies near me for your long-distance move. Finding the right moving company is not an easy task by any means. In 2012, there were over 8,000 consumer complaints just with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) about moving companies not honoring moving estimates, damaged household goods, and extended delivery time frames. Ever since, the number of complaints has increased because the amount of moving brokers has tripled. In many cases, they provide false and misleading information about the long-distance moving process since they are not moving companies and have no clue as to what really happens in the long-distance moving process or how long it takes to transport your goods from state to state, what types of trucks are involved in long-distance moves, or even how to properly collect an inventory list without having an increase of price on your moving date and delivery date.
With over two decades of experience in the moving industry, we at Rocky Movers decided to create the following steps to help you choose the right moving company in Denver for your next long-distance move.
1. The initial call to long-distance moving companies in Denver
When searching for long-distance moving companies in Denver, it is uncertain if you have reached a moving company or a moving broker, so here are some tips and questions that you can ask:
- Are you a moving company or a moving broker?
- Are you a moving company in Denver, CO? (not Denver-based. Red flag!)
- What is your physical address? (do not be lazy! visit them to verify that they are a legitimate Denver moving company and not just a bunch of people working from a rented public storage unit!)
- Do you have a USDOT and MC number? What are they?
- Are you licensed for long-distance movers? (moving companies must be registered and insured with the FMCSA to operate a fleet of truck for interstate moves)
- Do you offer free in-home or video moving estimates? (by law, every local moving company must provide a free in-home estimate within a 50-mile radius from their physical location). If you ask for these options and the moving company refuses or cannot offer one of these options, red flag!
2. The process of receiving a moving estimate from interstate movers in Denver
Once you have completed a video or in-home walkthrough with the moving companies you have chosen for the task, they must provide you with what is called a Binding-Not-To-Exceed quote for your interstate move. Some moving brokers have taken advantage of this term and added to their moving estimates a term they call “Binding Estimate Fee,” which comes with a hefty charge. This is an entirely made-up fee that is not backed up by its valid words of being a proper Binding moving estimate by any means, so if you receive a moving estimate with this made-up fee, red flag!
3. Reading the fine print in a long-distance moving estimate.
In 2013, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) had revised the Rights and Responsibilities booklet (Download PDF), stating that part of the customer’s responsibility is to read all moving documents that a mover or broker has issued. Many people disregard or do not read the fine print and all that matters is the listed cost that the moving company provided; wrong! The fine print of all moving estimates indicates the entire process of your long-distance moves, such as
- What moving services are included
- What moving services are omitted
- Payment and methods of payment
- Delivery schedule
- What cannot be transported by nationwide moving companies
- Potential charges at origin and destination
- Cancellation policy
- A link to the Rights and Responsibilities booklet
A professional and experienced relocation coordinator is committed to you, the customer. To the moving company, one represents to make sure that the entire moving process has been explained and that all questions have been answered to avoid all surprises on potential charges that will cause an increment in your final cost.
4. Ask for referrals
Online reviews are a good indication but are not the best since many consumer websites use filters for reviews. Ask for actual referrals of people that hired the moving company in the past, as well as family members, friends, and co-workers.
5. Red flags to watch out for
There are a few points that could raise a red flag when collecting moving quotes that you should look out for
- Deposit – Local moving companies that consider themselves reputable, will never ask you for more than $100 to reserve a moving date, which is deducted from the final cost of the move and is fully refundable should you decide to cancel your move up to 72 hours before your move date. Moving brokers and questionable moving companies will typically ask for anywhere between 20%-30% deposit to reserve your move, red flag! This “deposit” is their commission for booking the job before they post it on their board for actual long-distance moving companies to service. If you read the fine print, as we have recommended in step 3, you will notice that the chances of getting your deposit back are slim to none with moving brokers.
- Binding Estimate Fee – There is no such fee in the moving industry, red flag!
- Delivery Time Frames – Long distance moving companies that operate their fleet of trucks and semi-trucks will never provide you with an exact delivery date when a moving estimate is provided but with a national delivery time frame of 1-14 business days regardless of if you are moving 500 miles or 3,000 miles. The reason for that is quite simple. Relocation coordinators and estimators are not dispatchers. Scheduling your delivery window depends on several factors, such as
- The first date that you can accept your goods.
- The actual size of your load (consolidation in semi-trucks).
- The city you are moving to (standard or not common route).
- Weather and road conditions, and gov. weight stations.
- If the destination address can accommodate a semi-truck or if a small truck is required.
If you are told that it takes a couple of days for you to receive your goods, red flag!
- Everything is included – No, it is not! Red flag!
Insurance is never included since registered long-distance moving companies are only liable for a Limited Liability Coverage of 60 cents per pound per article. An actual insurance policy, Full-Value Protection, will cost you extra.
Packing fragile items is usually not included unless discussed with the relocation coordinator or estimator and added to the moving estimate.
Shuttle service, flights of stairs, elevator, and long-haul fees, if needed, are not included unless the moving coordinator added it to the moving estimate.
- Methods of payment – Reputable moving companies will provide you with many options to pay for your move, such as debit/ credit card, certified funds, wire transfer. If the only options you are given are cash apps (such as Venmo, Zelle) or cash, red flag!
6. Moving quote – The rule of three
Just like any other significant expense, do not book with the first moving quote you receive. Get more than one moving estimate from reputable moving companies in Denver, and make sure to compare them apples to apples. Look for the things like weight or cubic feet of your shipment, packing services, storage cost, and the potential fees for additional services that the customer may require.
7. Reserving a moving date
Long-distance moving companies in Denver will offer you an exact pickup date for your long-distance move since they have complete control over their operations board and schedule. Moving brokers will provide you with a two-to-three-day pickup window since they have no trucks or employ any movers; they are not the household movers in Denver that will move your household goods for you; red flag! They rely on third-party moving companies or carriers to get the job done. The biggest issue is that you will not know which cross-country moving company will serve you until the actual pickup date. The question that arises is, “will I get service from the best moving companies or the worst?”.
8. Cheap moving companies estimates
We will always encourage you to get multiple long-distance moving estimates to get the best price for your move, but in the moving industry, the cheapest moving estimates are the ones you should steer from the most. For example, if you receive two moving estimates that range between $5,000-$5,500 and one estimate for $3,000, red flag! Compare between moving estimates and make sure all the services you need are included.
As you have realized by now, searching for reliable long-distance moving companies is not a simple task. Rocky Movers is one of the best long-distance moving companies in Denver, serving the entire state of Colorado as well as out-of-state moves. Our Denver movers are professional, courteous, and friendly. We treat your belongings as if they were ours and our in-home and video estimates are always free. We may not always be the cheapest moving company in Denver, but our cross-country moving services are top-notch. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation, in-home, or video estimate.