We all know that moving is a tough job. Every upcoming relocation throws us into a whirlwind of busy preparations where endless tasks just wait to be taken care of. Stress tends to be building up and up all the way until its nerve-wracking culmination (moving day) and also keeps a relatively high level until the entire unpacking work is done and we get back to our new semblance of a normal routine.
Yes, more often than not, the transitional period of moving drains out not only our energy but our time and savings as well. This is why, it’s not surprising that the very last thing anyone who’s about to move would want is to end up being scammed during the moving process.
There’s no question that most moving companies are legitimate, reliable and experienced, and provide quality moving services to their customers. Their professionalism cannot be doubted and they do everything in their power to satisfy the relocation needs of their clients.
However, there are also a number of dishonest and fraudulent movers out there whose primary goal is to cheat you into paying much more money for much fewer and less than satisfactory moving services. So, one important question remains on the table:
How to protect myself against moving fraud?
You’ll need to learn how to distinguish between good and bad movers. The latter, also known as rogue movers, can be well detected due to their repetitive and suspicious behavioral patterns.
Do not agree to hire the services of a moving company which:
- answers its phone only with “Movers” or “Moving company” instead of proudly greeting its customers with its actual name. The lack of a landline phone number could also be a warning sign that something is not right.
- refuses to perform an in-house visual estimation of the household items you have for moving but gives you only a price estimate over the phone.
- gives you an unusually low estimate of the moving costs compared to the other moving estimates you have received. This is one of the most typical moving scams out there – scammers try to lure you in with this obvious trick and then do their best to rip you off in the end.
- demands a cash only payment or a very large deposit. Legitimate and honest movers offer a variety of payment options and if they do ask for a deposit, it should be no more than 10%-20% of the final relocation price. Deposits are usually required during the summer period (the high season of the moving industry) when there’s a high demand for professional relocation services.
- withholds essential licensing and insurance information from their website (if they have one at all!) or over the phone. Law requires that moving companies have their USDOT number (the proof that the mover has been properly licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation) displayed on a visible spot on their websites.
- asks you to sign blank or incomplete documents before or on Moving day. Remember that you must never place your signature on blank or incomplete documentation.
- refuses to offer you a full value protection for your goods. Legitimate movers always have multiple insurance options available for their clients.
How to find reliable movers?
Every trouble-free move begins with finding a legitimate, licensed, insured and reliable moving company that will prepare and move your household goods quickly and safely from your current home to your new residence.