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Moving Industry Challenges and Issues
Aug/24/2020 12:00 PM- Moving -
Aug/24/2020 12:00 PMMoving

Lack of communication, transparency, and honesty are only some of the most common moving industry challenges and issues that often give relocation companies a bad name and drive customers toward alternative solutions. That makes it difficult for reputable businesses to gain the trust of clients that had been scammed or lost their important or expensive belongings during a move. But what if there were a way to separate the good from the bad, and eliminate some of the problems that have been weighing heavily on the industry for years? Before we propose a remedy, let's dig a little deeper into the stuff that's been giving headaches to people changing homes for far too long.

The competition on the moving market is fierce, so some companies, unfortunately, resort to methods that do good for their bottom lines but not to their clients. There are some recurring problems that can be fixed, but some are just issues of doing business with people and companies that only want to take your money without respecting their part of the deal. 

What Are the Most Common Moving Industry Challenges and Issues?

Being a part of the moving industry for long enough and working with customers every day has led us to realize that the same things tend to happen when moving either locally or across the country. Even though some problems might be blamed on human error, most of them stem from companies' incompetence or lack of business ethics. The issues and factors are numerous, and these are the most common ones.

Communication Breakdowns 

Customers often complain about not being able to reach sales representatives, or not receiving answers to their questions. That leaves them stranded because the sales agents in question have only one idea: to book a move and simply vanish. Customer care in these companies usually does exist but isn't that good in practice. They leave you with no definitive or satisfactory answers while settling a claim with them can be a nightmare, both in terms of time that it takes to resolve it, and the outcome of the complaint. Not knowing where your items are, when they will get picked up, and who you can call if something is wrong, causes stress and dissatisfaction among every client that had the bad luck of dealing with them. The sales agent is supposed to be available for you every step of the way and help you feel more comfortable and safe while leaving your belongings in someone else's hands.

Lack of Transparency 

Another bad practice that certain moving companies resort to is offering non-binding agreements and unreliable methods of generating quotes. That way, the customer can't be sure about how much they have to pay for the requested service and can be left with additional costs or fees that they didn't see coming. 

Signing a non-binding agreement is almost always a risk because you're not bound for any amount of money. These companies also don't specify what their standard services are. For example, you will know what you can get for one price, but they won't tell you what has to be paid additionally. Quotes can double, or even triple on the very day of the pick-up. This is usually the case with companies that generate their quotes based on the weight of the items you wish to move. Weight-based quotes are typically unreliable and always prone to change and manipulation.

Lack of Control Over the Move

The frustrating thing for people who relocate with moving companies is that they have little or no control over their move. The overall cost itself can vary, trucks can break down, drivers might not show up when they said they would, and sales agents often aren't very helpful because they aren't the ones handling your items. Some businesses don't bother with giving their customers the treatment they deserve. Once the move is paid for, many things can go wrong.

Hostage Situation

Some relocation companies tend to keep their client's shipments until they receive the desired amount of money. This is called a hostage situation because you're being blackmailed into giving more money than you should, just to get your things back. This practice isn't too visible in the moving industry stats and trends, but it still is a thing. 

Be wary of the company you're choosing. Check their DOT number, and see whether they are licensed, registered, and bonded, and always check their ratings and reviews. See who wrote the review and what it looks like. For example, elite profiles on Yelp write truthfully, and you can run into some five-star reviews that only say "Good company". Those are just some of the hints that can show who you are dealing with and how to spot a fishy company.

Brokerage

This isn't a bad way of doing business per se, but the problem is that some companies won't be honest about it and disclose it beforehand. They might claim that they do the move by themselves from the start till the end, while actually hiring more companies to share the profit, and increasing the final price along the way. Broker companies leave you at the mercy of other parties, and you can never tell who you are working with. The first one you called and paid to won't have a clue what's going on with your shipment, and they won't be responsible for any possible damage. This is quite common for car shipping companies, a lot more than their household moving counterparts.

Temporary Labor 

Some moving companies hire people that are not trained movers when they lack workforce. Because of that, clients have to deal with inexperienced people handling their sensitive items. It can not only result in damaged belongings but also end up in theft because some of the workers might even have a criminal history. Those workers have no previous contact with the moving industry - they only want to earn easy money, and leave. You can sometimes recognize them by not having working clothes from the company you hired. This is more common with broker companies.

