If you pay attention to these warning signs of bad movers, you can avoid finding out about them after you’ve already committed to giving them money
Bad moving companies that try to scam you out of money exist in every city. Fortunately, there are warning signs of bad movers to notice before you pay them a dime, including a lack of license information, no physical location, a high percentage of bad online reviews, an inability to answer questions, bad estimates, not offering a written contract and unprofessional behavior.
We wanted to offer these warning signs of bad movers to help people avoid scammers before it’s too late and you’ve signed on the dotted line. Our goal is to help people avoid situations such as getting asked to pay more once your belongings are on the truck or finding items missing long after the movers are gone. Both rank among the most common moving scams.
These warning signs of bad movers can save you a lot of cash and many hours of frustration. Keep them in mind as you begin the process of researching movers to hire.
Legitimate, professional movers will have their license numbers displayed on their website, as well as a list of services they provide. Many companies will place the license information at the bottom of their website’s homepage.
To avoid “fly by night” movers, you should focus on moving companies that have a physical location. They also should have an address readily available for you to see on their website for the main office and any other locations.
The nature of online reviews means every business gets a bad review. In some cases, it might be competitors trying to hurt a rival. In others, it might be customers disgruntled for reasons that have nothing to do with poor service. That said, if you see a business where the vast majority of reviews are negative, specific and have no reply from the business, that’s a warning sign.
Experienced movers have in-depth knowledge about the best practices for packing different items, the best materials to use for packing, the details of moving insurance, how to transport a large variety of items, and any other moving-related issue. You know your business. Movers should know their business, too. Movers who can’t answer basic questions on these issues, whether you plan a move across town or across the country, are giving you a big warning sign.
Be wary of movers who won’t provide an estimate or who show no interest in coming to your home and seeing for themselves what needs to get moved. Another warning sign is an estimate that if far off from other estimates you have received, especially if it is far too low. That’s bait used to get you to hire them so they can later increase the price.
It’s important to have a written agreement with movers. It’s a clear warning sign if a mover moves slowly to produce a written contract and seems disinterested in doing one at all. .
Unprofessional behavior is harder to define, but you know it when you see it. Certainly, any of the above issues are unprofessional. But it also includes appearance – experienced movers will have a clean, professional appearance when meeting with clients. Another way to measure a company’s professionalism is to get a few basic questions together, then call their office and ask to speak to customer service. How you’re treated will give you some idea of the company’s level of professionalism.
Moving is stressful enough without having to also deal with a mover who is incompetent and may try to scam you out of your money. Keep these warning signs of bad movers in mind as you start your research process, and make sure to hire a professional mover who will do the job right.