Moving is an extremely stressful experience, and although there are many reputable moving companies, many people still fall prey to relocation scams. By learning how to avoid relocation fraud, you can protect yourself from scammers and save thousands of dollars in the process! Here are three common scam signs to watch out for if you’re moving out of town!
3 ways to get scammed by moving companies
1. They provide inaccurate estimates
Any mover who won’t come to your house to appraise your belongings will provide you with an “invisible” quote, and you should be wary of such a moving offer. Good movers like Safe moving and storage provide accurate estimates focusing on the total weight of the goods. Moving costs are calculated not only based on the distance traveled, but also based on the volume of items moved.
2. They don’t consider insurance
Lack of insurance is a huge red flag when considering a relocation company. Even the smallest respectable moving company will take precautions in obtaining insurance. If they don’t, that means they don’t care about you and you’re probably going to get scammed.
This, in turn, means that they will not compensate you if your goods are damaged or lost in transit.
3. Variations in naming
Changing their company name is a common tactic used by fraudulent companies to avoid detection. Name changes aren’t always indicative of dishonesty, but too many in succession could set off red flags. Local movers who are professional almost rarely change their name for strategic marketing and brand recognition purposes. If you notice this has happened frequently, you should probably look elsewhere or contact the Better Business Bureau to investigate the company’s suspension practices.
How to protect yourself from moving scams?
Check their license validity
Locating reliable movers and reputable relocation companies can take some legwork. More than that, you should always treat any information you see online with suspicion. The absence of a valid license should serve as an immediate warning sign. The first thing on your moving checklist should be to find licensed movers who can transport your belongings safely.
Use credit card for payment
In the event of fraud or theft, bank card transactions are protected. If you pay cash and get scammed, you may forget to get your money back.
Know your rights and obligations when it comes to moving
During the pre-move planning phase, you are legally entitled to receive a package of materials from your licensed mover titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When Moving”. To learn more about their policies on fair business practices, industry rules and consumer rights, most reputable local movers will direct you to their website. Before signing a contract, it is important to read it carefully and know its details. Check the pre-determined collection and return times.
Don’t sign anything that leaves questions unanswered or incomplete. Unreliable movers may offer you a low or competitive rate only to jack it up with hidden expenses.
The best way to get an idea of how different movers have treated their customers is to read reviews written by those customers. But don’t base your decision solely on star ratings. What matters most is what actual buyers have to say about a product or service. It’s not a good sign if there are no reviews to be found or if the only reviews available are on the company’s website.
Keep everything recorded
You have nine months from the date of delivery to file a written claim with the local movers for any lost or damaged items. Before signing, note any discrepancies on the copy of the mover’s inventory. You can expect a response to your complaint from your mover within 30 days. They have 120 days from the date of receipt of your request to settle or reject it. If you can’t show them before and after pictures of the house, or if they leave before they see the damage, they’re much more likely to say it never happened.
Refer to the Best!
While these tips can help you avoid potential moving fraud, you can completely eliminate the risk by referring to professional, licensed, and reputable movers on Safe moving and storagewho offer full transparency throughout their relocation process, so you stay stress-free and happy with the big move!