Damaged and Missing Items

Whether it's the movers' fault or something wasn't properly packed by the customer, some breakable items might end up damaged at the end of the moving process. This is not an uncommon occurrence, even among professionals. Long-distance moves are more prone to such outcomes given the travel time and distance, but it can also happen with local relocations. 

It doesn't matter whether you decided to pack your own glassware and other breakables, or you want to pay movers to take care of that part - damage to a certain extent is always possible. Missing items, however, tend to happen when temporary workers are hired for the job. Someone might steal something valuable of yours, and companies should compensate for that. Meeting the customer at least halfway when it comes to the price of the stolen piece is what should happen, but it rarely does. 

Another case of missing items is that a mixup happened and that someone's belongings ended up in someone else's home. That occurs because moving companies don't label items or don't separate them properly in the truck.

Finding the Right Company 

Customers have to browse each and every moving company on the market and they have to be a hundred percent sure that they've made the right choice. That means checking the reviews, asking around, contacting every company, and asking them a ton of questions. Customers can't always trust the reviews they find online, because sometimes they are fake. All of this can only create confusion in a customer's head. 

Calling that many numbers and speaking to a bunch of different people asks for taking notes of every conversation and comparing them. When you're shopping around for quotes, you may leave your phone number and other personal information. The companies will do everything to earn your contract, and that might end up with constant calling and disturbing, while you don't even remember the people calling you. This is, at the very least, exhausting. The tricky part is that even after thorough research, you can end up choosing the wrong company and paying more than you should.

Surveys for Large Moves

In case you live in a large house, and you're taking most of the things with you, a reliable moving company should provide you with a video or in-person survey. The point of it is to be sure that movers know precisely what you are moving and how to handle each item, as well as how much the move will cost. Many companies don't provide that and that causes dissatisfaction of the customer on the day of the move. Without an accurate list of items and the right instructions, something can be handled wrongly, and the price you pay may go up. Professional companies don't rely on customer guesstimates of a large move, but they take the matter in their hands.

Unrealistic Delivery Window 

This is mostly the case when companies provide unrealistic estimates regarding your delivery window. Those are just fairytales used to hook a potential customer. A plastic example of that is when a sales representative promises that your items will arrive in five days from one coast to another. In the moving industry, that is only possible if the items are being shipped by a dedicated truck, which is almost never the case. Most of the players on the market use consolidated shipping - multiple shipments of different clients are being transported in the same truck because they have deliveries along the way. 

Another fact that you should know is that drivers can work a maximum of 60 hours on-duty over seven consecutive days. If you add that time to the time spent on stopping at the deliveries, you can check whether the delivery window is realistic or not.

Our Industry Is One of the Most Affected Ones by the Current Situation

COVID19 put the moving industry to an additional and unprecedented test by limiting physical contact between people and requiring proper equipment for sanitation and protection. Companies that want to stay in business during these times must follow the steps of precaution so that both the movers and customers can stay safe and healthy. Sanitating all the equipment and trucks everyday costs time and money, and many can't afford it. Also, many people are postponing their moves because they don't want to risk, which is completely understandable, but it affects the profit of the industry. Those who decide that they still want to move, expect the movers to show up with masks and gloves. Unfortunately, some customers have experience of dealing with movers who don't follow the procedures prescribed by relevant authorities.

How Can MOD24 Be a Potential Solution?

You can think of MOD24 as a potential solution to many of the problems listed above. It is a platform that lets you choose between vetted professional companies offering top-notch services that are at your disposal 24/7.  One of the vital MOD24 features is the certainty that the reviews you see on our website are legit and unbiased, all companies are licensed, and all movers are experienced and trained.

What can MOD24 bring to the industry? Our goal is to change how the industry works and minimize the issues and challenges moving companies are now facing. Booking a move will become easy while paying for service will mean getting exactly what you asked for. No more exhausting phone calls, frustration over emails and texts, or browsing the internet looking for an affordable option.

You will have to leave your phone number, but it will be used only by movers on a moving day. You will get to track your move and rate it after it's done. No scams, problems, or wasting time. We believe that it's time to fix the downsides we face as an industry and make the moving experience of every customer a positive one.

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