Deciding on a moving company can be difficult – especially with all the moving frauds and scammers out there just waiting to take your money and belongings. There are many reasons people fall for moving scams – a lot of them due to lack of proper research and investigation. Luckily, the internet is a great source for finding honest, professional movers to hire for your upcoming move. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with common fraudulent schemes and learn to recognize the red flags of moving fraud. To detect moving company frauds and protect your move, check out the following list of the most common moving frauds to watch out for.
Fake References: Phony movers typically use false references (fake moving reviews, fictitious testimonials, etc.) to make you believe they are trustworthy. Some fraudulent companies even truck consumers by constantly changing the name of their business. Before hiring a moving company, it is strongly recommended to investigate the movers in question by asking for opinions and feedback from people who have worked with them. You can also check with the Federal Moving Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Oddly Low Estimates: If the price is too good to be true, then it probably is. A common practice of shady movers is to offer extremely low estimates in order to lure customers in. Once they secure the job, they either disappear with your money, or they will request you pay huge extra fees for alleged additional services or unforeseen difficulties during the moving process. To avoid falling for this trap, take the time to carefully research companies, compare their offers and take all relevant information into account when making a final decision on a moving company.
Fine Print: A very important rule to abide by in life is to never sign a contract without having carefully read the fine print. If you look closely, the fine print often states that the guaranteed price of your move is subject to changes under certain circumstances. A lot of moving company frauds are based on this simple trick. Usually, the movers claim the job took longer than it actually did or that it was more complicated than expected. In turn, they charge you much more than initially estimated. To best avoid swindles like these, be sure that all required accessorial services, as well as any special conditions related to your move, are clearly stated in your invoice.
Large Deposits or Advance Payments: Some crooked movers may request a very large deposit or hefty up-front payments in return for a convenient pick-up or delivery time, higher quality services or other “special favors”. This is a huge red flag! These movers are the “grab the money and run” type of scammers. If you fall into this trap, you will likely never see your movers (and money) again.
Before handing over your money, know that any requested deposits should not exceed 10-15% of the estimated final moving cost. You should also be able to pay with a credit card – not only cash. If your movers only accept cash – run in the other direction quick!
Extra Fees: Additional services offered by moving companies are not automatically included in the estimate. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for dishonest movers to deliberately perform a variety of unnecessary services to increase the price. Avoid last-minute schemes by discussing any special requirements and potential difficulties in advance with your movers. This way, you are more able to say no to any services that are not explicitly stated in your invoice.
Refusal of Delivery: Another common scenario of moving fraud involves your household items being held hostage in demand for more money. In this circumstance, the movers will refuse to release your belongings until you pay enormous extra charges for whatever ridiculous reason they come up with. If your shipment contains a lot of valuable items, the situation may become even worse, with the fraudulent movers completely disappearing with your belongings. To avoid outrageous schemes like this, it is crucial to carefully research your chosen movers before hiring them in order to ensure you are dealing with movers that are legitimate, insured, trustworthy and professional.
Stolen Items: Sometimes, you may have a very smooth and trouble-free relocation experience. But upon delivery, many of your most expensive belongings turn out to be missing. Unless your belongings have been properly insured and declared as high value articles, the moving company will only assume liability for a small percentage of the lost or damaged items. Also, if you fail to notice or immediately repot a missing piece when receiving your shipment, the moving company can deny any liability. To prevent problems of this nature, be sure to provide adequate protection for all of your valuables. Also, check them carefully upon delivery in order to verify that nothing is damaged or missing.
For a moving company that is reliable and professional, trust in ABC Movers. Contact today for a FREE quote!