After being involved in the moving industry for over 10 years, we’ve come across tons and tons of horror stories about innocent people like yourself getting scammed by rogue movers. With over 50,000 moving companies nationwide, choosing the right moving company can be a hard task. It takes months and years to build a nice home and decorate it with the kind of things you like. Not to mention the thousands of dollars you spend, the time and the energy. But time and again we hear about people getting scammed and what’s worse is that, it all can be avoided with just a little bit of care and attentiveness.
Don’t fall in the hands of the wrong mover. For your protection and knowledge, we’ve compiled a list of most common ways some moving companies scam unsuspecting clients and what you should watch out for.
- Giving moving estimates over the phone: Some movers will insist on giving you an estimate over the phone. This is the first thing you should watch out for. In order to give you an accurate estimate, a mover will need to inspect your items closely to determine how much they will weigh, as the cost of a move depends not only on the distance, but also on the weight of the shipment. A bed with no head and foot board will be much lighter than one an ornate heavy frame, thus effecting the moving cost. Always ask for an in-home estimate if thats an option.
- Asking for a large deposit: If a moving company demands cash or a large sum of money upfront as a deposit, it should raise a red flag. Only a small token of good faith is required to book your move.
- Giving Non-Binding Estimates: Always make sure what kind of estimate the moving company is giving you. The three types of estimates including a non-binding estimate, binding estimate and binding not-to-exceed estimate. Non-Binding estimates are generally the most risky and your price can go up based on a lot of factors, such as the shipment weight, number of stairs etc. The third kind is generally the best one and really favors the customers as it puts a ceiling on the cost so the move won’t cost more than what the company quoted for any reason, but in case your items weigh less than the estimated weight, the price will drop down.
- Changing the Company Name: Some moving companies get around the BBB ratings and FMCSA authorities by changing the name under which they do business if there are too many complaints against them or their rating is bad on BBB. Make sure the company’s info on their license and insurance documents matches. Ask for atleast 3 references (preferably one’s from your area and who moved recently). Also check for any different ‘doing business under’ names.
- Rushing the move and having you sign on a blank contract: This is not as much of a scam as it is negligence on your behalf. Moving is a very hectic experience that drains you out. Apart from all the planning, there’s a lot of physical work that goes into it as well. So its completely understandable when your items are almost loaded in the truck, you start rushing to get moving and get this whole process over with. In doing so a lot of people don’t pay close attention to the contracts they are signing after the truck is loaded and the inventory list is also neglected. Refrain from doing so as a little laziness and negligence could cost you a lot. Make sure all your items are listed on the inventory list and you’ve read all the fine prints on your moving contract.
With several rogue movers out there and even more scammers, the only thing you can do is educate yourself so you can protect yourself against them. Make sure you check a company’s BBB rating before booking the move. Don’t give our large upfront deposits, a legit company will only require a small deposit as a good-faith. Be suspicious of companies giving non-binding estimates or asking for large cash deposits. Also, make sure the truck that the company sends has some type of company logo on it. An unmarked plain white truck should cause some suspicion.
With all these pointers, we hope your move will be a safe one. If you’re looking for a reliable moving quote.