Unscrupulous elements can be found in every business domain and the moving business is no different. When planning relocation, there is a fair probability of you falling prey to rogue moving companies. These companies can hold your goods ransom or dupe you of your hard earned money.
Moving scams are more common these days, as anyone can create a fake website, rent a couple of vans or trucks, and claim to be an authorized moving company. So the question is – what can you do to protect your interests and safeguard your belongings from such shams? For that, you need to be aware of the different types of moving scams out there and learn how to avoid them.
Most prevalent moving scams
Unexpected increase in initial moving estimates
This starts with the moving company offering you a reasonably low estimate for your move, which may be lower than the other estimates you receive. Once you accept the offer, the movers would pick up your goods and deliver them to the new address. However, this is when the movers might start asserting that you own them more money than the sum that was previously agreed upon. These rouge companies generally cite extraneous charges or hidden fees to validate their demand for more money. When the debate is settled, you end up paying way more than what you would have paid by accepting a higher price estimate from a reputable company.
Holding your possessions hostage
In some instances, when the movers are demanding more money, they might hold your goods until you give them the amount they are asking for. If you find yourself in such a deadlock, immediately contact your local authorities.
Moving companies operating without permission
There are some companies out there that do not have valid licenses, and therefore, operate illegally. If such a mover gets caught by the authorities in the middle of your move, its entire operation might be shut down, and you may have to face the music. There is a chance of your goods being held by the authorities in lieu of evidence, which could be really frustrating.
Some movers entice customers to avail their services by offering a blanket insurance policy covering all goods being moved. However, you need to bear in mind that even the most reputable and established companies offer minimal insurance coverage. Generally, the norm is that you buy insurance from third party.
Stay away from a company offering blanket insurance; chances are that it is doing so to earn some extra money. If something happens to the truck during the move, leading to the damage of your goods, it is quite unlikely that you would get compensated for your damage from such a rouge moving company.
So, how do you know that a company is legitimate and would not be taking you for a ride? Take a note of the warning signs mentioned below and steer clear of moving companies that are not what they claim to be.
Warning signs to keep in mind
. A demand for a large cash deposit up front
. The company withholding information like its office address or insurance information
. The company operating with rental trucks not bearing the company logo
. The company not providing you with a copy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” It is legally obligated to do so with clients undergoing a long-distance move.