Moving is a very important event in everybody’s life, and there is no question about this. On the other hand, a move can be a very stressful experience. You’ll be able to reduce your stress on during move day if you choose to hire highly professional movers who know what they do.
The reality is, a lot of moving companies are available on the market these days. Most companies provide their clients with high quality moving services. However, some moving companies do low quality work for their customers. Unfortunately, the number of complaints is growing these days. And of course, you should do everything possible to protect yourself from dishonest movers.
The big question is – what needs to be done to protect yourself from moving scams? Now, it’s time to get the answer! It’s crucial to know warning signs of moving scams. Also, you should know what to look for in a moving company to make the best possible choice. If you are planning to relocate in the nearest future, you should familiarize yourself with your rules and responsibilities. Read on to figure out how to protect yourself from moving scams.
5 common warning signs of moving scams
1. No physical location
We all know that a website is not a trend anymore. It has already become a necessity. Every moving company has a website these days.
Have you found that a moving company doesn’t have a physical address on its business site? If this is the case, you should avoid dealing with such a moving company. You should know exactly where the moving company of your choice is physically located.
2. No written estimate
A moving company is ready to provide you with an estimate without analyzing your moving needs or conducting an on-site estimate. Keep in mind that it’s possible to provide an estimate by phone, but you should receive a written or digital copy of the estimate.
If your move is large enough, movers should do an onsite estimate before providing you with a written quote. Remember that on-site estimates are free. This is the way that the majority of moving companies choose to work with their clients.
3. Lowball quotes
Once you start searching for a moving company you will most likely get estimates from several movers. It is the right thing to do.
Do you find that a moving company provides its services at too low prices? Do not rush to get in touch with these movers to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future! These kinds of things may happen for the reason a moving company does a low-quality job and can’t land new customers. Obviously, such a moving company wouldn’t be a perfect choice.
4. Large down payments
Movers ask you to prepay for their services fully or deposit a huge amount of money ahead of time. You need to know that most moving companies do not ask their customers to prepay for their services fully until they get the work done. However, a small deposit before scheduling the movers is very common and is not a scam.
5. No branded trucks or equipment
It is important to know that reliable moving companies traditionally have their own branded trucks. So, if a moving company uses a rental truck, it can be a warning sign.
However, it could be that salespeople booked more jobs that company trucks can handle. In this case, movers rent trucks to accommodate their customers.
This applies to moving companies that claim to be in the market for a long time. Movers usually try to buy trucks and wrap them with their logo and business information. Also, their employees wear branded gear as well.
5 ways of protecting yourself from moving scams
There is no shortage of moving companies these days. That’s why picking reliable movers can be hard. You should aim to hire reliable movers, who are honest with their customers, and who can do great work for you on a moving day.
We’ve just briefly described the warning signs of moving scams. If you find that a moving company shows these warning signs, then it would be better for you to give preference to other movers. Right now, we’ll describe the steps that you need to take to protect your move, your belongings as well as your money.
1. Take advantage of the recommendations
As you can see, moving companies actively use different types of offline and online ads to promote their businesses. However, there is no better way to find movers than by word of mouth. Make use of recommendations. Have your friends, neighbors, or relatives relocated recently? Are they happy with their movers? If so, it would be great for you to ask their moving company’s contact information. Also, you can request the same moving crew who served your friends.
2. Check the license and insurance info
You should always deal with licensed and insured movers and, therefore, unlicensed movers should be avoided. So, it makes a lot of sense to verify the licensing of movers in advance. Each moving company must have USDOT number. For example, our company, Rockstar Pro Movers, have a USDOT number, which is 2774464. That would be the first step to making sure that the company is legit.
However, movers also have another number that the state gives them. For example, our company, Rockstar Pro Movers is registered with California Public Utilities Commission who gave us this number: CAL-T 0191955. This number means that Rockstar Pro Movers can legally operate within the state of California.
3. Analyze customer reviews
You also need to pay close attention to the moving company’s online reputation. Take some time to check customer reviews of movers and carefully analyze what people say about their services on Google, Yelp, and Trustpilot.
4. Get a written or digital estimate
The cost of a move largely depends on the size of your move and the distance. It would be better for you to get a written or digital estimate in advance. Some movers want to get paid for the weight or volume of the belongings that need to be relocated. However, some movers want to get paid on an hourly basis. In this case, the cost of your move will depend on how much time your move will take. Each moving company has its own pricing policy. So, you should discuss the cost of a move with moving specialists during the initial phone call.
5. Familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities
It’s worth noting that each state has its rights related to moving. And of course, you should learn your rights and responsibilities before getting started with a move. This will help you prepare for a move in the best possible way. You’ll be able to find the information about your moving rights and responsibilities on the website of the American Moving & Storage Association.