ICC Offers Smart Tips for Hiring a Household Goods Mover
Chicago, IL (STL.News) Spring is prime moving season in Illinois and an opportunity for dishonest or rogue movers to take advantage of consumers. The Illinois Commerce Commission is urging residents planning a move to a new home to prepare well by researching the moving company before packing any boxes.
Consumers can check to see if a household goods mover is properly licensed to operate in Illinois and check the number of complaints filed against each company through the ICC website by clicking here. This information can also be obtained by calling the ICC at 217-782-6448. Intra-state moving companies in Illinois must be licensed by the ICC. If you are putting your property into storage, be sure the warehouse is licensed by the ICC and if you are moving to another state, the mover must be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which can be checked here.
Here are a few ICC Smart Tips to follow before hiring a mover:
• Get recommendations from friends, relatives, and coworkers.
• Do not choose a company that only advertises a phone number.
• Ask the mover to visit your home and to provide a written estimate. If you can, show them the contents of every room, closet, attic, cellar, and garage you want moved, and talk about what they can expect at the new home. A written quote is not a binding quote, but it will give you a reasonable expectation of what you will be required to pay on moving day.
• Discuss your options for loss and damage protection – get it in writing.
• Call the ICC at 217-782-6448 to verify rates on file.
• On moving day, be prepared to pay 110 percent of the written estimate. The mover cannot hold your goods if you pay the amount on the written estimate, plus 10% if the estimate was too low. You have 30 days to pay the balance due. Paying with a credit card offers more protection.
• If a mover offers ‘freebies’ (cartons, tape, etc.) ask questions to avoid surprises later.
• A legitimate, licensed moving company will not demand cash up front before loading your possessions and tipping is not required. If the crew demands a tip, call the company immediately.
• Start your search at least 6 weeks in advance of your move.
Throughout the year, ICC Police Officers on patrol will issue administrative and court citations to household goods movers for violations ranging from operating without a goods license to driving on a suspended license. Consumers wishing to file a complaint against a household goods mover may do so here.
Copies of various ICC one-page consumer Smart Tip campaign flyers are available by clicking here.