Uncovering the Challenges Associated with Moving BrokersIf you’re about to embark on a move, you might want to steer clear of those sneaky moving brokers. Sure, they might seem like a good idea at first, but before you know it, you’ll be knee-deep in a nightmare move. But don’t just take our word for it, the internet is chock-full of horror stories involving these middlemen. Even the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, led by Senator Jay Rockefeller IV, underscores their dangers and potential risks in a 2012 Senate heating report. Now, we know what you’re thinking: “But wait, some of the big-name van lines are also licensed as brokers.” “Who do we trust?” Well, the answer is simple: avoid companies that are only licensed as brokers and stick to the ones that are licensed as both carriers and brokers. These companies should be evaluated in the same way as any other moving company. And don’t worry, in this post, we’ll give you the lowdown on how to avoid those shady moving brokers and define exactly what a moving broker is.
What is a Moving Broker?Moving brokers, the matchmakers of the moving world. They’re like the dating app of the moving industry, they connect you to your perfect moving company, but they’re not the ones actually doing the heavy lifting. They’re just the middlemen, booking the move and then handing you off to a third-party mover. But just like any dating app, not all brokers are legitimate. Some are great and work closely with the moving company to make sure everything runs smoothly, but others, well, let’s just say they’re not in it for the long haul. They’re more interested in making a quick sale and leaving out all the important details, just so they can quote you a lower price. And then, on moving day, surprise, surprise, the price goes up. Be warned, that’s a problem you do not want to experience.
Why Hire A Broker When Moving?We all want convenience and a good deal. That’s why some people hire moving brokers to do the heavy lifting and quote-hunting for them. After all, who has the time to contact a bunch of different moving companies? Nobody! Below are some of the advantages of hiring a broker:
- Affordable Prices – brokers often have access to special discounts and can help you find the best deal.
- Robust network of service – a broker’s extensive network of movers offers the ultimate reassurance that your move will be completed on time, even if an unexpected problem arises. Should a truck break down or there is an unavoidable delay, they can easily find another mover to pick up where their partner left off – giving you peace of mind and eliminating any worry about canceling your move!
- Reliable – brokers can advocate for you if something doesn’t go as planned, using their leverage over the moving company by threatening to discontinue sending them jobs.
- Hidden Fees: Most dishonest moving brokers will quote a low price but then charge extra fees for services like storage, packing materials, and additional labor.
- Lack of Liability – while they are responsible for booking the move, they don’t always have insurance or liability coverage to protect your items in case of damage or loss.
- Poor Customer Service – dishonest brokers are often unresponsive and won’t answer your questions, which can lead to a stressful and overwhelming moving experience.
How can I determine if a business is a broker?Want to make sure your moving company is the real deal? The FMCSA’s SAFER mover database is your go-to for quickly checking a company’s credibility. If they’re a licensed broker, they’ll have a DOT# and MC# that you can easily find on their estimate paperwork or website. Just pop one of those numbers into the SAFER database and voila! You’ll know if they’re a legit moving company or just a shady broker. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for Entity Type: and Operating Status: in the database. A real moving company will have “HHG” listed, so watch out for imposters! It’s not difficult to spot a scam when you’re looking at one: companies that specialize in pure moving services typically have flashy websites and slick salespeople. It can be easy for them to entice you into signing an agreement with their business, but this is the last thing you should do! These companies usually provide shoddy service and employ a variety of dodgy sales techniques which should be avoided at all costs. Why waste time talking to a middleman when you can get your move done faster by cutting out the middleman? Make sure you do your research and find a company with both licenses – one to broker and one to perform – so you can avoid any snags during the process. No brokerage fees, no headaches.
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