How to Avoid Moving Scams

Scams seem to proliferate faster these days.  You hope that by moving, you’ll be able to start a new life but lo and behold, the things you have worked hard for to stuff in your home has just been held and you can only get them back by paying an additional amount of money.  Do not let yourself be the next victim of these crooks.  Here are some tips to avoid moving scams.

Perform a background check. This is pretty easy to do.  A clue: Better Business Bureau.  Check the site out to see which moving company has the most complaints or praises.  After weeding out the best ones, put on a search for more company reviews. Your friends and family members can also be good references.

Licensing. Make sure to check the movers licensing information with Department of Transportation. In addition, states like Utah and and Minnesota require moving companies to publish licensing information on the front doors of the moving trucks.

Work with a real estate agent. Companies who are affiliated with the real estate business and who offer moving services are good sources of information.  You can even enlist their moving services.  Because they know the ins and outs of the process, they’ll be able to lighten the burden for you.

Have your things surveyed. A reputable company often sends out a representative to your home to check your things out.  This way, they can tell you how to pack, provide you tip when moving, and how the process will be undertaken.  Even homeowners pose different moving situations to moving companies.

Obtain quotes.  Moving companies offer estimates.  If you can, strive to obtain for at least three or four quotes.  Chances are, one could be too low and one could be too high.  In both cases, you have the right to be suspicious.  Settle for what you think is the most reasonable estimate. If a quote sounds too good to be true, then it probably is scam.

Get it in writing. All terms associated with the movement should be covered.  If the contract is a bit long, read it anyway.  Sometimes, a long contract makes the most sense.  Beware of hidden fees, gratuity percentages, and ridiculous down payment amounts.  Some companies do charge down payments but none of them makes you pay in full outright.

Ask about the claim process.  Sometimes, your things will still get broken or scratched.  Those are inevitable and it is really up to you if you let it go or not.  If the damage is extensive, a reputable company helps you with the claim process to make sure you recover the amount of the damage.  Make sure that a written agreement includes this part.  Otherwise, you’ll end up in an argument that’s going nowhere.


Posted in Moving Tips