Safeguard yourself from moving scams - Better moving company
The moving scams: what you need to know
Moving is a burdensome task. If you get a mover who is professional and honest then these worries are more than halved. But if you come across a fraud moving company, then a moving scam can lead to increased stress and troubles.
What are moving scams?
When a fraudulent moving company adopts tactics to fleece their customers and not offer the promised services, then it can be said that you are a victim of a moving scam.
How to tell if a moving company might be a scam?
- The moving company’s website does not include a local address or office.
- The company answers the phone call in an unprofessional manner. Instead of picking up the call with the registered name of the moving company, they say ‘Hello’ or ‘Moving company’.
- The website does not include any sort of information about the company’s registration and license, as well as their insurance options and policies.
- The company does not come to the location of the move to conduct an on-site inspection to determine the items that will be moved. Instead, they give a moving estimate on the phone or online, without seeing the items that will be moved.
- The moving company demands a large deposit or full payment before the move.
- The company insists on being paid in cash. They refuse to accept credit cards.
- They do not specify in detail all the terms and conditions of the moving process. Instead, they avoid answering questions and provide only vague details.
- They refuse to provide the moving contract and estimate in writing. They say their employees will determine how much to be paid after loading.
- They come to move your stuff in rental trucks or unmarked vehicles instead of company-branded trucks.
- They try to make you sign forms that are blank or incomplete, or missing out important details, and say that they will fill them in themselves later.
How can you safeguard against these moving scams?
- While searching for movers, make sure to ask for recommendations and suggestions from friends and family. Get to know their experiences with various movers. This would go a long way in making it easier to find a trustworthy moving company.
- Conduct thorough research on the moving companies you come across. Find out if they are licensed and insured.
- Get 3 to 4 moving estimates from various moving companies, and get to know the services they offer along with their terms and conditions. This would help you choose the right one that would best suit your moving needs.
- Beware of moving companies who provide you with an estimate that is significantly lower than the other estimates you got from other moving companies. Most movers who charge ridiculously low prices are dubious who are either not professional movers or have the intention of raising the price a lot higher later. If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Carefully go through the review on their websites and social media handles. A company without one or two negative reviews might be playing dirty in one way or the other. Always be very careful and ensure that the reviews are in fact, genuine.
- A better moving company will be the one that is a member of Canadian Moving and Storage Association and Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Ask the movers if the moving estimate provided is binding or non-binding. A binding moving quotation is one with a guaranteed price, unless you need extra services offered by the moving company. A non-binding moving quotation is one which could lead to additional costs during the moving process.
- The moving company should give you a copy of their moving procedure. This would help you to understand the whole moving process.
- In worst case scenarios the cheat movers either hold your prized goods as ransom or may just disappear into thin air, never to be seen again. In such cases, you can do nothing but try to retrieve the lost goods. Notifying the police, lodging a complaint with Small Claims Court and filing a Household Goods Consumer complaint should be steps in the right direction.
- Never pay any large deposits in cash. If at all it is the peak of the moving season and the mover wants an advance as confirmation of the date, then make the payment only by card. This deposit should not exceed 10-15% of the settled amount.
- Always make sure to get a contract, stating clearly the terms and conditions of the move, including possible extra fees and costs. This would prevent surprises or unexpected spending on the moving day.
- Ensure that you have everything in writing. The moving contract, the estimate fees and taxes, the inventory sheet and any such documents that is mandatory for moving. All documents should be complete and properly signed and stamped.
- Never sign any incomplete or blank documents. Scrutinize the document thoroughly and do not hesitate to ask for clarifications if you fail to understand something.
- Be wary when the mover asks you to sign a new invoice as the previous one has either been damaged or misplaced or you have more items than they originally estimated. Demand a revised estimate and ensure that 'both' of you sign it before the moving begins.
- In case there is any problem after your move, for example, some of your belongings are missing, or some of them are damaged, make sure to contact the mover with immediate effect to rectify the issue.
- Always get the contact of the driver and the moving company.