Simple Tips to Avoiding Moving Scams During Your Move
Approximately one in every six Americans move every year and unfortunately, moving scams still happen on a regular basis. The sad truth is that when consumers take a company at their word or fail to do their homework, they’re much more vulnerable to fraudulent tactics. These unscrupulous companies have the power to completely derail your life. You cannot afford to take any chances when hiring a residential or commercial moving service. To help you avoid scam artists, make sure to follow the tips below.
Do your research
We cannot stress this enough. We live in the digital age, which does make it easier for bad companies to masquerade as authentic ones. The upside of that, however, is that it’s never been easier to access useful information.
Take advantage of the internet and conduct ample research before deciding on a professional moving company. Check out a given company’s website, look them up on the Better Business Bureau site, and pay a visit to consumer protection websites (such as www.protectyourmove.gov). These resources are absolutely priceless. By taking your time to ensure you work with real, highly rated companies, you’ll be in a better position to protect your family and your property.
Read the reviews
Piggy-backing off of the research point, make sure to read real customer reviews! Many residential and commercial moving services will have customer testimonials on their site. While these do have value, remember that the company can pick and choose which reviews to feature (or they could even be fake, in rare cases).
In addition to their BBB rating, you can also check out sites like Yelp. You should be skeptical of companies that have only gushing, positive reviews to their name. Not every customer will have an overwhelmingly positive experience. It’s actually better to see a company respond quickly and professionally to a complaint than a site with absolutely no negative reviews. And even though there’s a wealth of information on the web, don’t forget to ask friends and family for their personal recommendations.
Double-check their certifications, licensing, and insurance
This is a biggie. Any legitimate moving company is licensed, insured, and certified. Interstate movers must register with the federal government, but each state regulates local movers (and each one has their own requirements). Interstate movers have two options for liability, which offer very different values. Your mover is also required to have their own insurance and must provide you with proof of it upon request.
After making sure your residential or commercial moving service has certification from the American Moving and Storage Association, ask to see proof of their insurance and registration. Your mover should also provide you with a pamphlet that outlines your rights and responsibilities during a move. If they fail to provide you with this info, choose a different mover.
Get an in-home estimate
A lot of people don’t think to ask for an in-home estimate, but it can actually weed out the crooks and give you a better idea of what your cost will be. Companies that won’t provide in-home estimates will likely find a way to charge you more than their original quote suggests. If you don’t want to deal with an unwelcome financial surprise on moving day, get your in-home estimate ahead of time. This will ensure there’s no miscommunication between you and your mover and that you fully understand the costs you may incur during your move.
Be sure to get a few different estimates to compare rates, too. If one estimate seems much higher or lower than the others, you may want to avoid it. The company may be trying to take you for a ride or lure you in with an unreasonably cheap price for illegitimate reasons.
Here at On the Move, we pride ourselves on providing superior residential and commercial moving services for local and long-distance moves. To find out more about us or to obtain a free quote, get in touch with us today