The Most Common Pitfalls of the Moving Industry and How to Avoid Them

The moving industry, like any other industry, has its pitfalls. No one wants to feel like they were taken advantage of and no one wants to lose money on something that they did not understand. This is why we believe you should educate yourself about some things to watch out for before deciding on one of the long distance moving companies you will use. Finally always check with consumer review sites like Yelp or Google Reviews before deciding on a moving company to help you out.  

A Lack of Licensing

After a truck reaches a certain size, usually 24 feet or more, they are Federally required to have, and display, a DOT #. Many new moving companies who advertise their services on small ad sites do not have this license. The issues with this could vary, but examples may include the movers don’t arrive with your items, they are stopped by the Department of Transportation resulting in their truck, and your goods, being impounded.

Frequent Changing of Names

Many review sites display information on undesirable movers which often causes them to change their name; thereby, escape the poor reputation they have built. Apart from using review sites to find a moving company, you can ask a company for their DOT # and then attempt to match the company on the FMSCA website. Often the company will be using the same DOT # under a different company name.

Hidden Fees

Most reputable moving companies will give you an hourly or flat rate that is competitive to other companies. You may be asked to sign paperwork that includes fine print on the back. One common “scam” that happens is the crew will load valuable items first. When they arrive at your destination and unload three quarters of the truck, they might then tell you that you have incurred additional fees for things like: fuel, blankets, stairs, shrink wrap, etc. You may be told that you agreed to these terms and if you don’t pay, you will not get your belongings. If you allow them to drive away with your items, you may then have to pay storage fees while you try to resolve the situation with the company. Ultimately, look for a moving company that does not have any fine print or hidden fees.

Per Piece Pricing

Nothing is wrong with per piece pricing as long as you remember to discuss all of your items that will be moved. For example when you talk with a moving company on the phone they might ask you for a general list of items. If you fail to include a number of items, on the day of the move, these extra pieces could be billed to you at a high fee. Before you list your goods to be moved, be sure to think about items in the garage, basement, attic, closet, spare rooms, shed, and anywhere else that could be “out of sight out of mind”.

DIY Moving

You might be thinking about moving your items on your own. Apart from the risk of injury, there is a chance of paying a DIY company more than you would pay a professional moving company. Many of these truck leasing companies do not include insurance on your items or the vehicle. In addition to the base fee, you may incur various surcharges and taxes. Cleaning and refueling fees might also be added to your bill. It is not uncommon for these companies to require you to drop off the truck at the same location or pay an extra fee to drop it off at a different branch. In addition to the fees, many of these companies do not offer trucks that can fit the belongings of someone who is moving out of an average 2000 square foot home. The wrong sized truck could cost you money and time that you might not have.


Many people assume that insurance is included when they use a licensed moving company. Generally movers will only include standard insurance that is required by laws and the DOT. There might also be limits on what is covered. Make sure you understand what type of insurance is included in your quote and ask about whether or not you can purchase third party full or replacement coverage.