You’re about to move and you’re looking for the moving company that will help you with that. Before you embark in this adventure, you will have to know that you’ll be sailing in the dangerous waters. While there are many excellent and reliable movers, there are also some fraudulent movers lurking to scam customers for great sums of money. Surely, moving is very stressful without the traps of the moving scams, so your first priority should be to avoid fraudulent movers. While some frauds are sneaker than the others, when you know what sings to look for, you’ll notice the red flags very easy.
Be a detective and avoid fraudulent movers by thorough research
When you wish to make sure that the movers that interest you are reliable, you will need to do some research.
Of course, you don’t have to have the investigative powers of Nancy Drew to spot and avoid fraudulent moving companies. While some moving scams can be very elaborate, fraudulent movers always reveal themselves because their main goal is the money. If you know what are the features of the reliable movers, you will easily spot the ones that aren’t trustworthy.
Since everything is online these days, all the detective equipment that you’ll need is a good internet connection. And the right set of questions to ask.
Here’s what you need to check when researching movers:
- Do they have the proper license, insurance, and other papers that prove their legitimacy?
- Does the moving company have any stains on its reputation?
- How good are the reviews of their former customers? Maybe too good to be true?
- Do they conduct their business transparently?
- Do the movers seem professional to you?
- What about their experience, how vast is it?
What are the features of a good moving company?
- Every legitimate moving company has to have a unique USDOT number. US Department of Transport is issuing this number that is a license for conducting moving services on American soil. The company that doesn’t have a USDOT number but still provides moving services is in direct violation of the federal and state laws.
- Reputation and customer’s reviews of the moving company say a lot about the quality of service that provides. If you’re finding only amazing reviews, it’s possible that they aren’t very truthful. There has never been the company with 100% customer satisfaction ratio. Something like simply doesn’t exist, especially because people have their own subjective opinions. Try to detect false reviews.
- Regarding the transparency, if you can find all the information online, that’s a good start. Fraudulent companies don’t have the tendency to disclose details like the address of the company or the number of their license. They usually have a website, but you won’t find this crucial information on it. If you wish to avoid fraudulent movers, stay away from the companies that are secretive about sharing their basic information.
- If you call the movers and they right away shift to a casual form of conversation, it may be a good sign that you’re not dealing with professionals. Lack of professional behavior may not be the clear sign of the fraudulent movers, but it’s certainly a sign of the bad moving company that you shouldn’t do business with.
- Experience is a very important feature of reliable movers. Especially with long-distance relocation that has many obstacles. The bigger is the experience of your movers, the more efficiently they can overcome the problems that may occur during your move.
Avoid fraudulent movers by identifying their pattern of behavior
When it comes to moving scams, squeezing money is their primary goal. You can avoid fraudulent movers if you detect any sign that your money is much more important than the quality of service they provide. That can be very difficult. Still, if you encounter on following offers, it is a big red flag that you should stop contact with such movers.
Avoid fraudulent movers that insist that you pay up front
No reliable moving company will ask for your money before they move your home. They can ask for a small deposit, but paying up front isn’t the policy of any good movers.
Relocation of your home isn’t the service that you should pay in advance. When you think about it, rarely any is. Leading customers to pay them before any work is done is the clear sign of the fraudulent movers.
Speaking of deposit, it is normal for movers to ask for one. No matter if you are relocating your household or moving your business. It’s insurance that they will have at least some compensation if you change your mind last minute. The deposit serves for you to book your movers for the certain moving date. That said, you should know that a deposit shouldn’t be bigger than about 20% of the total moving costs. Usually, it is refundable or subtracted from your bill after the move.
Avoid fraudulent movers by avoiding moving companies that ask for a much larger deposit. Every deposit above 30% of the total moving costs should set your alarm.
Only cash payment
When was the last time that you see the sign “cash only”? In America, probably about a decade ago. Credit cards and online payments make the majority of the payments. Not only in the USA, but in the whole world.
Anytime that someone asks for cash payment in this day and age should raise your suspicion. Moving companies that only accept cash are positively conducting some moving scam.
Free additional services
Basic moving services are loading, transporting and unloading your belongings from point A to point B. Packing, storage services, car shipping, unpacking end other services are additional, and you will have to pay extra for. While there are many discounts on additional services during the moving off-season, they are never free.
The moving companies that offer that kind of services free of charge compensate their expense by counting them into their regular quotas, so you are paying for them either way. Or that kind of company is simply scamming you.
Bottom line is to stay away from the offers that seem too good to be true if you wish to avoid fraudulent companies.