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4 Sneaky Moving Company Red Flags that Will Ruin Your Move

Moving is daunting, and the last thing you want is to fall for a dishonest scheme that could ruin your move out day. To make sure you have a smooth and hassle-free move, it’s important to be aware of common scams that movers use. By keeping an eye out for these schemes, you can protect yourself during your move.

Moving Company Red Flags

No Show

Beware of this common moving scam involving no-shows. The way this scheme works is that after receiving a quote from the moving company, you are asked to pay a deposit. Then on your move out day, the movers fail to show up. This results in a loss of your deposit and no movers available to assist you on your moving day.

More Expensive Than the Quote

Another common dishonest moving scheme is when movers add extra fees on top of the quoted price. Typically, it works like this: the moving company gives a quote based on the expected weight.

After loading the truck, they tell you that the load is over the expected weight and that an additional fee must be paid. Usually, the additional fee is much more expensive per pound, sometimes even double the original estimate! 

Moving Company Red Flags

Fraudulent Credit Charges

Another common scheme by dishonest moving companies is incorrectly charging the customer. In this scam, the movers charge your credit card more than the agreed-upon amount. 

To protect yourself from this type of dishonest scheme, it’s important that you check your credit card statement to make sure you’re being charged correctly. Also, you should always get the mover’s price quote in writing rather than just a verbal quote. This way, if a moving company charges you more than the agreed upon amount, you can provide written proof to your credit card company when you make the dispute.

Taking Your Belongings Hostage

Another moving scam involves the outright theft of your belongings. This moving scam is more insidious because it can be difficult to detect at first. The movers seem professional, and everything appears to be going smoothly. They provide an estimate, show up on schedule, and load your things onto the truck. 

But this is where the problem starts: the truck fails to arrive at your new home, and the moving truck is nowhere to be found. The moving company then tells you that you must pay extra to have your things delivered, effectively holding them hostage. 

If you find yourself in this situation, and the moving company is demanding additional payment that was not part of the original contract, you should contact the Better Business Bureau or local law enforcement for assistance.

Moving Company Red Flags

How to Protect Yourself From Fraudulent Movers

Detecting fraudulent moving companies is challenging, but there are several ways to do it. One way is to examine the company’s website thoroughly. Another is to make sure that it has a physical address and check for details about its insurance and registration to verify that it is a legitimate company. 

Reading reviews from various sources is also helpful. Avoid using Craigslist to find movers since scammers can post fake ads. Instead, rely on recommendations from people you trust.

Another way to verify the reputation of the movers you are considering is to check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website or contact your local BBB. 

Look for the identification number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Your mover should also have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number. All interstate moving companies must have one.

Getting everything in writing is key, including the price, pickup, and expected delivery date. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of your moving contract carefully, paying particular attention to the limits of liability and any disclaimers.

Make sure you ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company is being dodgy and won’t answer your questions, that’s a red flag, and you should look for another moving company. Remember, follow your instincts. You need to trust the moving company you are hiring. If something is off, then you shouldn’t use them. 

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