Although you could probably write a dissertation on this topic, there are a few basic conditions that have factored into the largely negative reputation that the moving industry currently maintains.
- In 1980 the moving industry was deregulated and has suffered from a lack of leadership, performance standards, and self-policing ever since. There are very few barriers to entry, and enforcement of state and federal regulations has been lax. This has created a scenario in which the companies that are striving to deliver an exceptional service (like Olympia) are forced to compete against “rogue movers” who do not carry the requisite insurance, have no infrastructure or training protocols, and are simply trying to make as much money as possible before they are eventually shut-down by the authorities.
- In the 90’s, the Yellow Pages allowed business owners to delay payment on advertising. This gave dishonest movers an opportunity to place a full-page advertisement, which they had no intention of ever paying for…but which gave the impression of legitimacy. These same companies would only accept cash, did not carry insurance, and had a lifespan of approximately 18 months. Essentially these were criminal enterprises masquerading as moving companies.
- Despite the plethora of really bad movers, the industry has not been able to effectively communicate what distinguishes a good mover from a bad mover. If prospective clients are not armed with the information that they need to make an informed decision, then cost becomes the decisive criteria by default. This scenario creates downward pressure on pricing which, in turn, further impacts service levels.
- Moving is an inherently invasive process that makes people anxious. If expectations are not properly set, or there is poor communication, this anxiety can quickly escalate into panic. The negative reputation of the industry is, at some level, a self-fulfilling prophesy. When a mover arrives at a client’s home, trust is not granted on the front-end, but rather must be earned.
The takeaway from the above is that, when selecting a mover, do your homework. What company you choose to move your personal property is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Visit the Moving Resources page on our website to learn more information about choosing a moving company and/or preparing for your upcoming move.