Each year, tens of millions of moves occur just in the United States. Most go without any incident whatsoever, but some turn into nightmares. This is because, in the past few decades, the number of moving scams committed in the US has increased. That’s why it’s in your best interest to do your homework and find out as much as you can about avoiding being scammed by a disreputable company.
Without a doubt, there’s no better protection against moving scams than staying well-informed. Moving is hard work and it’s best if you leave it to professionals. But this doesn’t mean that you just forget about the entire process and leave everything to total strangers. Here’s what you need to know and do:
Deals made by phone can turn into moving scams
Time is precious. We all have very little free time so it’s understandable why so many people prefer to do business over the phone or by using the internet. Bud this is a bad solution when it comes to moving.
A mover who won’t insist to visit your home and inspect your goods will give you a sight-unseen estimate. This type of estimates are excellent. But, as the old saying goes, if it’s too good, it usually isn’t true.
Since moving prices are also based on the total weight of your belongings and the amount of space they take up inside the vans, not just on mileage, you might find that the initial estimate is nowhere close to the bill you get once the moving process is complete. This is a situation that you definitely want to avoid.
And you can avoid it. Just remember to ask the moving company to send over a representative to inspect your belongings. If they refuse, look for another company.
Avoid the superficial estimator
It’s good to get estimators to come over and take a look at your belongings, but this process is important and it also needs to be done thoroughly.
If the moving company representative that comes to visit only does a quick walk-through and doesn’t pay too much attention to what’s inside cabinets or doesn’t ask questions, you should be careful. Good estimators always ask a lot of questions. It’s in their best interest to find out what tasks they have in front of them, so they won’t just be doing you a favor.
And if the estimator doesn’t ask any questions, you shouldn’t hesitate to offer the information yourself. Tell them as many details as possible, not just about the move, but about what you plan to do with the items (you may donate some, or sell them at a garage sale).
Remember, hundreds of people have their belongings held hostage each year by scam artists. These bad guys refuse to deliver the items until the victim pays them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In cash.
Avoid the requested deposit
In the moving business, there is one very important rule: reputable moving companies will never ask for any cash or large deposit before the job is finished.
Always remember to only pay after the move is complete. This way, you will remain in control the entire time. And if you really want to be safe, pay with a credit card. This way you’ll be able to fight any fraudulent activity.
Avoid blank contracts
You probably know this one, but it’s better to mention it as well. Don’t ever sign a blank contract. It’s a rule you should always follow, with everything, not just moving. No matter how friendly the moving company is, get everything in writing. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Also, make sure that you read the contract that you’re signing. Make sure that it includes every little detail about the move, and every item, especially those that cost a lot of money. If an item is not present on the inventory form, you won’t be able to file a claim in case it never makes it to its destination.
Remember, if you want to avoid moving scams, you have to stay informed. This is the only way to go if you want to hire the right moving company for you.