I am spending a lot of time this April focusing on the many issues one has to consider when planning a move. But we haven't really touched on the basics.

According to the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) the April and May time period is when many leases expire and renters move. BBB recommends doing your homework before selecting a mover and there are many good reasons to do so.

Across the nation last year 1.2 million consumers researched moving company Business Reviews to check companies' marketplace reputations however BBB processed more than 8400 complaints against movers.

Consumers should follow a few simple rules when selecting a mover to protect against potential scams this moving season.

State laws offer regulations that protect consumers and their property and it is vital that consumers are aware of their legal rights and be aware of the red flags of moving scams.

BBB offers the following checklist for finding a trustworthy moving company:

Research the company thoroughly. While state regulations vary all interstate movers must at minimum be licensed by the federal government and are assigned a motor carrier number you can verify.

Get at least three written in-home estimates. Not all price-quotes online or over the phone are legitimate. Keep in mind that the lowest estimate can sometimes be an unrealistic low-ball offer which can cost you more in the end.

Know your rights. Research your rights as a consumer for interstate moves or for moves within Connecticut. Also contact BBB and local law enforcement if the moving company fails to live up to its promises or threatens to hold your belongings hostage.

Consider getting full-value protection. It may cost a few dollars more up front but it can provide some peace of mind and eliminate a headache after your move. Investing in full (replacement) value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced or a cash settlement will be made.

Before hiring movers to transport your belongings from one state to another the Better Business Bureau along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) suggest you know your rights and responsibilities. The FMCSA regulations protect consumers on interstate (state-to-state) moves - go to www.fmcsa.dot.gov for information.

Source: John Voket