If you see the signs of any these scams, save yourself the time, money, headache and regret by moving on to a professional moving company that offers trustworthy services
About 40 million people move every year, according to federal government statistics. With that much opportunity, it’s no surprise that the moving business attracts its share of scam artists.
But how can you know the difference between the good guys and the bad guys? What are some red flags you should watch out for when hiring a moving company?
Good Greek Moving & Storage CEO Spero Georgedakis has addressed some of these issues as part of his video series on moving tips. He’s an expert at spotting scams because he not only has decades in the moving business, but also formerly worked in law enforcement.
For some of the most common moving scams, read on. Knowing this information can save you a lot of heartache – and a lot of money.
Beware of the company that doesn’t offer to come to your house and assess what you need for your move. If they just give you an estimate over the phone, you can bet that estimate is going to be way too good to be true. Professionals know the only way to get an accurate estimate is to do an in-person, thorough inspection.
Speaking of “too good to be true,” price estimates that seem far lower than you expected are a major red flag. The biggest scam in all of moving is to get your belongings on a truck and then ask for more money beyond the original price estimate, essentially holding your belongings hostage. If a price estimate is just ridiculously low, it could be a red flag that a price switch is exactly what is going to happen.
If a company asks for a cash deposit before a move has started, that could be a red flag. Professional, reputable movers do not ask for cash in advance. Rather, you pay after the moving services are finished.
Reputable companies don’t change names very often, if at all. Companies that have changed their name frequently could be trying to outrun problems from the past, including fines and ripped off customers. When it comes to movers, you want to hire a company that has proven steady and reliable over a long period of time and is prominent in the community.
There are many ways that the first contact with a company can put you off. Beware movers who don’t make it easy to find their phone number on the company website. Also, movers should ask questions about when and where you plan to move and the size of your belongings. They should want to send someone to your place to make an estimate. If they seem elusive about an appointment, it could be a sign of trouble.
There is a lot to consider in the area of moving insurance. The mover is required by law to provide basic carrier liability. If they don’t or put you off to discuss this, move on. Also, they should explain that you can purchase more comprehensive insurance, such as full replacement value protection. Any company that cannot explain in full detail how insurance works is waving a giant red flag.
If you are moving a long distance, your price should get based on the miles of the move and the weight of your belongings. Some movers might try to use cubic feet, meaning the space needed in the truck, but that can vary spending on the packing expertise of the movers. Go with companies that use weight.
All the above provide potential warning signs that the cost of your move is going to go up once movers get your belongings in a truck. The smart move is to take your time at the beginning and do thorough research to find a moving company that provides professional, trustworthy service.
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