No matter how simple it seems, moving is expensive, annoying, and sometimes even distressing.
Being an educated consumer you may feel that you know all the facts related to your move and even check reviews and talk to their representatives before hiring a company. But even after checking every bit of their profile, your move may end up in a nightmare.
If you do the research work, you will realize that thousands of complaints are filed with Better Business Bureau every year against moving companies. Reliable national movers associated with Pricing Van Lines most of these complaints are generally related to late deliveries, items held hostages to get additional payment, missing or damaged goods, and/or hidden costs.
Not only financial scams, but many companies will also confirm their arrival time and never turn up on time. You will be in affix in such condition especially if you have a tight timeline.
Many times movers do not turn at all without any notice. All these unprofessional behaviors come under consumer harassment and many people face these issues in real.
What to do to avoid relocation scams?
The key to understand and avoid these ever-increasing moving scams is to be prepared for it much before your move. Following are some points that give us head-ups about the company that you are considering hiring for your next move.
While a good reputable company asks for a reasonable deposit from you to book a certain date on your name but if a mover is asking for an unreasonable deposit in return for a date and high-quality services, make out that they are frauds and never pay more than 20% of the estimated moving cost.
If your move doesn’t agree to a reasonable deposit, you should find another mover. Also, try to make your deposit payment using a credit card as credit card payments can be stopped. In no condition pay a hefty deposit and even postpone your move if the need be.
False Testimonials and References
You may have done your homework well and have checked all the testimonials on the company website, but what if those testimonials are fake. Make sure you are not falling for all those self-created false customer statements. Ask for real people references and try calling a few of them to be sure about company services.
Unrealistically Low Estimate
If you are getting an unrealistically low moving cost estimate, get alert. A good moving company will charge you a less or more market-rate while a fraud moving company may offer you a very low estimate for moving your household.
In the end, these scammer companies charge you much more than their estimated price in the name of extra services. They will even hold hostage your belongings and will demand money in return. In the worst-case scenario, some companies disappear with your belongings.
Loss of Valuables
You may lose some of your very precious things if not kept safely. It is important to know that some companies do not take responsibility for their employees and your goods during the uploading process. It is wise to keep your valuable belongings and jewelry separately and in your possession.
Make sure you do not pack any costly items in moving boxes. Also, check each item in your inventory while uploading and unloading your goods.
No Physical Office Location
Dishonest moving companies do not have a brick-and-mortar office of their own, they generally operate on phones. That is why it is important to look for the physical address of the company when searching online. We often make the mistake of contacting the company over the phone without checking its physical address.
Filling out an online form to contact that company can be a fraud. Make sure you don’t fall for such frauds and also check the company’s office location by visiting there if possible.
Ask for the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation license number and confirm if it is registered with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Having a handy guide on office relocation is always recommended.
Apart from the above-said tips, make sure you also take care of the following things
- Except for a few states, all other states provide license numbers to moving companies, and in case of a local move, make sure you ask your company’s license number.
- Consider making payments by credit card as it is easy to stop or disrupt the payment if anything goes wrong. Payments made in cash are always hard to recover.
- Make sure you read the bill of lading carefully before you give possession of your goods to the company. A bill of lading is physical proof that the company is carrying your stuff so it is wise to add a list of all the items in detail.
- If you are moving interstate, make sure your company is authorized for an interstate move.