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New Survey Ranks Moving Companies

If you're going to hire a big, full-service moving company, Mayflower Transit looks like your best bet. J.D. Power and Associates, a marketing information company, just released results of its consumer satisfaction survey, and Mayflower pulled in the top score across the board, including overall satisfaction, packing, transportation, loading/unloading, the cost estimate, and insurance options.

Allied Van Lines ranked second among the seven movers in J.D. Powers' report, with scores of "better than most" across the board. Two Men and a Truck, rated average in overall satisfaction. Atlas Van Lines, Bekins Van Lines, North American Van Lines and United Van Lines all scored below average on overall consumer satisfaction.

Keep in mind that the big-name moving companies rely on local affiliates, and it's wise to get references to recent customers from those affiliates before you hire one. You can also find good consumer-savvy advice at the Movingscam Web site.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  August 13, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Buying , Selling  
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"Mayflower pulled in the top score across the board"

They must not have surveyed Baltimore.

Posted by: tegularius | August 13, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

It is important to note that the companies mentioned above are all reputable van lines, who provide service on interstate moves. However, they do not have authority on moves that occur entirely within a single state.

In recent years there has been a growing problem across the country of “rogue operators posing as movers”, who take advantage of unsuspecting customers with lowball estimates, false promises, misleading advertising, and other unscrupulous tactics. These rogues often increase the cost of a move dramatically after a consumer’s goods are loaded, leaving customers with little recourse but to pay the inflated charges to recover their goods.

For intrastate moves (those moves that take place entirely within the same state), it is up to each state to decide how best to regulate the moving industry. For exzample, Maryland is considered an unregulated state because there is no registration requirement, there are very few state regulations, and there is no single state agency available for consumers to research a moving company. As a result, it can be hard for a Maryland consumer to identify a rogue company from a legitimate mover.

To find a reputable local company that you can trust, contact the Maryland Movers Conference at 410-644-4600,

Posted by: sweetlou21114 | August 14, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Following up with advice above from Maryland Movers Conference, please be aware that at least 25 states have moving associations you are encouraged to consult for advice about reputable, licensed, professional movers. For a list of those associations, please visit

DO NOT shop for your mover on the internet.
ALWAYS DO require your mover to come to your home and provide an on-site written estimate.
DO NOT shop Craig's List for your mover.
DO NOT hire your mover from the grocery store bulletin board posting.
DO NOT hire a mover that shows only a cell phone as contact (how do you track him down if something bad happens?)
ALWAYS DO follow up with a thorough investigation of any company you are considering. Your mover's association is the place to start, and state regulatory agencies can help.

For moves crossing state lines, visit the American Moving & Storage Association at and follow up at the federal consumer protection website at

Legitimate, professional movers want you to have a good experience. The bad guys just want your money. Remember, you get what you pay for, and if it sounds too good to be true, it is!

For more information about choosing a mover, contact the Illinois Movers' and Warehousemen's Association at

Posted by: IMAWAPat | August 14, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

We just moved and loved our movers so much, I needed to share: Two Marines and a Truck. They were wonderful: not just prompt, but early, nice guys, nothing was broken (I know that is a low standard, but there was a lot of china and wine and every prior move, stuff has broken), and it cost exactly what was quoted. Really worth looking into (no, not related to them, just a very happy customer).

Posted by: egengle | August 14, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

As a perfect example of the first two posters' comments, the third person's attempt at an advertisement highlights the kind of mover you should not hire. Two Marines may be staffed by former Marines who may be good men, but as a company they cannot legally give you all of the services they offer. On their website they claim to perform long distance moves, however they have no interstate license. They applied to be an auto carrier last year (DOT#1830335), but that application was dismissed. If Two Marines transported goods across states lines (with the exception of directly in the DC metro area), they would violating federal laws.

Posted by: scb77 | August 15, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

"Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is your moving company "licensed?"
It would be more accurate to say that our moving company is "registered." For example, Two Marines & A Truck has been issued a certificate of authority by the federal government to move household goods among any of the 50 states. As a motor carrier, Two Marines & A Truck has maintained a certificate of authority with the US Department of Transportation."

So the correct answer to that question would be "no". This is the kind of roundabout explanations one hears from unlicensed companies purporting to be fully-licensed, legitimate, and worthy moving companies for hire.

Posted by: scb77 | August 15, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

In regards to moving insurance, I recommend I have used their moving insurance policy and although I had no issues with my move, I preferred buying insurance from a third party rather than directly from the movers.


Posted by: gbraun100 | August 17, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

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