Common Moving Scams to Watch Out For
When relocating to a new home, there are a number of things that you will need to take into consideration. Unfortunately, during a move, many people become victims to various moving scams. Knowing what those scams are and how to avoid them will help to protect yourself during the moving process. The following article lists common moving scams people fall victim to year after year. After reviewing this information, you will be better equipped to recognize these scams and know how to prevent them from affecting your upcoming relocation.
The Bait and Switch
Many people fall victim to the bait and switch moving scam. With the bait and switch, a moving company will offer you what appears to be a great estimate for your move. The price seems so good that you will likely hire them to complete your relocation. This is the bait. At the end of your move, the company will then add on additional fees, costs, etc. This of course is the switch. Companies will use this tactic to draw customers in by providing them with promises of inexpensive services, but later increasing the price substantially. By the time the switch occurs, the move has been completed and you, the consumer, are stuck paying more than what was previously expected.
How to Avoid the Bait and Switch
What are a few ways you can avoid the bait and switch? When selecting a moving company, you will need to make sure that you ask all of the proper questions. Inquire about any itemized fees that may be included in your relocation costs. Doing so will ensure that you are dealing with an honest company that will inform you about all expected costs. You should check the company’s BBB rating, ask for recommendations, and read various reviews before making any final decisions. This will give you a better understanding about rather or not you can trust the company.
The required deposit scam involves demanding cash for moving services up front before any work is done. If the mover you select is a reputable company, then they will likely not ask you to pay a deposit prior to your relocation. In most cases, you are asked to pay your relocation bill once all of your possessions have been safely delivered to your new home. If you pay ahead of time, this will give your potential scammer or mover total control of your relocation. Withholding payment until your move is complete will help ensure that your belongings are delivered in a safe and timely manner.
How to Avoid the Required Deposit Scam
Prior to selecting a moving company to transport your belongings, you should research all of their business practices. An honest company will be forthright with their business dealings. If you suspect that the company is not providing all of the proper information, then trust your instincts and select another company.
The Thin Contract
Various moving scams stem from misleading contracts. Many unreliable relocation professionals will attempt to provide you with a contract that has very little details. It is vital that every detail is included in your moving contract. Various untrustworthy companies will attempt to leave out critical details in order to charge more for your move in the end. A few items that should be in your moving contract include your estimated moving quote, extra fees, and moving day information such as pick up time and estimated delivery date and times.
How to Avoid the Thin Contract Scam
The first step to avoiding this scam is to first know your rights and responsibilities. When you know what you are entitled to as a consumer, avoiding contract scams will be simple. Also, be sure to thoroughly read every detail of your contract prior to signing any documents. Doing this will protect both you and your possessions during your move.
Over the Phone Estimates
This scam involves giving only over the phone estimates to consumers instead of proving an on-site inspection of the goods being moved. These types of estimates are not nearly as reliable as in home estimates. Because of this, unreliable movers will often provide clients with an over the phone estimate and following the move, increase the price that was previously quoted. Receiving an in-home estimate will give you a more accurate idea as to how much you will have to pay for your upcoming move. If the company refuses to offer an in-home estimate, then this is a sign the movers are not legit.
How to Avoid Over the Phone Estimates
As a client, what can you do to avoid over the phone estimate moving scams? You should request that your movers come to your home and provide you with a free moving quote. Once they have done this, ask to receive the quote in writing. Doing so will help to ensure that the moving company you select doesn’t add any additional charges to the overall cost of your move. Sometimes this information can be hidden in fine print; so make sure you read all the information provided to you in writing. It is vital that you know everything possible to properly to protect your move. Lastly, keep in mind that if someone offers you an over the phone estimate that seems too good to be true, then it likely is.
A number of moving companies unfortunately take advantage of unsuspecting customers. There are a number of ways that you can successfully avoid moving fraud. One of the best ways to avoid this issue is to select a reputable moving company to complete your relocation. To do this, simply check every company out by using resources from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Although a relocation is not an easy task, with the right moving company, this process can be simplified. With proper research, you will not only be able to select the right company to move your belongings to your new home, but you will also be able to avoid a variety of moving scams.