Imagine it is moving day in California.
You hired a moving company with the cheapest quote, much cheaper than all the competitors.
They arrive at your house and begin moving all of your belongings into their large truck. They mishandle some of your precious items, but that is expected at this price. Suddenly, one of the movers misses a step and falls, landing hard and breaking his arm. They call an ambulance, and while the delay was annoying, at least he will be ok.
But will you?
Hiring a moving company in California is a crucial decision. If they lack proper insurance, you could be liable for any injury sustained on your property. Not only could a cheap mover cause damage to your belongings and not have coverage, but you could end up paying a whole lot more if there is an accident.
The low price of a moving company could signify that they don’t meet the proper regulations of the State.
So Who Regulates Moving Companies in California?
The California Public Utilities Commission regulates everything when it comes to moving companies. Companies must get permits from the PUC, have proof of insurance, and have completed criminal background checks. The permit proves that they meet specific safety and financial standards. The PUC issues every moving company a Cal-T number, and this number must be made visible on everything that the company uses to communicate with you in writing, including advertisements.
You can use the Cal-T number to check whether the moving company is up to date on all of its requirements. Just call the California PUC, or visit their site at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/. The site has more helpful information that can guide you through your move in the best possible way.
The most important thing that they provide for you is a list of all the moving companies and proof that they have a current permit, insurance, and a physical location. Having a physical location is important. You should visit your moving company to make sure that they are legitimate and that they have quality staff you can trust with your belongings.
If you have a complaint with your moving company, first try to resolve it with them yourself. If they do not entertain you, you can file a formal complaint with the PUC.
Another helpful organization is the California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA). They represent hundreds of licensed moving companies, and they ensure that companies are up to date with all the regulations of the PUC. The CMSA also has associate members who agree to uphold higher standards.
You can call the CMSA or visit their website to find the moving companies that meet all the regulations. You can find them at http://www.thecmsa.org.
If you find a mover just by going to a random site on the internet, while it could be legitimate, it could also be a way of getting around regulations by offering a cheap price. Verify the company with the CMSA and the PUC to make sure that they are following the law.
One of the rules for the moving companies is that they provide you with a price that they will not exceed, in writing before they arrive at your house. If they don’t provide this, they are not following regulations, and would then be allowed to raise the price as high as they want, after seeing what they have to move.
If you want to avoid potential damage or devastating loss during your move, make sure you carefully validate the legitimacy of your moving company. California has clear regulations as defined by the Public Utilities Commission, and it is easy to find out whether companies are up to date on their requirements. Merely contacting the PUC could prevent disaster when you decide to move.