Each year, Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives more and more complaints from unsatisfied customers who have moved recently. Just last year, around 15,000 complaints arrived concerning moving scams, movers who were charging too much, or customers who never got their belongings back.
If you take into consideration that around 30 million people move each year in the U.S., it is clear that some relocation mistakes must happen. However, there is a scam template that repeats constantly and this is something that can make your experience a nightmare. Don’t let yourself fall prey to movers looking to overcharge for their services. In this article, we’ll show you how to avoid red flags when hiring movers for your household.
How Do You Avoid Moving Scams – Start Your Research on Time
There are many reasons to move, such as looking for a better professional opportunity or just wanting to relocate to another state alone. When it comes to planning your relocation, there are many factors and tasks you need to include in this process. One of them is hiring movers that will safely relocate your precious belongings.
The main question is how to do it in the right way and avoid being scammed. This is an essential step because we all want to experience a stress-free move and start adjusting to a new environment and meeting future neighbors as soon as possible.
When moving across the country, the crucial step is to begin hunting for a reliable crew on time. You should start right after you decide it is time to move. That way, you can do vast research and see what the options are.
Why Is It Important to Avoid a Moving Scam
If you are moving out for the first time, the best way to start the whole process is to ask for a recommendation from your friends if someone has moved recently. However, if you don’t have anyone to ask, you’ll have to do research on your own. No matter if you are relocating to a small town or a bigger one, there are a lot of things you need to do before and after the relocation. This is why it is essential to have a crew that you know for sure will take care of items like their own. You surely don’t want to waste your time packing glassware and then end up with all of it broken, or worse, end up without that box.
So after figuring out how to change your address and how to save your money for relocation, you’ll have to find some free time that you’ll dedicate to finding a professional team and making sure the services they provide are reliable and clear to you. This will ensure you can plan the budget and every next step in the process.
The Most Common Scenarios in Moving Company Scams
There are many red flags to look out for when searching for reliable companies that will take care of your household goods. It is not only the money you could lose but also your belongings, time, and nerves. Even if you are in a last-minute move and think you need to find a relocation crew as soon as possible, there are some signs you have to take into consideration. Let’s take a look at some situations that should indicate fraudulent activities:
- Lack of information on the company’s website – We live in the digital era, so it is reasonable that you first go online and search for the company you will trust with your items. If you can’t find all the information that every company should have, like a physical address, registration, or proof of insurance, it is a red flag.
- Low price of the quote companies offers – Some scammers tend to set a very low price when giving the quote on the first call. They do it so they could lure more customers in that don’t know how the whole process works and haven’t done sufficient research.
- Only phone estimates – Every trustworthy company will do both, give you a phone estimate and come to your home for the last estimate. However, if a crew you contacted refuses to do it, something isn’t right.
- No mention of your rights and responsibilities – If companies don’t provide you with a document about your rights and responsibilities when you move, you can instantly know that they are frauds.
- Offered insurance covers everything – If you find a crew that claims their mandatory insurance covers everything, you should keep searching for a company that offers the basic insurance, and it is 60 cents per pound of every damaged item during the relocation. True professionals will offer full coverage as an additional option.
- Set-in-stone quote – Be aware of the companies that won’t change their quote under any circumstances, even if you remove some items from the inventory list.
Companies Change Their Names Frequently
The sign that will show you right away something is wrong is a team with many name changes in its history. Not every business that has changed its name in the past is a fraud, but changing the name every year isn’t normal and you should do some more research. Relocating safely should be the number one thing to look for. For example, if you notice some data movers give you on the phone doesn’t correspond to the ones you found on their website or see that the firm is new, keep your search active until you are sure you won’t be scammed.
A good method for checking companies is to go on the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Every serious firm must have that FMCSA number of licenses that ensures the customer’s interests.
Unclear Moving Services They Provide
When creating a relocation expenses checklist, the essential thing is to know how much each service will cost you. With a reliable crew, you should have an open and clear agreement on what amount you will pay for the services they provide. If you notice anything suspicious, it’s a red flag.
After all the red flags and signs you have to pay attention to, you’re probably asking yourself how do you trust a moving company? If a team that offers you their relocation services presents them transparently, you can be sure they’ll relocate your stuff safely, including auto transport, as well. If you get one price initially, and when you call you get a higher one, know that this isn’t something a trustworthy team would do.
They Don’t Offer a Contract
Once everything is settled, the trustworthy crew must send you a valid contract. The important thing is to read the whole document carefully, and if you find something that isn’t clear or you need additional explanation, feel free to ask. Their customer support should be able to explain everything in the best way possible.
Watch the video below to see other’s experiences with relocation frauds:
Chose a Reliable Cross Country Movers Group
An excellent way of avoiding stress during relocation is to have a crew that will box everything up and load your stuff into the truck. If you realize that the whole relocation process is too overwhelming, the best solution is to hire a team that will move you efficiently with all the packing materials needed. We all know how packing plates could be a tedious task and if you’re struggling with wrapping up your pictures, professionals can help you with those tasks, as well. The question that might cross your mind is Do movers steal your stuff? The answer is no, a reputable team will never do that. If you come across a moving fraud, you can end up without your items. So be wise when choosing the team you’ll leave your precious items with.
How to be sure you won’t be scammed? The easiest way to check reliability is to search for the US Department of Transportation number. You can usually find it at the bottom of the website. The USDT number is information that will ensure the firm’s credibility.
Tips on How to Do the Research of a Cross Country Moving Company
There are many ways of finding a team for your move. If you have a recommendation from a friend that moved recently, that is a good start. However, all information can be checked, so don’t refrain from doing so. Another way is to search online. In this case, you have to double-check all data they provide you and you’ll be prepared for a move completely.
Learn How Trustworthy Cross Country Movers Charge
When planning a relocation to another city, there are a lot of things to think about, no matter if you’re relocating for a job or you’ve decided to move for love. One of them is how to make friends in a new place. However, before meeting people in your future place, figure out how the crew that will move all of your things charges. Is the cost based on the volume or weight of your household? How much money you’ll need depends on mileage and additional services you wish to get. However, if you have any concerns, you should call the sales agent and ask everything you want to know.
Do Your Own Estimate of Belongings at Home
No matter if you’re hiring professionals to handle the relocation, you should make a household inventory on your own. This could be a time-consuming task, but it is essential to do it, and you’ll be sure exactly what the packers will wrap. Once you make your list, call the mover and ask them to do the estimates in your home or online.
If you are relocating on a budget, you can declutter your home first and downsize the list of things you’ll move. Selling unwanted items is a great way to earn some extra money that you could add to your relocation budget.
What to Do if You Have Been Scammed by a Moving Company?
After you learn how to stay away from a scam, you can start planning your relocation process. However, even after all the cautions you take, some unpleasant situations can still happen. If you’ve been scammed, you have to contact the local authorities. Some institutions and organizations can help you. One of them is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
In any case, don’t be discouraged by all these red flags. There are companies that will safely relocate your goods and offer additional help with packing services. And if you need a place where you can store your items before you move in, ask for the storage service. Relocation can be a breeze only if you find a crew you can trust. That way, you can fully enjoy the adventure of living in a new environment.