When the preparation for the moving day begins, one of the biggest preoccupations is how to pull through the whole thing. Since moving is quite a complex venture, one needs to be sure that every part of a task is being done properly.
One of the most important tasks is finding a proper moving company that will help you with everything related to moving such as packing your belongings and shipping them to the desired location. However, there has been an increase in fraud moving companies in recent years. This is why, if you are planning to move, you should be able to recognize and avoid moving scams. Luckily you can find your personal guide in this article.
8 Tips to Avoid Moving Scams
1. Make a List of Potential Moving Companies
Even if this is your first time to move you have to start somewhere. So, make a list of possible candidates and start checking them one by one. If you have enough time this will be one of the best methods to check whether a certain company can offer everything, or at least the most, of what you are looking for.
My recommendation to you is to schedule an appointment and ask all the questions you find relevant. Of course, this means that you will have to come prepared. So, do it! Prepare a list of questions. Otherwise, you risk forgetting some very important ones you wanted to ask. This way you have greater chances to avoid moving scams, so consider some of the following questions:
- Is the company fully licensed and does it have a registration (USDOT) number?
- How long has the company been in the business?
- Does it operate independently, or employs one or more subcontractors?
- Does it offer liability coverage and what kind?
- What kind of estimate does it provide?
- Are there any items that the company won’t transfer?
- Will there be any additional charges?
- How long will it take the movers to get done with the move?
2. Ask Your Family or Friends for Recommendations
In case you are not sure how to handle this task, you can always turn for help to your family and friends. Perhaps some of them have had experience with some of the moving companies from your list. If the experience was positive, that's already a good sign. On the other hand, this should not stop you from checking this company anyway.
Another thing you can do is check those companies' websites. This way you can see which company offers the best moving services. Take some time to read what other people said. It can help you have a bigger picture.
3. Check the Company's Paperwork
As much boring as it sounds, this is a step that you should not skip. By all means. As the license is one of the most important documents, among others, the moving companies you are checking should all possess them.
If it happens that some of them deny you the right to inspect their license, do not waste your time anymore with them and move on! Not having the proper paperwork is one of the clear signs of a rogue company. Perhaps somebody has already complained about this company and has left a negative review.
4. Know What to Look For
A company's license is not the only thing a trustworthy moving company should possess. If you happen to be crossing the borders of your state to reach the new home, then the professional movers that can help you move to another state should be registered with Better Business Bureau where you can also find their ratings. Check if this moving company has ever been involved in some larger problem and whether that is something that often occurs to them.
Another very important thing is the company’s U.S. DOT number. Every reputable and registered company with permission for long-distance moving has to have its unique number. With more than just a review, this number, if you log onto FMCSA’s website, will give you a more detailed insight with relevant information and the company’s insurance policies, etc.
5. Check the Company's Vehicles and Employees
The next step is to inquire about the quality of the moving vehicles and the moving crew. Both should be licensed and insured. As for a moving vehicle, every real moving company will provide you with the branded moving trucks which clearly has their logo written over it. This is one of the proofs that you will not have business with a company whose aim is to trick you and get away with your money or your belongings.
The same goes for the movers. All of them should have permission to perform tasks regarding packing, moving and transporting the items. Moreover, each and every one of them should be bonded. This is the sign that even if a mistake occurs during the moving process, a company will cover it with their insurance.
In the video below you can find more moving tips from the owner of the Executive Moving And Storage. He explains what is behind the scene of every moving business and what consumers should know before arranging a long-distance move.
6. Compare the Prices
When looking for a moving company, some of the things you should definitely ask for are the company's estimates and quotes. Give yourself some time to compare all of those. With a closer inspection, you might be able to notice something odd.
More often than not, a fraud company tries to attract customers by offering an extremely low moving bid. Check what is that all about. It if turns out that they were just trying to trick you in order to take your money, then you may write a review so that others could see it timely.
7. Do Not Pay for Anything in Advance
Those moving companies which hold on to their reputation would never ask you for any upfront deposits before they load the truck. Also, if they ask you to pay in cash, this also seems suspicious, and you should skip this company in order to avoid moving scams.
By paying in cash, there won't be any visible evidence of money transaction so in case something unexpected, such as losing your belongings, you won't have a way to prove that you paid for this service. Save yourself some precious time, and don't even consider this company.
8. Read the Moving Contract
For the end, before you agree to do business with a certain moving company, do read the whole contract thoroughly. Make sure you are familiar with everything that is stated and feel free to ask if you are not sure about. Uncomplete contracts is a clear sign of a moving scam.
Pay close attention to everything that might be suspicious. That is the only way to avoid moving scams and save your precious time and money.
By Max O.
Content and Article Writer
Max O. has been an active content and article writer since 2012. He has helped thousands of individuals to learn more about the moving and transportation industry over the years and will continue doing so in order to teach bigger audiences about the ways to make their life easier.