- Educate Yourself On How to Protect Your Move From Scams
- Charge Increase or Change For No Reason
- Bait and Switch, Avoid Moving Scams Movers
- Made-Up Charges
- The Estimate Glance
- Empty Contract
- Never Sign a Blank Contract
- Make Sure the Moving Truck is Marked
- Cash is Never a Payment Option
- Research, Research, Research!
- Use Moving Authority to Research and Book
- Look for the Moving Authority Caution Banner
1. Educate Yourself On How to Protect Your Move From Scams
Nobody wants to have a poor experience when moving. If you are using a professional moving company with good ratings, you won't have to worry about this. It is all too common to see people fall for scams from dishonest companies. These companies will try to make a quick buck by fooling you. In order to protect your moving endeavors, Moving Authority has comprised a list of the top five most common moving scams. We have also included ways that you can protect your move from these scams.
2. Charge Increase or Change For No Reason
You should always be weary of a company that advertises an unbelievably low rate. Chances are, the price is too good to be true, and you will find yourself in a world of trouble if you agree. When the movers take all of your goods in to their possession, the rate will increase. Sometimes, more seasoned scammers will charge 4 times the rate you agree to. Unfortunately, you probably did not get a hard copy of a binding estimate ahead of time. If you refuse to pay the new rate, the company will not release your goods. Most of the time, people find themselves with no choice other than to pay what is being demanded.
3. Bait and Switch, Avoid Moving Scams Movers
This is when moving company scammer tells you one thing but does another. They create an estimate for you before the move, and you agree to it. Then, once the move is complete, you have to pay more than the original agreed price. Often times you will be told that your move exceeded the estimate. The movers will not release your goods until you pay the larger price. They will leave you wondering how the new fees were created.
This is when a new charge is added to the contract after you have agreed to the move. These charges are unknown to you and are not explained by the company. These charges may take the form of a driving fee, unload charge, or anything else that is a normal component for moving. When something is added to the contract after it has been signed, you have a scam on your hands. Proper written notification is required before certain items can be charged, such as in an estimate.
Any moving estimator who does not do a detailed walk-through of your home before drawing up an estimate is likely pulling a scam. It is even more apparent that a scam is in the works when the mover does not make any attempt at a walk-through at all. All pro moving estimator will ask detailed questions about what you are moving. If this does not happen, you may be speaking with a scam mover. Not giving you an estimate before proceeding means that the mover can charge you anything. Since you never got an estimate, or you got a fake one, then you cannot fight the charges.
An increasing number of people are reeled in to signing blank contracts from moving companies. This is the greatest type of scam for movers. Signing a blank contract gives the mover power to create whatever terms they want for your move. Make sure that everything you are moving is written clearly and accurately on the inventory list. If you are moving a bedroom and the box simply says "bedroom", then the mover can easily steal things from you. If you have a laptop in your bedroom that is not listed on the inventory, then the movers can easily take it during the move. You would have no way of recovering it since you cannot dispute something that was never listed on the contract.
7. Never Sign a Blank Contract
Since we talked about this one, let's discuss how you can prevent being fooled in this way. Long distance moving scams the contract that you sign should clearly state that there is no circumstance that could bring about extra charges during the move. It should also state an exact date for both pickup and delivery of goods, as well as a price estimate for the move.
8. Make Sure the Moving Truck is Marked
Moving companies that are operating within the law will have trucks with clear labeling. The trucks should also have commercial plates. A clear display of the USDOT number is also required by the United States Department of Transportation. The paperwork that you sign should also have a moving logo on it. Some craigslist moving scams essentially, you should ensure that all operations can be rooted back to one company that has a license.
9. Cash is Never a Payment Option
The only cash that should be exchanged between you and the mover is a tip. If you pay for the entirety of the move in cash, the movers could very easily take off with your goods and claim that they never received payment. Always pay with credit, debit, or check, if accepted. This way, your bank will have a record of the transaction on file.
10. Research, Research, Research!
We cannot stress enough how important it is to research all the companies you consider. Ensure that the company has a physical address listed online. Read reviews from previous customers and do a search for their DOT number. Doing these things will ensure that you are working with trusted movers.
11. Use Moving Authority to Research and Book
Moving Authority only lists movers that have passed a background check. The movers we list have also been verified through the DOT. We make sure all of their licensing is in order before we work with them.
12. Look for the Moving Authority Caution Banner
In continuing our efforts to keep you safe during your relocation, we have integrated a caution banner into our site. This banner appears on pages of companies who have no renewed their USDOT license. It also appears if they do not have proper insurance, or have in some way make their trustworthiness questionable to us. When you see this banner, we recommend that you choose another company within our site to do business with. The company with the banner must fix their issue, or they face removal from our site.