So, you’re planning a big move, and you’re in the process of contacting moving companies for estimates and availability. But beware!
Before you book a mover and sign a contract with them, take a minute to read about these common moving company scams. If you’re not careful, you could end up massively overpaying and getting hung out to dry.
Scam #1: Required Deposit
If a moving company requires you to put down a deposit before the move takes place, run.
A reputable moving company will give you a quote (in writing) prior to your moving date, but they will not bill you until your shipment has been picked up, weights are known for weight-based service, and others items like packing have been itemized.
Scam #2: Surveys and Estimates
To get an accurate price quote for your move, an in-home survey is best.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a desire by many customers to have virtual surveys, instead. Virtual surveys can be as accurate as in-home surveys, but you should always ask the surveyor how long they have been doing virtual surveys and if they are within 5% accuracy of actual scale weights.
Whether they do it in person or virtually, a professional surveyor/estimator needs to see your belongings in order to properly assess necessary resources, truck size, number of crew members, cartons, etc. to successfully complete your move.
Needless to say, if a moving company doesn’t offer in-person or virtual surveys, it’s not going to be a reliable or professional company.
Scam #3: Low-Ballers, Brokers, and Fly-by-Night Movers
Some things to consider when comparing quotes:
- Remember that the quote becomes a contract once both parties have signed it and you have been given confirmation that your requested dates are available.
- The estimated weight should be listed.
- Quoted weights should be within 10% of each other to be comparable.
- The estimate should note the following:
- Applied bottom-line discount
- Dates of service for packing, loading, and delivery
- Tariff that the mover is using for the quote
If you receive a quote that is substantially lower than the other quotes, ask the low-quote mover to re-quote your move using the average weight of the other quotes you received. This will give you a much more accurate picture of what your total invoice would be.
To further prepare for your move, take a look at these documents:
Scam #4: Vague Contracts
Finally, some dishonest moving companies will intentionally give you a vague contract void of specific details and deliverables. They do this so they’re not held liable when they inevitably fail to satisfy your agreed-upon moving services.
Here are some basic details that must be in your contract: the price you were quoted, additional fees, scheduled pickup time, and estimated delivery date of your belongings. If you read your prospective mover’s contract and don’t see any of these items mentioned, you’re dealing with a less-than-professional team.
Here are some additional things you should look for to ensure you hire a reputable moving company:
- Staff is background checked
- Sufficient years of experience
- DOT license
- Insured with formal claims process
Good luck! And please don’t hesitate to reach out to Chase Moving and Storage for all of your local or long-distance moving needs.