You’ve probably been pretty diligent at avoiding scams your whole life. Being wary of credit card deals that seem too good to be true, or ignoring email scammers who want to upgrade the life insurance policy you never bought. But you may not have realized that even moving companies can scam you.
Indeed, scams are everywhere, and you have to be on the lookout at all times for people taking advantage of you. To be clear, most movers are reputable and have your best interests at heart. But like everything else in life, there are a few bad apples among the bunch. Your job is to research your moving options and choose the best you can from there.
Here’s how to avoid moving scams.
Take It Slow
If you have the luxury of time, take it. Don’t rush the research process, because this is when mistakes and oversights happen. If the price quote you get seems way too low, it probably is, and there’s probably a catch somewhere. Always read the fine print, ask the movers to explain what you don’t understand, and dig deep to find out if there are hidden fees involved. Don’t ignore those red flags. Heed their warnings.
You probably wouldn’t dream of choosing a new doctor or even a new restaurant without reading what others have to say first. Same goes when faced with hiring movers. From Yelp to Google to the AMSA , check for patterns of negative reviews and complaints. Find out if the movers you’re considering have ever held a shipment hostage in exchange for more money, or asked for all cash up front and were never seen again. One negative review could be a one-off, but when you see a pattern emerge, this could give you a clear sign.
Moving companies that offer interstate moves should be registered with the DOT. They don’t have to belong to the AMSA, but it’s a good thing if you see they are. Both of these organizations track complaints against moving companies and may take away their accreditation if guilty of moving scams.
Get a Detailed Quote
To be accurate, your quote should be very detailed and contain an inventory of your possessions. Expect your movers to come to your home and walk through it, taking notes of measurements and amounts. Over-the-phones quotes aren’t as accurate, and you might find yourself surprised at the final bill. Keep in mind, scams often start out with a low-ball quote, then balloon from there till you’re left with a crazy high bill at the end.
Request It All In Writing
A verbal quote is not enough. Ask for the estimate in writing so you can read the line items and fine print. Ask for the terms and conditions in writing as well. Read it all over and don’t be afraid to ask questions so you know what to expect.
Beware of Unmarked Trucks
If the movers show up in an unmarked or rented truck, take this as a red flag. They may say they ran out of fleet trucks and had to rent one for your job. But anyone can drive a rental, and you can’t be sure who will be driving your precious belongings, and to where. File a complaint and go with a different mover.
Follow Your Gut
If something doesn’t feel right when talking with potential movers, listen to that gut instinct. Above all, you should feel comfortable with the movers you choose and shouldn’t feel pushed into something you don’t want.
Contact Big Lake Movers
Here at Big Lake Movers, you always get professional, vetted, and licensed movers who show up to give you detailed quotes and above-board service. To schedule a free quote and consultation, contact us at one of our three convenient locations.