Moving into a new house or apartment can be a very exciting time. It is very important to make sure that you pick a good service to help you with your move to avoid possible moving scams. In some instances, the movers will demand a cash payment before unloading your items or drive off and store your items to get more money. This may sound extreme, but these situations do happen. It is important to be prepared and know what types of moving scams to look for. Here are some of the most common moving scams and how you can avoid them:
Extremely low rates
Although a company with low rates may look like the best option, in many cases it is not. In this situation, a moving company will offer you a super low quote in order to get you to book with them immediately. Then, when the movers arrive, the rate goes up or there are additional fees that were not included in your original agreement. Many people end up having to pay the higher fees because they have no other option and need the movers, even if a scam is involved.
Holding your items hostage
There are some cases when the movers will demand more money and hold onto your items until they are paid on the spot. Holding your stuff hostage is theft. If your movers ever refuse to unload your stuff until you pay them more money, you should call the police. If this does happen to you, make sure that you get as much information as possible about the movers (names, phone number, license plate number) in case you do end up needing police assistance.
Not getting an in-person quote
Many moving companies will do an in-person inspection of your move to create an accurate, informed estimate of the cost. Get an in-person quote from at least three different movers. Having the company assess the size of your move before you book helps avoid any last-minute fees. If the moving company you have selected does not do in-person inspections, make sure to be as detailed as possible when providing the movers with information regarding your house, furniture, number of boxes and the types of things you’ll be moving to.
Operating under multiple company names
If you are shipping using an LTL shipper, don’t worry if your shipping company doesn’t provide an in-person quote. They are uncommon for LTL shipping. Some movers will avoid bad reviews and histories of bad service by simply changing their company name. Keep an eye out for warning signs like no local address, no landline, phone etiquette and unmarked trucks.
These are just some of the most common moving scams that many people encounter. As we stated before, it is very important to do your research before selecting a moving company to avoid these possible scams. Tips on how to have a safe move include:
- Ask about insurance – a reputable mover will be able to explain what happens if your stuff is damaged in transport.
- Read everything before you sign – make sure your contract outlines pick-up and delivery dates as well as additional fees and the final cost of your move.
- Request licensing information
- Take photos of valuable items – this can come in handy if something gets damaged during the move.