When it’s time for you to move, one of the best choices you can make in order to simplify the process and reduce your stress levels is to work with a reputable moving company. With the help of reliable movers, you can really transform your experience and make your relocation exponentially easier. However, all movers are not created equal, and unfortunately, some moving companies can actually have an adverse effect when it comes to the ease of your move. Although many companies claim to provide professional, dependable services, the sad reality is that this may not always be the case.
Just like countless other industries, the moving industry has its fair share of scammers who are simply trying to make a quick buck without any consideration for their customers. In fact, many of these scammers set out specifically to take an exorbitant amount of money from their clients. But in this era of rogue movers running rampant, how can you identify the warning signs? Who are these nefarious companies, and what can you do to avoid them? If you’re in search of movers but feeling unsure about which companies you can trust, we’ve got the information you need to make the best decisions for you. Interested in finding out more? Keep reading!
First and foremost, we need to understand what rogue movers are. Rogue movers are essentially the scammers of the moving world; they often provide customers with an extremely low quote upfront, usually without even completing an in-home estimate. Then, these con artists will refuse to give your belongings back to you after pick-up until you have paid them a large sum of money — effectively holding your items hostage. They may even steal or damage your belongings. These companies have one goal in mind: making a profit. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of putting their customers in difficult situations both emotionally and financially.
Now that we’ve covered a bit more information about what rogue movers actually are, let’s dive into the red flags that you may be dealing with these scammers. These warning signs should come up early on in the process, so the good news is that you can catch onto their schemes in time before hiring them. Although there is no singular, surefire way to determine which companies are rogue movers, these red flags can give you a good idea of whom you shouldn’t trust with your belongings and money.
One of the most suspicious characteristics you can note about a moving company is if they lack a physical address listed online. Any reputable movers will have an actual physical location to house their supplies and serve as an office space. In the same vein, a company should also have a phone number for you to call. Without these two pieces of contact information, it’s likely that you’re working with a less-than-reputable moving company.
Another tell-tale sign of rogue movers is if they do not complete an in-home estimate and provide you with a quote almost immediately. A dependable moving company will need to go through the process of looking at your belongings, determining how much time it will take to move everything, and surveying your home to realistically understand the cost you will need to pay. Alternatively, some moving companies offer a virtual survey option, which is a trustworthy substitute that can still accurately supply you with an estimate. Aside from these two options, you should never trust a company that provides you with a quote otherwise.
Oftentimes, rogue movers will either fail to provide you with a contract, or they will give you a contract to sign that contains various blank spaces. Your mover should always give you a fully fleshed-out contract that accurately and completely details the services they will provide for you, as well as the price. Without this, you are susceptible to being scammed by the company without any contract to fall back on.
Always be mindful of how much money a moving company is requesting from you upfront. If your movers are asking for a large sum of money from you ahead of the move, that means it would probably be in your best interest to find another company to work with. Oftentimes, people who have experienced this type of rogue moving scam end up paying ahead of time, and then the movers never show up on a moving day — leaving them with none of the help they anticipated and at a loss of a large sum of money. Instead, a reliable mover will typically ask for no money in advance, instead waiting until the service is completed to take any payment.
One definitive way to determine if a moving company isn’t what they say they are is if you are unable to find its certifications or licenses. Their vehicles should be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Additionally, the company should be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure with any moving company that you’re easily able to locate all the necessary certifications before committing to the movers in any way.
Finally, always be on the lookout for any signs of questionable legitimacy. What does this mean? This can appear in various forms. One common sign is discrepancies in the name of the company. For instance, if the paperwork they provide to you has a different name than the one you originally contacted, you can probably assume that they’re not a legitimate service. Another sign is if you reach out to them via phone and no one answers. During business hours, a reputable company will have someone handling phone calls from their customers. Any of these issues can signal to you that the company may not be what they seem like on the surface.
Although the prospect of dealing with a moving scam is scary, the right knowledge can protect you from these illegitimate companies. Having this information empowers you to make an informed decision and find movers you can rely on. Looking for dependable movers for your next move? For all your moving needs, you can trust E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co. as a trustworthy, reputable source of moving solutions. With over 140 years of experience to back us up, you can rest assured that your belongings are in safe hands with us. Request a free quote today, and find out how E.E. Ward can transform your relocation!