The US Department of Transportation records 40 million moves happening every year. Majority of these go smoothly but an increasing number of complaints have been observed. There are now illegitimate moving companies that provide sub-standard services, or worse, exist just to scam people with no intention of delivering moving services at all. What can you do? Arm yourselves with information. Here are some red flags you need to watch out for when contacting or hiring moving companies.
Inquiries made only in phones
If a moving company only calls in to check on your moving needs and do not see the necessity to have an on-site inspection this can mean it does not have any intention to deliver quality services, even frame you up for sight-unseen estimates, too good to be true amounts that will ultimately lead you to paying more than you should in the end. A good moving company will always consider the weight of your belongings, from the headboard of your bed to the books in your shelves. They will also consider the space your things will end up using in the van. They need to see that in person, not talk you through these details over the phone.
Half hearted inspections
Inspectors from the moving company coming over are not enough, though a step better than just phoning in. The inspector who does not even open your cabinets or ask you some clarifying questions like, “are you bringing all the food in your fridge”, or “are you planning to donate some books in your library” is an inspector who do not have the slightest plan to give you an honest moving estimate. Inspectors who do not go the extra mile to know more about the weight and size of your impending move load will likely give you a very good quote but then refuse to deliver all your belongings later on when you do not pay more than his original quote. The low-ball amount was the bait and if you bite on that, you can expect to pay more than you should because these scam companies would never deliver your things unless you pay them more.
Most reputable moving companies like U-Haul or Lowe’s would not require any deposits for them to move your things. You only pay upon delivery of your things simply because it is the only way a sound compromise can be made in this kind of business. When you pay upfront, or if a moving company demands you to do so, you are already giving away control over when you will see your things delivered to your new location. If you MUST pay upfront, pay with your credit card as this will help you address fraudulent transactions.
Bank in on companies you know
When you plan to hire a moving company, stick with the ones that is known in your locality or those that have nationwide operations. Always contact those that have a legitimate business address and contact number. You can also ask for a referral from friends and family. Steer clear from companies with very generic names like “moving company” and the like. This name could mean the company is avoiding traceability when transactions go sour.