Moving scams are on the rise.
If you hire the wrong moving company, you are at risk of your property being held for ransom, damaged, dumped or stolen. Read more about some red flags to watch for in this joint BBB and CAM bulletin.
The best way to avoid nightmares about moving is to research your mover before hiring them. You need to watch out for these red flags before hiring.
- They say they don’t have to do a site survey in order to provide an estimate. How will they know what you are moving to give you an accurate quote?
- They give you a price on the phone and not in writing. How can you hold them to a verbal promise?
- They ask for a large deposit up front. Professionals movers won't (they'll only ask for a few hundred dollars). How do you know they won't take the bag of money and run?
- They do not have a physical address. How will you know where to find them?
- When answering the phone, they use a generic name like “Movers”, or none at all. How do you know who you're talking to?
- They are not listed with CAM or the BBB. How will you know if they are vetted?
- They have multiple one-line or 5-star positive reviews. How do you know they aren't manufactured by their friends and families?
If you've already hired them, these red flags might not help you much:
- They cannot provide their own documentation with company identification or contact details. Demand to have some written information with their contact details before the move. If they won't provide it, find a new mover.
- On moving day, they arrive in an unmarked truck. Don’t start the move until you verify they are the company you've hired.
- If your move is a long distance move that's being costed by weight, before they load the truck on moving day, ask to see the weigh scale ticket that shows the weight of the empty truck (the truck should have been weighed before they arrived). If they cannot provide it, this may signal that they are not be planning to weigh the truck after loading either and, therefore, not planning to obtain a true weight of your goods for billing purposes. Don’t start the move until the mover verifies the weight of the empty truck.
- They're resistant to provide a bill of lading (receipt) with complete move details on it upon loading your shipment. Don't pay any more money or let them leave with your things without confirming who they are.