How to recognize and avoid moving fraud
There are many stressful aspects of residential moves. However, the biggest fear for most people is certainly a moving scam. The moving business has grown a lot, making it easier and cheaper for everybody to get high-quality moving services. However, along with the positive aspects, the negative sides have grown as well. The number of fraudulent companies increased, making people hesitant and nervous when they need to hire one. Luckily, we’re going to help you be as cautious as possible. In this article, you’re going to read some tested ways on how to recognize and avoid moving fraud and make your relocation unforgettable – in a positive way.
Don’t pick a moving company in a rush
Last-minute moves are one of the riskiest situations when it comes to moving frauds. Unless you need to move quickly, make sure to take your time planning your move. Give yourself enough time to browse, compare and choose the best company that fits your needs and budget. If you do this slowly, it will be easier to recognize and avoid moving fraud. Finally, on-time planning will bring you more affordable moving rates and help you plan your budget better.
Use Internet wisely
The Internet has given us a chance to check whatever we want, browse different services and goods, shop online, etc. However, you should use it wisely when hiring a company to deal with your move. Also, you should support your online research with offline recommendations and contacting the companies. When doing the research, don’t forget the following :
- Read the reviews – online moving reviews can be a valuable piece of information about a specific company. However, you should learn to tell the difference, as some of the reviews can be fake. Use only trustworthy websites, and look out for any signals that might tell you that a review is fake – unnatural language, overly positive/negative sentences, repetitive words, etc.
- Check the website – the company’s website can tell a lot about their professionalism. See if their website is user-friendly and contains all the necessary information you need about their services, as well as correct contact information.
- Double-check their license – when you contact a moving company, check their license and USDOT number to make sure you’re dealing with a registered business. All legitimate companies should be registered at FMCSA and have a unique USDOT number.
Have a couple of options
Browse moving companies and narrow your options to at least three choices so you can pick the best mover. Contact a couple of them and get two or more moving estimates. This will help you compare their pricing, services, and general customer approach. In that way, you’ll easily see if there’s something off with a company and go for a better deal.
Sometimes, fraudulent companies offer estimates that are too good to be true. Don’t fall for that, but compare it to other companies to get an idea of the average pricing for your move. Also, don’t go for the most expensive option either, as a higher price doesn’t always mean the highest-quality service.
Professional companies should provide you with a free estimate first, so you can see what your bill will look like in the end. Also, be sure to ask them about any additional costs. These can be a common unpleasant surprise for customers who hire unreliable moving teams.
Avoid paying a big deposit
One of the common ways fraudulent companies get money from people is by asking for a large deposit. After getting an estimate, don’t pay for something like this, especially not with cash. If a mover is trying to make you pay, say goodbye to them immediately and keep looking for a safer option.
Check the trucks
If a company runs its business professionally, it should invest in its trucks. You should take a quick look at the vehicles, as they can tell you a lot about the mover. Trucks should be in good condition, often with some branding, clearly stating the name and contact details of the company.
Bonus tip: professional companies also invest in the looks of their moving team. They should have a clean uniform with the company name on it. Dirty, ripped clothes with no name tag can be a big red flag.
The knowledge and skill of the moving team
Apart from their looks, movers should also act professionally and know a lot about the moving business. You should go for a skilled team who knows exactly how to deal with your furniture, especially with pieces that need additional care.
Signing the contract before reading it is a big no when hiring movers to relocate your home. To recognize and avoid moving fraud, you should be careful until the last step of the move. Carefully read the contract, and don’t sign a blank document. Your contract should clearly state the details of your move – date and time, payment details, address, etc. Also, pay attention to your moving insurance. If a mover tells you the insurance covers everything – something is wrong. Generally, the insurance is based on the weight of your items, and it starts at 60 cents per pound.
Make an inventory
To make your move a bit safer and protect yourself when moving your household, make an inventory list of your belongings as you pack. Better yet, take photos of the items you pack. These will show the condition of the items before loading them onto a moving truck. This is a good thing to have if something happens, but it can also help you unpack when you arrive in your new home.
Finally, one of the ways to recognize and avoid moving fraud is to ask the moving team you hire everything you want to know about the move. The way they answer can tell you a lot about their trustworthiness and skills. Movers should know how the company works, its terms and conditions, and your rights as a customer. If there’s anything they avoid telling you – it’s time to start looking for another professional.
Meta description: In this article, you’re going to read some tested ways to recognize and avoid moving fraud and make your relocation unforgettable – in a positive way.