Putting a Stop to Scams: 6 Ways to Avoid Moving Scams

People say that moving is one of the most stressful things you can do in life. Things only get more complicated the farther you go and the more belongings you bring with you. The logistics of packing, loading, and driving an entire house’s worth of belongings are enough to make anyone’s head spin.

With such a long list of tasks to complete before the big day, it’s no wonder why some people decide to hire professional movers. Movers transport boxes and even drive the moving vehicle for you to your new destination, so you have one less item to check off your list.

Unfortunately, not all movers are created equal, and scams are common. You don’t want to worry about getting your belongings ransomed back to you or filing a police report during such a stressful time. Here are six ways to avoid moving scams and walk over your new threshold happily.

Choose a reputable moving company

First, research your moving company thoroughly. This advice may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s also easier said than done if you don’t know where to start. The first consideration should be whether or not a given company is licensed.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires companies to be licensed for interstate moves. With this license, companies must follow specific standards and practices.

The FMCSA also keeps tabs on known scammers. Browsing the list of licensed movers in your region is a great way to start your research.

Well-known, long-standing moving companies with plenty of reviews are always a wise choice. These companies have lived through regulation changes and proven their dedication to following the rules. What’s more, they have a legitimate reputation to protect, so they won’t be looking to scam you.

You should plan to research just as thoroughly if you’re shipping your car. Auto transportation is not immune to moving scams. Read customer reviews and shop around for different quotes. Well-established car shipping services like Guardian Auto Transport are an excellent place to start your search.

Ask your neighbors and friends for recommendations

The average American moves about once every five years. Given these odds, you probably have a friend or a family member who’s taken the leap recently enough to give good advice.

If your loved one used a moving company, you could find out who they used and how the service was. You should also ask what their estimates were like and which factors, if any, affected the quoted cost of their move. It isn’t a guarantee that you’ll have the same experience, but if someone you know recommends a moving company, you can at least be confident they’re not a scam.

Bad experiences are just as meaningful as good experiences. Though it’d be great if you walked out of the conversation knowing who you want, it’s equally vital that you know who to avoid. If movers scammed someone you know, their misfortune could be a valuable heads-up to you.

Get multiple in-person estimates

Make sure to get at least three estimates, sometimes called bids. These will help you spot anything suspicious. If a bid is a lot lower than others or seems too good to be true, it probably is.

A low quote could mean missing important details or fees. Movers may give you a low price at first, only to add on charges at the end of your move. You don’t want to be surprised by additional fees later.

Movers should give you a complete in-person estimate. They need to access your belongings for an accurate estimate of their weight and volume.

Most importantly: avoid phone-only estimates. If a moving company only wants to make estimates over the phone, watch out. These practices are more prone to scams and dishonesty.

Make sure everything is in writing

Always have a written contract with your mover. That way, everyone is on the same page about their obligations, and you can enjoy more security in the relationship.

A reputable moving company will not make you ask for a contract, as they’ll want you, the client, to agree to certain conditions as well. A good contract will list the dates of the move, addresses, and all fees.

A contract arms you with the knowledge of what your movers are responsible for, what they’re liable for, and what’s expected out of you as the client. If a company refuses to sign a contract, take your business elsewhere.

Valuation is a must

Interstate moving companies are required to offer a valuation. This is a form of moving protection. You need it in case your valuables suffer damage or get lost in transport.

There are two types of valuation: basic carrier liability and full replacement value. Basic carrier liability covers some, but not all, of the value for lost or damaged goods. Full replacement value comes at a higher cost but, as the name suggests, will pay out more for your belongings.

If your mover isn’t offering you valuation, they’re in violation of federal law and you should find someone else.

Know your rights

Reputable moving companies will make sure you’re aware of your rights as a customer.

By law, all movers must provide a copy of a booklet titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” This 25-page booklet outlines industry standards, regulations, and the customer’s responsibilities to their moving company.

You can access a copy of this booklet through the FMCSA. It’s not a bad idea to read it through before getting estimates or hiring movers.

To wrap up

It might be tempting to go with the cheapest moving option, but cheap gets expensive fast when you’re getting scammed.

Always do your research and get references to avoid moving scams. Insist upon a written contract, and be sure that your movers are following FMCSA guidelines.

A healthy awareness of how to avoid scams is the first step to moving it all without losing it all.

About Ambika Taylor

Myself Ambika Taylor. I am admin of https://hammburg.com/. For any business query, you can contact me at [email protected]