Chicago, IL- April 3, 2012 - Following a few simple rules when selecting a mover will go a long way toward protecting against potential scams this moving season. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) recommends doing homework before selecting a mover.
As we approach the busiest time of the year for changing residences, the BBB encourages consumers to know their rights and the red flags of moving scams. The BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois received 471 complaints during this last 12 month period compared to 354 in the previous 12 months or an increase of 33%.
"Anyone can claim to be a mover, so checking a mover's credentials is critical and easy to do," said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. "Know your rights, and take necessary precautions before turning your precious belongings over to a mover."
The BBB offers the following checklist for finding a trustworthy moving company:
- Research the company thoroughly. While state regulations vary, all interstate movers must, at minimum, be licensed by the federal government and are assigned a motor carrier number you can verify. Get a free BBB Business Review on movers from across North American, including ratings and complaint information at www.bbb.org
- Get at least three written in-home estimates. Not all price-quotes online or over the phone are legitimate. Keep in mind that the lowest estimate can sometimes be an unrealistic low-ball offer, which can cost you more in the end. Get free quotes from BBB Accredited Businesses at www.bbb.org
- Know your rights. Research your rights as a consumer for interstate moves or for moves within Illinois. Also, enlist the help of BBB or local law enforcement if the moving company fails to live up to its promises or threatens to hold your belongings hostage.
- Consider getting full-value protection. It may cost a few dollars more up front, but it may provide some peace of mind and eliminate a headache after your move. Investing in full (replacement) value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made to repair the item or to replace it at its current market value, regardless of age.
Bernas added, “More than 48,000 people contacted the Chicago BBB about movers in the past 12 months. Those kind of numbers show the importance of researching a company before doing business with them.”
For more consumer news you can trust and to check out a mover near you, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.