It is a fact of life that there are people who pose as legitimate business operators but are anything but that. Indeed, they do not have your best interests at heart. Instead, these individuals seek different ways to extract money from you while appearing as angels of light. Here’s how to spot the scammers among those who market themselves as movers.
- Unclear company name. Contact a mover and they should identify themselves by the company name. After all, if you are a legitimate business, why hide behind a vague title when promoting your business? If the company is a “mover” you should know the business’ full name.
- No written estimates offered. Moving companies are required to provide a written estimate, especially if they are located within 100 miles of where you live. That estimate should be offered on the company’s letterhead with clear information about the company included such as the company’s name, physical address, phone numbers and email addresses, and license information. The estimate should be complete with no blank spaces for adding other details later advises North American Movers.
- The company is new. Some moving companies are new, having consolidated the operations of other businesses or they may have launched the enterprise from scratch recently. Be wary of any company that does not have the background for verification. Sure, the owner may have worked for XYZ National Movers for several years, but that does not always translate into a solid business arrangement moving forward. You cannot afford to be a part of someone’s business experiment, therefore only deal with companies that have a reputation and the references to back them up.
- About those deposits. A small deposit may be required and that usually is not a big deal especially if your move has been estimated to cost you $4,000 or $5,000 or more. However, a deposit larger than $250 should not be required. Furthermore, if the moving company asks for an even larger deposit once you have signed the contract, then refuse to supply the same. Ask for you money back and move on to another mover.
- Check the reviews. Legitimate moving companies value their business and protect what they do. They also understand that they are under the watchful eyes of consumers and place strong importance on customer satisfaction. It is good to check online reviews from Yelp and Google to determine what others have to say about the business. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau to find out what complaints, if any, have been submitted. You should know that complaints are one thing, but how the company resolves them is what matters the most.
- A rental truck shows up on moving day. On the day of the move, you were expecting an 18-wheeler to appear outside of your home to take you to your new destination. Instead, a rental truck appears and that is never normal. Legitimate movers always carry your goods with clearly marked trucks. If another truck shows up, you need to fire the moving company at once.
- Another moving company appears. You signed a contract with XYZ company and on the day of your move, the ABC company shows up. Unless ABC is a subsidiary of XYZ, then there is a problem. Even so, the company should tell you if another name will handle your business. The best companies always send their own trucks and won’t confuse you with another name. Furthermore, that other name may not be related to your movers — a scam may be in progress with you as the intended target.
Make Your Move
Finding a reputable mover is not a difficult process. Your real estate agent can help you too. Once you are certain that you have a solid company, then ask the agent for three references. Then call them to verify their satisfaction.