Common Moving Scams
Many people have suffered huge losses as a result of moving scams. It’s better to be safe than sorry so if you are planning a move, this is something that you need to look out for when choosing the moving company to work with.
There are many types of moving scams. Here are the most common ones to look out for.
Lack of an on-site inspection
The moving company that is okay with giving you a quote on the phone without first doing an in-home inspection is probably trying to get you excited about getting a cheap moving package, only to explode the figure on moving day when they get to see the items that you would like to move.
Big cash deposit upfront
A good moving company will not be quick to ask for a deposit. In fact, many of them will be okay with payment on delivery. When a company asks you to pay first, they want you to give away your bargaining power. Once you have paid them, they are no longer motivated to work because they have already been rewarded for services not delivered.
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Lots of business names
When a moving company has been reported many times or it has received bad reviews on places like the Better Business Bureau, they will try to cheat the system by changing their business names so that they can appear to be a different company. Some of the ways they use to get away with this include using generic responses on the phone like “moving company” without necessarily mentioning a business name.
Operating without a US DOT number
The best way to be sure that a company has met all the qualifications for operating a moving business is by checking their US DOT number. If a company doesn’t have one, then you won’t know what to expect. You could even find yourself stranded when it is raided by the governing authorities and your belongings are taken as evidence.
Moving companies charge a number of extra fees for moves in places like high buildings or narrow streets where the moving truck won’t fit. Rogue moving companies won’t include these charges in your original quote so that you can commit then once everything has been signed, they give you a bill that is higher than the estimate.
Sign blank documents
Some moving companies will try to get you to sign a contract that is not filled claiming that they will fill once all the information is available. What this means is that they will be able to charge you more than the estimate they provided and since your signature will be on the contract, it will be legal and enforceable. Be on the safe side by demanding that everything be in writing before you sign.
Moving scams are evolving by the day. Watch out for these red flags and don’t be in a hurry to commit to a moving company. Make sure you have sufficient time to research on them before you can commit.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.