How to Avoid Moving Scams

Moving? Whether you’re looking to sell your house or buy one, it can be a stressful experience. To make things easier on you, most people choose to use services to pack, move and unpack their belongings with ease. However, some unscrupulous people may take advantage of your stress and loneliness by luring you into traps that they call moving scams. These are usually fake service providers who tell you that they have access to cheap movers to help you out with the task of packing your things and getting them moved from one place to another. They promise low rates and charge an exorbitant amount for their services. Their business model is simple: they lure unsuspecting people in with promises of lower prices, only to overcharge them once they trust the moving company’s references. Here is what you need to know about these dirty tricks and how you can avoid falling into their trap.



Before You Hire a Moving Company

Before you hire a moving company, be sure to do some research. You can look for reviews on services on sites like Yelp and Google, as well as Try to understand their pricing. Most moving companies have a range of prices that you can choose from. If you choose a rate that is too low, you may not have enough items to fill a truck. On the other hand, if the rate is too high, you may have to hire movers twice. Get to know the items that your movers will be handling. If you know that they are moving only a few items, you can choose a cheaper service. If you have a large house or an extensive renovation project, you may need a more expensive service. There are a lot of moving companies online, which may be harder for you to choose from. You can ask for referrals from friends or relatives who have recently moved.


Ask for a written estimate

Once you’ve chosen a mover, ask for a written estimate. You should ask for one at the beginning of the process and not as a condition for agreeing to move. A written estimate allows you to compare different moving companies and make an informed decision. It should include all services that the company has promised to provide and the rates that they are charging. Make sure you understand everything in the estimate. If you do not understand something, ask for an explanation.


Don’t pay before the movers arrive

Before you pay your movers, make sure that they are on time and they have all the necessary permits to be working. If you are waiting at the door and the movers are 15 minutes late, don’t let them in. If they have all the necessary permits and licenses to be working, tell them that you will let them in in 5 minutes, but don’t let them in. Let them know that you will be waiting outside. If they are not on time, don’t let them in until they have apologized and promised to be on time from now onwards. Pay only when the work is done. Make sure you understand what is included in the quote.


Check if they are licensed and insured

All moving companies, whether they offer packing, moving, or unloading services, should be licensed and insured. When you hire a moving company, ask for the license inspection report. If it has passed all inspections, it is better to be safe than sorry. You should also check if the company is insured. Most companies insure your belongings during transportation but check if yours are covered as well. If you are moving between states or countries, make sure that your possessions are covered. If they are not, you may have to pay an additional fee.


Ask to see their trucks and equipment

Once the movers show up at your door, let them in and let them start carrying things. Don’t let them carry anything into your house or property unless they have permission and have been given access. If they are bringing trucks and equipment, inspect everything that they have. Make sure that the trucks have all the necessary permits and licenses to be working, and that the equipment is properly maintained and in good condition. If the trucks are in poor condition, the furniture will be damaged during transportation.


Look for hidden or unusual charges

Once the movers finish loading up your items, you need to pay them. However, before you let the movers leave, look for hidden charges on their invoices. There may be surcharges for extra items that you do not expect to see. Make sure you are paying only for what is mentioned in the invoice. Check for unexpected charges in the moving quote, such as city or state taxes, transportation fees, or fuel charges. If you do not see them on the invoice, make sure to ask the mover about these fees. Find out if they are included in the quote or if they are extra. Find out if they are to be paid at the end of the job or before the moving process is finished. This can give you a better idea of how the mover charges.


Final Words

While moving scams are not common, they do happen. By following these tips, you can help to avoid falling victim to these scams. Be vigilant when hiring a moving company. If a company has too good of a deal and seems too easy to get ahold of, it is probably too good to be true. Make sure that you understand the services that they are offering before you agree to hire them. And finally, don’t let the movers leave before paying them for the work that they have done.


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