A moving service is always a good investment because it saves you the stress of packing and transporting your belongings. However, the influx of moving companies online has increased the number of fraudulent services out there. It helps to know some of the tricks that customers fall for and how to make certain you avoid them. An informed choice when hiring movers will guarantee your valuables get to their destination in one piece and you don’t have to suffer unnecessary inconveniences or costs.
Popular Moving Scams to Watch Out for
A telephone estimate is one of the quickest ways that an interstate moving company can solicit more money from you than agreed upon. Movers that give approximate costs before seeing the items being transported are not to be trusted. What happens is that on the day of the move, the moving service will ask for more money under the pretense that your belongings weigh more than anticipated.
Still on price estimates, some movers just do a cursory walk-through of your home when they come in to check the items being moved. Moving rates are usually based on weight and volume. Be wary if a mover doesn’t even open cabinets to see what else is there to transport.
Change in Estimate
A moving company can also cheat money out of a customer by claiming that the original estimate was based on the weight of the goods, not the volume. Alternatively, rates may go higher because the initial quote did not include packing and other services.
Large, Nonrefundable Deposits
Asking for a large non-refundable deposit before the service is complete is another scam that many moving services get away with. If anything goes wrong during the move, the client may not see a dime of the deposit. Reputable movers don’t demand a large upfront payment from customers.
How to Avoid Moving Scams
Check Interstate Licensing
Firstly, always check and verify the moving license of a particular company. Movers should have the proper authorization to transport goods from point A to B. If it’s an interstate move, find out the licensing requirements. You can easily find moving company regulations by state using online resources. A moving company that is a member of a trade association is a safe bet.
Request an In-Home Estimate
Never hire a moving service that phones in estimates to customers if you are moving long distance. Once you decide the mover you are going to use, ensure that someone comes to the house and does a thorough evaluation of the goods being moved to avoid trumped up charges.
Compare Moving Companies
Don’t settle for the first mover that appears to offer affordable services. Get quotes from two other businesses so you can make comparisons. Carefully consider what each company offers. The estimate should include every service that you will need for the move such as packing, storage, and offloading.
Don’t Sign an Incomplete Contract
To avoid conflict with a moving service, never sign a partial contract. The agreement should lay out every bit of information regarding the transaction including a list of all your belongings. It should also clarify liability and what happens in the case of theft or damage.
It is easy to fall prey to moving scams hence the need to ensure you hire a reputable professional moving company. Protect yourself by researching movers extensively before hiring their services.