Moving is a difficult period for everyone and one of the ways in which you can make it easier for you is to beware of the moving scammers. Unfortunately there are such cases in which movers break the legislation and the moral laws and betray their customers’ trust. There are a few ways in which movers may attempt to deceive you. This article will review the main common moving scams, how they work and how you can avoid them and have a safe moving with a moving company.
Moving Scams and How to Avoid It
The purpose of the moving scams of course is to get to your money. The truth is that moving companies have a list of services they offer and based on them the customers choose what kind of help they want for moving. But some movers go beyond that.
Common Moving Scams and How to Choose a Good Moving Company
- One of the common moving company scams or what can be perceived as one is the lack of positive reference. Every mover needs to have positive reviews and positive feedback from customers. This means that you should check the Better Business Bureau website and find reviews of the companies. It would be good to pay them a visit at their office, ask them from how long they are in business, how many movings they make, how many trucks and drivers they operate with. And ask to see the trucks – they have to have the company logo on. You can even call some of their customers to ask how does the company perform or go to a large moving reviews website like this one and see what people have written there.
- A typical household moving scam is lack of or a bad estimate. The estimate includes an inventory list with all that you want to move. It should contain the information for your belongings and the cost for them. The best type of estimate is the binding or not-to-exceed estimates. The first one gives you a price for your moving but if the actual move is less or more expensive than the price in the estimate, that changes your bill. The not-to-exceed estimate gives a ceiling of the cost for your move. If your move is smaller than stated in the estimate you pay less, but if it larger – you don’t pay more. Also ask for an in-house estimate – if a mover refuses to come to your home or wishes to give you an estimate only by phone, don’t use them.
- Every mover must stick to the given estimate and agreed price. Another moving house scam is additional costs that seem to come out of nowhere. If you have agreed on the services from the moving company that you are going to use and their prices, you should be clear what the final estimate contains. If you see any additional charges ask what they have come from. In case they have not been agreed upon you better look for another mover.
- One of the scams by moving companies is to ask for a large amount as a deposit or even the full price. Actually most movers do require a preliminary payment but it is about 10 – 15% of the final price. If the company asks you for a lot more than that, may be you shouldn’t trust them.
- Not every mover does packing but it is advisable for you to find one who does. You have an insurance provided by the moving company that is about $0,60 per pound. But in case that you pack your belongings it is considered that you fully carry the responsibility in case something breaks, even if it was the movers’ fault.
- Another common situation is the moving truck scam. The movers load your belongings and on delivery day they ask for more money to unload them. Try to follow the tips and advice above, read carefully everything you are given, don’t sign any blank papers and don’t pay the movers before they ship your belongings to your new home. Be especially careful if you are moving out of stateas then movings are usually more expensive and more is at stake.
You should also beware if you do not receive the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s booklet “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. The mover should also be able to answer every question you have. Rogue moving companies may attempt to hide information like the location of their office. Also ask for registration numbers – USDOT number and MC number (if applicable) and check at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration information about the mover. In the meantime, you are free to ask any question to the moving company as that will spare a lot of trouble for you and the potential of experiencing one of the types of moving scams.
As much as moving scams take place, they shouldn’t be the focus of your move. Follow the tips in this article before hiring movers because acting on moving day may be too late. Be prepared and you will be able to provide yourself with a smooth move. Try to keep stress away, stay positive and look at the moving process as the beginning of something new and better for you.