How to Spot a Moving Company Scam
I want to teach you a bit about spotting a moving company scam today. If you’re about to move, it’s important to be informed before you pick out a mover. Scammers really are still an issue in this industry, so I created this list just for you. These are my top ten signs of a scammy moving company.
Tip 1: With Google maps it is not uncommon for a moving company to handle the estimate over the phone. They can ask you a few questions about the contents of each room and use the satellite view to calculate the square footage. It allows them to save money and time by not sending someone out for an on-site estimate. However, a legitimate company will always provide an on-site estimate if you request it. So stay away from any movers who refuse to estimate the job on-site.
Tip 2: Legit companies have a brand name. If you call and they say something like “Moving company” or “Hello, movers here”, chances are it’s a scam. You should also be very aware of the answering machine. Does it have a professional message or just a generic one? A legitimate mover should have a message that says who they are and how you can reach them.
Tip 3: Beware Up-front payments! Be cautious dealing with moving companies that demand a cash deposit upfront. Reliable moving companies bill you after the move.
Tip 4: “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” – It’s a booklet the government publishes and guess what…interstate moving companies are required BY LAW to provide you with this document.
Tip 5: Do they have a web presence? Look for their Google My Business profile and check it for reviews. Take a look on their website and see if they have contact information and a business address listed. These are all signs of a legitimate moving company, and scammers might not have information like this published anywhere.
Tip 6: Make sure they carry insurance that covers your goods in case they are lost or damaged in transit. A reputable mover should be able to show you a copy of their policy. Don’t be afraid to call the moving company and ask a few screening questions.
Tip 7: Sometimes your ‘gut’ intuition can help you weed out a shady moving company. Go visit their office location. Is it clean? Do they take care of items in storage? Scope the place out to see if they seem like a reputable company before you commit to the move.
Tip 8: Yelp, AngiesList, YP, Superpages, Facebook reviews – These are all the places you need to be looking into. Reviews are very hard to fake these days. You should keep in mind that reviews could be an indicator of the business’s trustworthiness.
Tip 9: Avoid the lowest bid! If you shopped around for three quotes, go with the middle or highest cost. The lowest bidder is there for a reason. They are probably cutting costs in important areas that might affect your move.
Tip 10: Make sure they show up in marked trucks and wearing uniforms. Legit moving companies always have a uniform and marked trucks. Even if it’s just a magnet, the truck should have a company logo that’s easily recognizable.
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I hope you found this list useful in your plans to find the best local moving company. Be on the lookout for scammers and have a safe move!