Moving Scams You Need to Watch out For
If you are planning on relocating soon, you should arrange your move carefully. Not only when it comes to packing, but also when choosing reliable relocation experts and avoiding moving scams. With our guide, you’ll find out how to handle everything right and prevent possible fraud.
Moving Scams – Recognize Them on Time
If you don’t choose your relocation company right, your relocation can grow into an overpriced agony. But to define what a moving scam is, you should be familiar with different types that exist:
- Those who never show up after receiving a deposit.
- Movers who knowingly give you a lower estimate based on your belongings’ weight, but charge you more afterward.
- Moving specialists that did everything right in the beginning, but after loading your belongings on a truck, they never show up at your new
A Moving Company Should Do An Estimate of Your Belongings
The first contact with your mover can have a decisive impact on your final decision. In fact, it can tell you a lot about the company if you know what to pay attention to. You can recognize a dishonest mover by these signs:
- Refuses on-site inspection of your belongings
- Gives you an excellent estimate without an on-site inspection
- Just walks through your home with out taking any notes
- Requests cash or a larger deposit before the relocation is done
- Fails to give you a booklet stating your rights and responsibilities
An Unreliable Mover Can Be Easily Checked
How can you be sure that your mover is legitimate and reliable? Fortunately, there are many ways to check that. Do some research on:
- The mover’s address. Check if is it local and if the address even exists.
- Licensing and insurance. All legitimate relocation companies need to be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Ask for several references. Ask other people about their experiences.
- Check online reviews. Check online if you can find complaints about their services.
- Consumer complaints. Call the government’s consumer complaints hotline and research the mover’s history.
With Disreputable Movers, the Cost Will Be Huge
Besides demanding a larger deposit or the full payment in advance, a deceptive company may not give you a signed and completed contract before loading your belongings. That can cause several serious problems during the relocation process.
Non-Determined Prices and Extra Fees – Tools for Fraud
If you’re working with scammers, it’s not unusual that after agreeing to a price, you discover that the numbers don’t add up. Some of the extra charges can include the driver’s fee, the fee for the extra time required, or for climbing stairs. Keep in mind that these charges are common with honest movers too, but when they have been added to the contract after the fact and without proper notification in writing, then you can be sure you are a victim of a scam.
Other Oddities Related to Mover’s Services
Any unexpectedly low estimates, based on the cubic footage of van space and not on the estimated load, are suspicious. Rough estimates related to long-distance moves should be a cause for concern. Cross country companies must offer as precise an estimate as possible to ensure there are no unexpected expenses later on.
How to Handle Scam Movers
The most crucial factor when choosing a reliable mover is your common sense. Be critical of the details and do thorough research before you sign anything or accept any of their terms.
Be Cautious and Take Precautionary Measures
To ensure safe relocation and peace of mind, keep your eyes open. Relocation is a challenging, and above all, expensive process. So, before accepting anything or shaking hands, memorize these rules:
- Don’t ever sign a blank contract
- Get everything in writing
- Check the license with the authorities
- Get a written contract
- Confirm insurance coverage
- Read the terms and conditions of the agreement
- Understand the limits of liability and the disclaimer for it
- Pick-up and delivery dates should be specified
- Terms of insurance coverage should be included with purchasing full value protection
- Ask about anything that you find unclear
Long-Distance or Local Move – It Doesn’t Matter As Long As You Are Careful
By being cautious and informed, you are doing yourself a favor. Choosing a trustworthy mover among other scams will save your money, time, and nerves. After checking the contract and having insight into possible ambiguities, don’t think your supervisor role is finished. Make sure that their trucks are clearly labeled and that all papers have the company logo on them. Also, don’t use cash except for movers’ tips. If you pay in advance and with cash, you risk losing your belongings and will not have a record of the transaction.
Secure Yourself From Dishonest Companies
Here are some additional resources you can rely on when it comes to moving scams. You can contact or file a complaint to institutions and associations to prevent any possible damage or initiate an investigation of the scam:
- The US Department of Transportation has a campaign named “Protect Your Move” within which a mover’s background and road safety records can be checked.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is opened for cooperation with victims of fraud online or by phone.
- The website MovingScam helps consumers avoid so-called “rogue movers”.
If you choose honest and responsible experts with highly professional moving services, then your relocation will be smooth and stress-free. Carefully pick a company that can also provide you with reliable packing services as well as auto shipping and storage, and you won’t have to worry about a thing. If the mover seems right, contact them, request your price estimate, and schedule the moving date.