The TOP 8 Moving SCAMS to be aware of.
Updated: Aug 13
A well-informed customer who does his homework every step of the process is the best defence against moving frauds. Moving is difficult, and just because someone else is doing it for you doesn't mean you can trust them with all of the specifics. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Be sure to have an estimate completed.
Homeowners generally have many more stuff than they believe they have, and effective estimators are more concerned with guesstimating the bulk and weight of objects than than looking at individual items. (A queen-size bed without a headboard or footboard is far lighter than one with an elaborate, hefty wood frame.) Moving costs are determined not only by distance travelled, but also by the weight and quantity of your possessions.
A brief examination
An "estimator" who conducts a quick walk-through of your home without opening cabinets or noting exactly what you want to relocate will be well off the mark. A reputable estimate would ask you things such, “Are you going to move all of the food in your pantry, or will you consume it first?” “Are you having a yard sale to get rid of anything, and if so, what are you going to sell?”).
The deposit that has been asked
Before relocating you, reputable movers will not demand cash or a hefty deposit. In most cases, payment is made at the time of delivery. You have no control over when you'll see your stuff if you pay in advance. When paying, utilise a credit card that will assist you in detecting any fraudulent activity.
Politely asking your mover for a certificate of their insurance, or some sort of proof can be essential. Some movers claim to have insurance to sell their company, yet they don't have it. It's difficult to find out if they have insurance, as it's not labelled all over their website or business. This can be dangerous to hire a mover without it, because broken belongings may never be replaced at their true value, or at all.
Do you want to stay in a two-story home or downsize to a one-story home? You'll almost certainly be charged more. Are you moving into or out of a 10th-floor apartment? Ditto. Have a tiny street where a moving vehicle won't fit? The relocation of your items to a smaller vehicle for delivery will incur a fee.
Contracts with blank spots
This should be plain sense rather than a con, but no matter how much you like the mover, you should never, ever sign a blank contract. Make a written record of everything. Your estimate, as well as any additional costs and pickup and delivery dates, should be included.
The concrete price
One of two types of moving contracts are required by federal law. A non-binding estimate implies the firm can't ask for more than 10% more than the initial estimate, and payment must be made within 30 days after delivery. A binding estimate is meant to be a firm price for the transfer as well as all additional costs and services.
The shady movers
Are your movers out of uniform? Are they swearing and engaging in horse-play? Are they not treating your belongings like they should be? These are all tell-tale examples of a moving company that can and will take advantage of their customers. If their standards are not there, the workers not trained and their customer service skills non-existent or lacking, be prepared for a hassle. Use your review guide to figure them out beforehand.
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