Moving scams are, unfortunately, a part of numerous relocation processes. When you start searching for a great moving company to conduct your move, you will inevitably come across several “strange” offers. Most of the time, these offers from fraudulent moving companies will be enticing due to their lower price. And with the economy being what it is, you will want to save as much money as possible. These are the prime conditions for moving scams to happen. However, with some careful research, a bit of knowledge, and a clear mind, you can avoid moving scams. At Aleks Moving, we take these matters very seriously and wish to protect everyone from falling into this trap. That is why we have prepared a small article for you, so you can arm yourself with the necessary knowledge to avoid being a scam victim.
How to avoid moving scams and choose a reliable moving company?
Here is what you will need to do/know:
Create a list of all the movers in your area
To start things off, you will want an exhaustive list of movers operating within your area. When choosing experts to handle your household items, you first need to know who is available. So, fire up that browser and start writing the names down. While this part of the process will not differentiate fraudulent movers from legitimate ones, it will serve you well in the coming steps. Most moving companies that do honest business have a similar layout to their web pages. And there are a lot more of them than shady ones. By visiting each website, you will pick up on these layouts and might be able to recognize an outlier. After you have the list in hand, the next step is to:
The first order of business is to compile a list of moving companies in your area.
Ask your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family for recommendations.
Even today, personal recommendations are still one of the best ways to ensure that you are dealing with an honest company. Therefore, you want to get your social “feelers” out and reach as many people as possible. During this process, you will likely hear about some of the names on your list. Feel accessible to bold these names, as they now have additional credibility. However, that is just the beginning of the process. To ensure that you don’t get tricked, you need to be diligent all the way through.
Read moving reviews
You may already have several companies that you are interested in at this point. You want to know as much about them as possible. The only way to do so is to read what other customers say about their services. You can find moving reviews all around the internet, from the company’s webpage to dedicated review sites such as Yelp.com. However, note that the most valuable information comes from external sources, much less likely to be “managed” by the company itself. You want to see the whole picture, not only what the mover wants you to know. Due to their business policies, fraudulent movers usually need better reviews.
One final note: If all you can find are recent reviews, be more skeptical than otherwise
Carefully reading moving reviews will tell you a lot about the company.
Customer service will have an answer to all your moving-related questions.
After reading all the reviews, it is time to contact the companies on your list directly. You will want to talk to them at length and ask as many questions about your relocation as possible. But before you do so, prepare a list of questions to ask. This will allow you to get the same information from all the movers you will speak to. The reason why you are doing this is to gauge the response from customer service. Most companies that are out to scam you will provide incomplete information. Thus, asking them about a moving checklist, utility transfer, and all the other relocation necessities is a good idea. Feel free to add any other questions you can think of and see how they react.
Obtain a moving quote from several moving companies and compare prices.
Obtaining a free quote is usually the first thing you want to do. However, there is a reason why we have yet to mention it now. Scammers use moving quotes as their primary tool to lure you in. If you have followed all the steps before this one, your list will contain several movers that all seem legitimate. Try to provide the same information to every company and get a moving quote. This way, you can avoid moving scams by merely looking at the numbers. If they are far from the majority of offers, something smells fishy. But even if everything looks in order, you still need to be careful who you hire. Follow through with the last few steps.
Comparing the prices is the best way to avoid moving scams.
A professional moving company is registered with the BBB/FMCSA and is adequately insured.
Before you sign anything, check if the authorities and prominent organizations accredit the company. Most notably, it would be best if you were looking at the FMCSA moving directory and the BBB list of movers. If your mover is not listed with either of these two groups, likely, they are not “on the level.”
Make sure that your contract is complete – Read it twice before signing.
The last piece of the “avoid moving scams” puzzle is the contract itself. Ensure all the services you have hired, e.g., packing services, are included. It is expected that fraudulent moving companies omit several benefits in the contract and then ask for payment down the road at exorbitant prices. Please read the entire agreement several times before signing it. If this is your first time looking at this document, you may also want to send a copy to your lawyer.