What Are Some Red Flags With Long-Distance Movers?

When facing an upcoming residential move in the San Francisco area, this can certainly be an exciting yet overwhelming time. Embarking on this journey can be a wild ride, especially if you are moving over a long distance. With this type of move, there are many moving parts, with many things that can go wrong.

The key to ensuring a seamless relocation is to hire reputable long-distance movers who handle this type of moves every single day. Professional movers will ensure that all aspects of your relocation, from packing to unpacking, will be a success from start to finish. Sadly, there are a lot of movers out there, and they’re not all gems. Many are fly-by-night companies that set up shop quickly and can be gone just as quickly once their scams are discovered. Other companies, while not scammers per se, may just be inexperienced or unable to provide you with the quality services you need.

You know you have to do your research before choosing movers, but how do you know what to look out for? Here are some of the red flags you may encounter when searching for long-distance movers in your area.

Warning Signs

When vetting your long-distance moving companies, be on the lookout for movers who…

  • Are unclear about where they operate out of and what services they offer. You don’t want to hire a mover that isn’t upfront about their headquarters or any physical location that they work out of. A PO box or residential address should raise red flags for you. Make sure they have an actual physical address. Your mover should also be honest with the kinds of services they offer. Some local movers don’t offer long-distance or interstate moves. Others will if you ask, but they don’t do them often. Ideally, you want to choose a mover that specializes in long-distance moves, specifically with the states/cities you’re moving to and from.
  • Can’t address your specific moving needs. Find out what extra services your movers offer. In addition to the actual move itself, many movers also offer add-on services such as packing which you can select for an extra fee. Make sure they offer exactly what you need, whether that’s storage, white glove service or labor only moves.
  • Don’t offer smooth customer service. The customer service team of your moving company are the ones acting as the middle-man between the moving team and the customer. They are the ones you call with a problem, concern or question, and as such, they should be able to thoroughly explain the process and answer your questions. The customer service reps should have intimate knowledge of the moving process so they can easily answer your queries. If the customer service team of a given moving company is lacking in courteous, prompt, knowledgeable behavior, move on.
  • Won’t provide you with a comprehensive project proposal. When calling a few companies, you’ll ask for free quotes. Most companies offer these, no problem. But on top of those free estimates, a mover should be able to provide a comprehensive project proposal or detailed document that outlines the entire process from start to finish. It should also contain a break-down of fees, a timeline for completion, and contingency plans if need be. This will keep you in the loop at all stages so you don’t have to wonder what’s going on.
  • Can’t assist you in the specifics of your move. When a mover says they offer “packing services,” don’t assume their definition of packing is the same as yours. Some will bring all the moving supplies and give you packing tips, but they don’t actually execute the task. Others will bring all the supplies and pack everything up for you using the appropriate boxes, bags, blankets and more. Some movers will pack for you but won’t unpack once in the new home. If you need a comprehensive packing and unpacking job, be sure to be up front with your needs. If they can’t commit to helping you with the things you need, keep looking for one who can.
  • Can’t give you a proper quote. Not all quotes and estimates are the same. Some movers will give you a basic price over the phone. Others will provide a detailed written quote that explains every line item. Others movers do something in between. You want the most detailed quote possible to avoid surprises later on. When you receive a quote from a mover, go over it line by line and ask questions if something doesn’t sound right. If your mover only tells you a price over the phone, ask if they will come out to your home and give you a more detailed quote. This is really the only way that the movers can provide an accurate price. If they refuse, continue in your search.
  • Don’t offer insurance. Your mover should have insurance on the company itself, as well as offer you moving insurance. It isn’t much, and you can always opt to purchase additional insurance, but you should be protected at all times. Especially if you have very valuable items such as antiques or jewelry, insurance will give you peace of mind in the event something goes missing or is damaged during transport.
  • Ask for cash up front. If your movers says they need the whole balance in full in cash, run the other way. You should only be paying a small deposit, with the balance due at the conclusion of the move. Cash should not be required at all, and it definitely shouldn’t be required in full before the actual move.

Contact Dependable Movers

Choosing the long-distance movers here at Dependable Movers is a wise choice. We have been handling these types of relocations for many years, so you can trust us to get you there safely and quickly. Get a FREE quote when you contact usat 415-619-5997.




Thank you so much for taking the time to check out our website. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask. We know moving can be stressful that is why we are here for you.

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