BBB: how many complaints is too many?

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ferretgal
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:18 pm
Location: VA

BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby ferretgal » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:28 pm

Greetings - We are moving from the DC area to CO in April (thank goodness for this website, btw). We have been looking at a number of companies (none blacklisted!) for our move...based largely on recommendations and stories from this site. So far, two have come to give us in-home estimates: one is an independent and one is a national van line (since we haven't chosed a company yet, I'll leave names off).

I was re-reading the "how to find a reputable mover" page and was curious to look both companies up on the BBB site. I was surprised to find what I considered to be a high number of complaints against one of these companies (especially since one is mentioned often on this board) and I wondered: how many is too high?

I was also surprised by the difference in weight estimates and overall price between the two: the independent came in far higher on both ends (higher weight plus higher overall cost per pound). We will likely get a third in-home estimate just to be on the safe side. But my bigger concern is this BBB thing. Thoughts/advice appreciated!

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby Nancy » Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:28 pm

In terms of the independent coming in at a much higher price, that could be since they do not have a van line network to work with. If you had a claim or needed storage at destination, they wouldn't be able to help.

A van line is typically good for a long distance move, since they have representation in the area you are moving to.

MusicMom is the real expert on DC area movers, so I'm sure she'll chime in soon.

I would also encourage you to drive out and physically visit the movers you are considering.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby Diane » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:07 pm

Hi - since you don't say what company you're speaking of, I can only surmise which one it is. I had actually never looked up that company's record with the BBB before, so I did it just now and I was quite surprised to see how many complaints there are. A lot depends on how many moves the company does each year, of course. All I can tell you is that many people in the industry seem to respect that company very highly and yet there have been a couple of disturbing incidents that I know about through my participation on this messageboard. First, the company suppressed part of its BBB report (the bad part) in materials that its reps gave to prospective customers a couple of years ago. Second, someone from the company posted several bogus messages here recently slamming several of its competitors (Town & Country, Beltway, and Hilldrup). It could have been the work of one renegade employee or it could have been symptomatic of a larger problem. The company seems to have performed well for people, by and large, but we don't know that much about its long-distance performance. I remain a bit skeptical both about the performance and about the ethical aspects.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby MusicMom » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:31 pm

I would think more about how big the company itself is. If they are working as an independant, they could have trouble resolving transportation issues, without being able to call on a buddy agent like the van line reps do.

Have you asked the company's owner for a comment on the number of complaints? I'm sure any owner would love to know that their record is being considered, and they may have reasons for such things.

Pricewise, there are variations. I know one independant in this area is known for being pricy, and it's been rationalized with higher pay and benifits to its employees, which keeps turnover down and results in more experienced workers. This happens all over the country, and not always with independants. The comapny that can do this know they will get the business anyway, based on their good service and reputation.

If Diane and I are on the same page, and we both are right in who we think you're talking about, I can tell you I am trying to find time to go out and visit them myself. Let me know if you're thinking about it, maybe I'll join you.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby Diane » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:45 pm

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Just a caution that you can't always tell everything by visiting a facility. I was initially enthusiastic about several companies that I visited in NYC. Later, after getting input from customers and drivers who had dealt with them, I had to admit that I was wrong in a couple of cases. The performance of the company on actual moves is what counts--not how great the facilities look or how persuasive the higher-ups are.

ferretgal
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:18 pm
Location: VA

Re: BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby ferretgal » Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:24 am

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I didn't want to post names in case the number of complaints was, in fact, not too many after all. Diane - I like your idea about asking the owner about the relatively high number (high in comparison to the other company I'm considering).

No matter what happens, I will post the results of my move to this board. If it wasn't for this website, I would have wound up with a scammer!!

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby MusicMom » Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:40 am

Don't worry about pointing out problems. If movers know their customers are scrutinizing every aspect about the company, they make work harder to prevent such complaints.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: BBB: how many complaints is too many?

Postby Diane » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:13 pm

ferretgal wrote:Diane - I like your idea about asking the owner about the relatively high number (high in comparison to the other company I'm considering).

That was actually MusicMom's suggestion, but not to worry--we get confused with each other all the time and some have actually suggested that we are the same person! :wink:


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