During the moving process, it’s easy to get scammed into paying too much money for too little service or even someone claiming to be a legitimate moving company not actually showing up after the payment has been processed. Or even worse, if a scam mover has all your belongings in their possession and threatens you to pay them a large sum of money otherwise they are going to keep your belongings. That’s why it’s important to stay vigilant at all times during the moving process.
One of the most common scams is quoting a certain amount of money upfront and then demanding a much larger sum later on just before unloading all your boxes from the truck. There are certainly ways to avoid this misfortune. Some red flags to watch out for at the beginning is seeing incredibly unrealistic low rates, not being willing to offer an on-site estimate or having a ridiculously large down payment. I know this may be a hassle but it’s important to meet face-to-face with prospective movers so they can physically see for themselves what needs to be moved and not just give an estimate over the phone. A face to face meeting also ensures that the moving company is not using a fake address.
Legitimacy and Legalities
Make sure that the company you are interested in has a legitimate website and phone number. Make sure that the website has a local address and forms of contact. There should also be information about licensing on the website. Most companies have a page on some form of social media. Make sure to check reviews of the company on legitimate websites such as Yelp or Google Reviews. Reviews are also a great and convenient way to look at what sorts of complaints there have been against a company and whether those complaints have been resolved.
Always make sure to pay with your credit card instead of using cash or debit card. Good companies would not have an issue with this request. Companies who prove to be scams are those who do not want to deal with credit card companies that have insurance and cover the credit card holder.
Put It Down in Writing
Upon every agreement reached in the process, make sure that everything is in writing. If the company only wants to communicate over the phone or on a moving day, then there is something suspicious going on here. All the quotes, pricing, items to be moved, and insurance information should be down on paper. Should something terrible happen, later on, at least there is evidence on the customer’s side to back it up?
Other Items for Consideration
The season in which you are moving also makes a huge difference in how often scams appear in this process. During the busy season (April to September) when families or businesses are desperate to look for a moving company, many of these unlicensed ones will pop up. They are usually not insured and will charge you for more hours if the job is not done efficiently.