Moving to a new home consistently ranks highly on lists of life’s most stressful events. Although it can be an exciting time, the logistics and disruption of a move sends many people into a panic. Hiring a moving company is supposed to ease some of the stress and lighten the load, but it can often make the process worse when you work with the wrong mover. In fact, hiring the wrong mover can turn a rather simple relocation into a fiasco very quickly.
A big part of the problem is the rise in moving company scams. Trying to cash in on your stress and inexperience, unscrupulous movers may use a variety of methods to take advantage of your trust. Let’s take a closer at a few of the warning signs of moving fraud so you can be sure to hire a reliable mover.
Always Get an Estimate
Never sign a contract with a moving company before you receive a written, in-home estimate. Many moving company scams start off with the promise of an affordable move that isn’t based on your specific needs and situation. A professional mover will always perform an on-site inspection to provide you with an accurate estimate. Over-the-phone estimates are unreliable and often lead to surprise charges when it comes time to deliver your belongings. Also, take the extra time to interview a few different movers to learn more about them and their moving practices. After all, you’re trusting them to handle your family’s most prized possessions.
Do You Know What You’re Signing?
Review the contract paperwork carefully and never sign an incomplete document. If there is a liability section in your contract, read it meticulously before hiring a moving company. According to the Protect Your Move organization, the liability amount should cover the entire cost of your goods if they are damaged, lost, or stolen.
Verify Their Credentials
Never sign a contract with a moving company that cannot show you a U.S. DOT number or its Motor Carrier number. You will also want to check the company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints.
Moving Fraud Red Flags
Most moving company scams work the same way. To avoid them, look for red flags associated with these fraudsters. Common red flags include companies that:
- Require a large deposit or cash upfront before the date of the move.
- Don’t give you a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” The federal government requires all moving companies to provide customers with this brochure prior to a move.
- Don’t have a local office listed on their website, won’t show insurance, or doesn’t have license information readily available.
- State that all belongings will be covered by their insurance during the move.
- Have offices or warehouses that are in poor condition or don’t exist at all.
- Use rental trucks instead of company-owned fleets.
Stay Up-to-Date on Moving Company Scams
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s website, ProtectYourMove.gov, allows you to keep up-to-date on the latest moving scams, search for moving companies, review any complaints they might have, and learn about all of your rights as a customer. Performing a little due diligence can protect you from hiring a moving company that can turn your relocation into a nightmare.
Admiral Movers is a reputable moving company with over twenty years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers. From following industry best practices to looking out for your best interests every step of the way, you can count on Admiral for all of your moving needs. Visit Admiral Movers online to setup your free consultation or call 877.816.3454 to speak with one of our residential moving specialists.