Moving is an extremely stressful experience, and while there are plenty of 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 yourself thousands of dollars in the process! Here are three common signs of a scam to watch out for if you’re moving out of town!
3 Ways You Can Get Scammed by Moving Companies
1. They Provide Inaccurate Guesstimates
Any mover that won’t come to your house to evaluate your belongings is providing you with a “sight-unseen” quote, and you should be wary of such a moving offer. Good movers like Safebound Moving & Storage provide accurate estimates by focusing on the overall weight of the goods. Costs for moving are calculated not just by distance traveled but also by the volume of items being moved.
2. They Disregard Insurance
The lack of insurance is a huge red flag when considering a relocation business. Even the smallest respectable moving business will take precautions by obtaining insurance. If they don’t have that, it 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 while in transit.
3. Variations in Naming
Changing their company name is a common tactic used by fraudulent businesses to avoid detection. Name changes are not always indicative of dishonesty, but too many in succession might raise red flags. Local movers that are professional almost seldom change their names for strategic marketing and brand recognition purposes. If you notice that this has happened frequently, you should probably search elsewhere or contact the Better Business Bureau to have them investigate the company’s suspending practices.
How to Protect Yourself from Moving Scams?
Check their License Validity
Locating reliable movers and reputable relocation companies may require some legwork. More than that, you should always treat with suspicion any information you see online. The lack of a valid license should serve as an immediate warning sign. The first thing on your moving checklist should be finding licensed movers that can transport your belongings safely.
Use a Credit Card for Payment
In the event of fraud or theft, credit card transactions are protected. If you pay with cash and get ripped off, you can forget about getting your money back.
Know Your Moving Rights and Obligations
During the pre-move planning phase, you are legally entitled to receive a packet of material from your licensed mover titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” To learn more about their policies on fair business practices, industry rules, and consumer rights, the most reputable local movers will point you to their website. Before signing a contract, it is important to read it carefully and learn its details. Check for predetermined collection and return times.
Don’t sign anything that leaves questions unanswered or incomplete. Untrustworthy movers may quote you a low or competitive rate only to jack it up with hidden expenses.
The best method to get a feel for how different movers have treated their customers is to read reviews written by those customers. But don’t base your decision just on the number of stars. What matters most is what actual buyers have to say about a product or service. It’s not a good sign if there aren’t any 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, make a note of any discrepancies on the mover’s copy of the inventory. You can expect a response to your claim from your mover within 30 days. They have 120 days from the date they received your claim to either pay up or reject it. If you can’t show them photos of the house before and after the incident, or if they leave before seeing the damage, they are much more likely to say it never happened.
Refer to the Best!
While these tips can help you avoid potential moving frauds, you can eliminate the risk completely by referring to professional, vetted, and renowned movers at Safebound Moving & Storage, who provide utter transparency throughout their relocation process, so you remain stress-free and content for the big move!