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BBB issues advice for National Moving Month with tips on picking a moving co.

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

May is National Moving Month and it marks the start of the high season for moving, according to the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 37 million Americans move per year.  

Unfortunately, not all of these moves go as planned, so the BBB has advice to help make your move hassle-free.

"Moving is one of the most stressful events in a person's life," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy in the news release. "It's very difficult to watch a truck drive away with all of your personal possessions, and trust that the company is going to deliver everything you own to your new location in the same condition."

In the past 36 months, 59,267 consumers checked local moving companies out with the BBB.

During the same time period, consumers filed 203 complaints with the BBB against local moving companies.

Of the 203 complaints, 41 complaints were either unresolved or unanswered by the moving companies.

"Complaints primarily focus on damaged or lost goods, damage to the consumer's home during the move and final prices exceeding original estimates," added Bartholomy.


There are 155 moving companies based in the Southern Piedmont area of the Carolinas.

Local movers with the worst BBB records include:

1.    Metro Move (BBB grade F), has 15 total complaints, of which five are unanswered and five were unresolved.

2.    Strong Arm Movers (BBB grade F) has five total complaints, and all five are unanswered.

3.    2 Strong Movers (BBB grade F) has five total complaints, of which four are unanswered.

4.    Moving & Labor Professionals (BBB grade F) has 4 total complaints, of which two are unanswered and two are unresolved.

"Anyone with a rented truck can claim to be a mover," said Bartholomy. "You need to do your homework before you move so that you can avoid a moving mess during your move."

Checking out a mover is quick and easy at BBB.org. Last year, more than 1.7 million consumers nationwide checked out moving companies with the BBB so that they could find reputable moving companies that are licensed, bonded, insured, and have good BBB ratings.

If you are planning a move, the BBB has this advice:
•    Do your homework. Check the moving company's Business Review with the BBB.
•    Get a written contract. Carefully read the terms and conditions of the contract, as well as the limits of liability and any disclaimers. Make sure pick-up and delivery dates or delivery ‘windows' are spelled out.
•    Verify licensing. While state regulations vary, all interstate movers must, at minimum, be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and are assigned a motor carrier number you can verify.
•    Confirm insurance coverage – Ask the company for a copy of its Certificate of Insurance to verify that the mover is insured.
•    Get at least three in-home estimates. No legitimate mover will offer to give you a firm estimate on-line or over the telephone. Also, keep in mind that the lowest estimate can be a ‘low-ball offer' which can cost you more in the end.
•    Know your rights. Research your rights as a consumer in the state you currently reside and in the state where you are moving.
•    Call the police if your moving company holds your belongings hostage in order to make you pay more than the agreed upon contract price.

For more information, please visit the American Moving & Storage Association, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the BBB.

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