Moving Scams & How to Avoid Them

How To Avoid Moving Scams

 The horror stories are out there. A person puts their trust in the hands of some strangers claiming to be a reputable moving company, and they don’t turn out to be everything they claimed to be. The move ends up costing way too much, the services aren’t quality, or the movers are merely thieves. With a little bit of extra sleuthing, it’s not that hard to tell apart a credible company from a mock mover. Here are some tell-tale signs that your moving company is either a scammer, or a legitimate company.


WORD ON THE STREET

The simplest step of all is to start by investigating what people online have said about your prospective mover. Start with a quick google search of their name. Check Yelp and Google for customer reviews, and look for signs of fake reviews. No bad reviews might seem like a good sign, but for the most reputable moving companies, it is a normal side effect of being in business. Many moving companies have been busted for manipulating their online presence on review sites by paying customers to write good reviews or threatening customers that have written negative reviews (or offering them compensation to remove their reviews.)  Check their social media presence to see if they have an audience of satisfied customers. If people are saying to watch out, it’s not always a surefire sign you’ve got a dud on your hands, but tread lightly. If things seem on-key, there still might be some deceit in use. Use your best judgement to assess these findings.


LICENSE & PROOF OF INSURANCE

A moving company should be able to provide a state and national Department of Transportation license number. They should also be able to provide proof that they are a fully insured moving company. If your moving company is cutting corners with the law, can you really trust them to pay attention to detail with your personal belongings? If your movers are not acting within the law, you may not be able to expect recourse if something goes astray.


CHECK THEIR BBB PROFILE

Any reputable moving company will have a profile on the Better Business Bureau’s website, BBB.org. This page should be able to list a history of the complaints about the mover and any disputes they’ve had with their customers. The Better Business Bureau is generally a fair judge of business conduct, and will take customer complaints and business defenses with a grain of salt. 

 

Moving company scams and how to avoid them


WARNING SIGNS

While talking on the phone or evaluating your moving company online, watch out for these red flags that give away less-than-reputable movers. 

 

QUOTES AREN’T FREE

No moving company should ever charge for a quote, even if it is an on-site quote. This is simply a price determining process. It should be provided by the moving company to the customer free of charge.

 
HIGH DEPOSIT

Deposit fees are completely normal in the moving business. However, some devious fake movers have been known to run away with your deposit fee and vanish. Around 10% of the total move cost is a fair number. Any moving company playing games with the deposit amount or asking for way more than that is likely up to something.

LACK OF BRANDING

If your movers’ truck is unbranded and the company doesn’t use their name in correspondence, you might be dealing with a subcontractor. They might answer the phone saying “moving company” or similar vague phrasing. If your mover makes a mistake, not knowing who they are limits your leverage in holding them accountable.

 



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