Moving is one of the top most stressful things a person can do in their lives, and it can be made even more stressful with the thought of rouge movers looming in the back of your mind. However, there are a few things you can keep an eye out for when picking your moving company to prevent being burned in the process.
False reviews and false credentials:
- instead of having honest reviews from previous customers linked to their company name, rouge movers will typically have their employees leave wonderful reviews in relation to the company and its affiliates. Their goal is to deceive as many people as possible – and unfortunately with today’s emphasis on online reviews and social media – this is often the outcome as well. In order to avoid false reviews speak to friends, family and coworkers about moving companies they might have used in the past. Word of mouth references are usually some of the more reliable.
- if you do choose to read online reviews, make sure to check multiple review platforms in order to get the best idea and best overview – and don’t trust everything the great reviews say. Focus on the poor ones, and even further to that – check in to see how the company handled any of the less than ideal reviews.
- A tried and true route of checking into the legitimacy of a company is to check the BBB website, and find out if and what the rating of the moving company you’re looking for has!
Avoid lowball estimates:
We understand that these can be great, and paying the least amount of money for a service is always ideal, but sometimes less is not more. Fraudulent movers will typically use this tactic to convince you to book their services, but these services are then very rarely delivered upon. Avoid movers that will do a quick lowball estimate over the phone without offering to come out and view your items inside your home. Even if they do come out to offer a visual estimate, avoid the companies that hastily give you an estimate with very little discussion, or a rushed view of your home. Try contacting multiple companies and have estimates done by each of the companies to have a better idea of what the current competitive rates are, and don’t be afraid to question the estimate if it seems too low.
Good being held hostage:
The worst case scenario during your moving process is having your goods being held by the company until you pay a ransom of sorts to have your possessions delivered. These types of scams are illegal – and if you do find yourself a victim of fraud there are a couple of steps you can take. a) Prevention is the best option; do your homework and research all the moving companies you are interested in. b) contact the authorities in the event your goods have been held hostage or are stolen. c) lodge a complaint with the Department of Transportation.
Legitimate moving companies will not ask for cash or a large deposit. In most cases, you pay the company the previously agreed amount upon delivery of your items. Be extremely cautious if a company requires the full sum prior to deliver – this could be a sign of fraudulence.
There are some legitimate companies that will require a small deposit during their busy season, or in order to secure a moving date. But once you have taken the appropriate steps to trust your mover, this should not be an issue – but keep in mind the fee should not exceed 15% of the final moving price and there is no reason the company should expect the money in cash only.
Incomplete or blank documents:
Dishonest movers know and take advantage of the stressful nature of move day in a number of ways, but one of the most obvious ways is providing unfinished or blank documents for you to sign. If this is something you come across, do not sign the paperwork – if this happens you have no control over any extra costs, and additional conditions that may arise. Stay on the safe side by refusing to sign anything that looks incomplete, even if you believe the moving company is a responsible one, request the documents in advance so you have time to read them carefully (including the fine print), pay special attention to any extra services and rates, and review your inventory sheets to make sure all of your belongings are there and accounted for.
Hopefully these few tips will help keep you away from any illegitimate movers while you make the big decision of you who you’d like to take care of your precious items during your next move.