MOVING SCAMS HOW TO PREVENT
Choosing to hire a moving company is a great way to avoid stress and save time, but how do you know if you are in danger of falling victim to a scam? There are many common scams out there, and we at Move Smart Moving would like to share our knowledge with you, helping you to stay safe and to avoid being taken advantage of by deceitful companies. Do not be forced to pay unfair prices, or risk losing your belongings to an unethical business; follow this guide to avoiding common moving scams and keep yourself and your belongings safe on the big day.
COMMON MOVING COMPANY SCAMS
Transitioning between homes is an exhausting experience and can be a lot of hard work, and there are many companies out there that will attempt to take advantage of that fact in order to scam you.
One of the most common scams is for extra fees to be added on to your bill at the end of the move, costing you much more than you were originally quoted during the estimate. Trip charges, fuel charges, and ‘deposits’ are all ways that moving company may try to scam you, adding unexpected charges to your bill. They might even charge you for an entire extra hour if your move takes just fifteen minutes longer than anticipated!
Another common scam is for a relocation service to farm out their work to temporary employees, or another unknown business, leaving you with absolutely no clue who will actually be handling and transporting your treasured belongings. It is a good idea to consider relocating your valuable jewelry and electronics in your own personal vehicle, and to purchase the highest level of insurance from your relocation service provider in order to ensure that your property will be replaced if it is lost. Always check that the business you have chosen employs full time employees, and owns their own trucks. This will lessen your chances of being scammed, for example, having day laborers show up in a rented truck on moving day.
Some shady companies may attempt to scam you into signing a contract with blank portions, giving them free reign to add anything they want to the contract. Whatever you do, do not sign any blank documents! A deceitful business might add extra charges leaving you with no means of proving that you did not agree to them. Also, always make sure to get a copy of the contract and bill of lading for your own records and protection.
Yet another scam likely to be perpetrated by a dishonest service is holding your belongings hostage while they attempt to extort further payment from you. Oftentimes they will say something along the lines of â€œyour belongings are packed in the truck behind someone else’s, so you will have to wait for their items to be delivered first.â€ Then they will attempt to add fees to your bill, expecting you to pay because you are nervous that you will be unable to get your property back. A fly by night business may also abandon your items altogether, changing their name and running off with your hard earned money!
LET US RECAP OUR LIST OF COMMON SCAMS:
- A company may hold your items hostage, or abandon them, running off with the cash.
- They may attempt to persuade you into signing a blank contract, allowing them to get away with unethical and outrageous charges.
- They may act as a ‘moving broker, selling you their services under one company name, but showing up with temporary employees and rented vehicles.
- They might also attempt to charge you hidden and unnecessary fees just to jack up the price. This will leave you paying much more than the company quoted you in the original estimate.
These are by far the most common scams out there, and they may leave you feeling disconcerted, and unsure if hiring a moving service is worth the risk. However there are ways that you can stay safe, and find an honest business that will treat you and your belongings with respect. Now let’s go over how to avoid the scams out there, and choose the right company for you.
HOW TO FIND AN HONEST MOVING COMPANY AND AVOID SCAMS
At Move Smart Moving, we take pride in our integrity, offering straightforward pricing with no hidden fees. We employ a full time staff of professional, courteous movers, and we own our own trucks, so you can rest assured that we will be the only company to handle your belongings. We are Better Business Bureau accredited, and we will complete our work on time, without costing you an arm and a leg. While we surely do hope that you will consider us for your next move, above all, we want you to be safe. Finding an honest relocation service amidst the sea of scams out there may seem like quite the challenge, however, if you consider the following tips, you can find a trustworthy company to complete your move.
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
The first step to take in order to avoid scams and find a reputable company is to begin researching early, at least a month before your move. After all, the best companies will book up fast, and you want to make sure that you are not stuck with a team that may scam you last minute. Check online for reviews of any moving service that you are considering, and make sure that you know their full name, as well as any names that they may do business under. Also, contact the Better Business Bureau to find any customer complaints against the business, and find out what they have done to resolve the situation. It is also important to find out if the business has a valid Department of Transport number, and if they carry all of the necessary insurance to cover any damage that may happen to your items during the move. This information will help you to weed out some of the potential scam artists in your search for a moving company.
GET AN IN-HOME ESTIMATE!
A common scam involves a giving a low estimate over the phone or internet, only to charge far more for their work when all is said and done. Only work with a moving service that is willing to give you an in-home estimate, as it is very important for the representative to see what needs to be moved for them to be able to quote you an accurate cost and time frame for the move. If the representative seems rushed, uninterested, or provides you with a quote based off of the square footage or weight of your items, consider going with another company. You want a quote based on the estimated time frame of the move, which an experienced moving professional will be able to estimate accurately.
CAREFULLY READ, UNDERSTAND, AND DISCUSS YOUR CONTRACT WITH THE COMPANY!
A common way that deceitful companies may attempt to scam more money from you is by leaving portions of your contract blank, allowing them to fill in any information they please. They may also try to gloss over hidden fees in the contract, leaving you to pay far more than originally quoted. To avoid scams, it is imperative that you understand all of the terms of your contract, including all of the costs that you will be expected to pay.
Furthermore, make sure to receive a bill of lading and a copy of the contract for your records that includes a list of all of the items that are to be moved. Make sure to avoid any companies that ask for a deposit up front, as these are often tied to scams, and you are unlikely to see this money returned.
WHEN THE MOVERS ARRIVE, EVALUATE!
Once you have chosen a seemingly reputable relocation services provider, make sure that they live up to your expectations on moving day. If they show up without uniforms and in a rented truck, send them away immediately as they are likely temporary employees. Also, make sure that the name on the truck matches the name of the business that you hired. Take note of the movers’ professionalism, and be sure that they are adhering to the terms of your contract, as well as being careful with your property. By ensuring that everything is on the up and up, you will be at much less risk of falling victim to any scams on moving day.
LET’S REVIEW THE STEPS TO CHOOSING AN HONEST MOVING COMPANY:
- Research the companies that you are considering, making sure that they have a valid Department of Transport number, and carry the proper insurance.
- Do not accept anything less than an in-home estimate that is clearly explained and details all of the logistics of your move.
- Understand you contract, and know exactly what you will be expected to pay when all is said and done. Absolutely do not sign any blank paperwork!
- On moving day, make sure that the company is living up to its promises, as well as all of the terms of the contract. Make sure that the movers conduct their work in a professional manner, arrive in a company vehicle, and are uniformed.
By following all of these tips, you will be less likely to fall for a scam in your search for a relocation provider. Contact us at Move Smart Moving today to schedule a free in-home estimate, or for any of your questions regarding your next move.