Last year, the Better Business Bureau received thousands of complaints against movers over lost, stolen or damaged belongings, price hikes and late deliveries. To help you avoid a bad experience, they recommend taking a few precautions.
First, do your homework. Check out mover reviews at BBB.org and make sure they're licensed. State regulations may vary, but interstate movers must be licensed by the federal government. Look them up on ProtectYourMove.gov and Moving.org.
Get at least three in-home price estimates in writing. Don't assume an estimate made online or over the phone will be firm.
Make sure you get a written contract that spells out pick-up and delivery dates.
Consider getting Full Value Protection. It costs more up front, but you'll get a replacement or cash for any lost or damaged belongings. Later this month, regulations go into effect requiring interstate movers to include full value protection in their price quotes.
Finally, know your rights as a consumer. Read more at ProtectYourMove.gov or, if you're staying in-state, check with your local government. If your movers don't hold up their end of the bargain, remember that you can contact law enforcement.