Q. We're looking for a reliable moving company for an August move, but no one we know has been able to recommend one. What can we do to find a good mover?
A. Our best advice is to get written estimates from at least three moving companies. The estimate should be based on an inspection of your household goods. Be cautious if the mover doesn't offer or agree to an on-site inspection before giving an estimate. Make sure each moving company has an address on its estimate, not just a phone number and/or Web site. Consider it a red flag if the mover's phone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving Company” rather than the company's name. Make sure the mover has insurance and is licensed. You can double-check a mover's license on www.protectyourmove.gov.
The company also should provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Federal regulations require movers give customers this booklet when they're in the planning stages of interstate moves. Ask for it if the mover doesn't provide it. Consider it a red flag if the mover demands cash or a large deposit before the move or claims all your goods are covered by the company's insurance.