Moving is a difficult process, even without worrying about being scammed. The last thing you want to think about is how to prevent being ripped off by movers. Unfortunately, it is what it is. The world would be a better place if all the people in it were honest actors. But, you might as well wish to win the lottery. You need to make the best out of your situation. On the plus side, it’s relatively easy to spot honest New York movers, if you know what to look for. In the modern era, word travels fast. Movers whose primary purpose is to rip you off won’t last long in the business. You just need to avoid the ones that still haven’t been found out. So, here’s how you can prevent movers from ripping you off.
Make sure you are hiring legit movers
First things first – make sure the movers you are hiring operate an actual moving company. An illegally operated business is much more likely to try and rip you off. Plus, if you decide to go down that route, it will be much harder to take them to court. So, you can check if they are registered at the relevant state authority. Interstate movers will be registered at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Type in the name and you will get all of the information you need. Then, see if they pass the eye test. Go to their website to see if they have a local address listed and provide their contact information. Give them a call to make sure they are who they say they are. If everything checks out, you can go to the next step.
Do some browsing
Then, you should do some browsing to prevent being ripped off by movers. If you have a general idea of how much a move should cost, you can skip this step. Otherwise, try to gauge how much movers charge for their services in general, in your area. However, take note that each move is specific, so they won’t be able to give you an exact price. But, they can give you an estimate of how much the move costs by a mile and depending on the load. Naturally, the prices between the companies will vary, but not too much. For example, the prices of all Jersey City movers should be in the same ballpark. Contact 3 or 4 companies so that you can establish a baseline. If any of them are too expensive or too cheap, cross them off your list.
This step is just common sense. You should always look for recommendations, regardless of what services you need. The best way to prevent being ripped off by movers is to have someone you trust to recommend a good moving company. Word of mouth is the gold standard when it comes to recommendations. However, that’s not always an option you have. What you can do is read some reviews or comments for the company you are interested in. In general, serious movers will have their own website. Go there and read about the experiences of the people who hired them. Even if they don’t have a website, you can always search for your location + movers and something is bound to show up. For example, search for Bronx movers, find the company you want to hire and see what people have to say about them.
Get a binding estimate
Once you have zeroed in on one or two companies that you plan to hire, get an estimate of the cost of your move. However, take note that professional residential movers NYC won’t give an estimate over the phone. They might explain what services they generally charge for and how it’s calculated, but not what your specific move will cost. For that, they will need to do an on-site inspection. A lot of things factor into the cost of a move. Primarily, the distance and the weight of the items, but also how hard it is to load your items into their truck, do they need any special equipment, do you have a lot of fragile items, etc. They can’t know all of these before they come and take a look. So, insist that they come in person and give you a binding estimate before you sign anything.
Take inventory of your items and get insurance
Once you find and hire a company you trust, you should still take a few extra precautions. After all, you want to prevent being ripped off by movers, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Check the insurance policy of the company you hire and, if you are not satisfied, take out moving insurance. Take inventory of your items before you pack them and take photos. This way, you will have everything documented and it will be much easier to get insurance money if anything gets damaged during the move. While it is unlikely for your items to get damaged if you hire professional movers, you never know what could happen. As an added bonus, this will also make it easier to unpack.
Don’t rush into anything
Finally, the best way to prevent being ripped off by movers (or anyone else, for that matter) is to be cautious. Generally, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Moving has costs associated with it. When the supposed cost of the move is next to nothing, you know there are going to be hidden costs involved. So, don’t rush into deals. Do your due diligence and read the contracts you are signing. While working with movers is somewhat specific, you can think of it as hiring any other services. Apply the same logic you would if you were hiring a plumber or carpenter, and you won’t have any issue.