The moving industry has become overly saturated with moving companies. This extra competition have brought out many moving companies that will do anything to get your business, and end up sounding far too good to be true… because they are too good to be true. While most moving companies are perfectly legitimate, there are those that could be considered as scams, out to just get your money and run rather than having great customer service and quality moving to earn said money. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used to be able to do something to help you against these moving company frauds, but as of 1995 they can no longer step in to help customers. There are things you can look for, however. So here’s a list what to avoid with moving companies.
The first thing from moving companies to avoid are prices that are unbelievably lower than the competition. Chances are, if the price is unbelievably low, it should not be believed. Often, scam moving companies will charge much less than other moving companies up front just to get your business. Later, when moving your personal belongings, they are careless and reckless with the items and often end up damaging some of your possessions. Another usual practice of a scamming moving company is to set a low price at first to draw you in, and then at the end of the job, tacking on a lot of extra charges and driving up the final amount to much higher than it would have been and then refusing to give you your property until you’ve paid this much higher final total.
You can almost completely avoid scams all together by doing your research on the moving company in question. The Better Business Bureau exists for just such a purpose. You can go to a Better Business Bureau location in your area or online and look up the name of the company. They’ll give you listings of every complaint filed against the company within the last few years. You can also do just a general online search for the company. Often times people who’ve used their services in the past will post reviews on various websites. If you do research for the company and come up short, finding no information about them at all, they’re probably a moving company to avoid.
Insurance problems are another “what to avoid” with moving companies. Many moving companies have only a liability coverage called valuation. This valuation is good for up to (as in NO MORE THAN) 60 cents per pound. In many cases, that 60 cents per pound may not even come close to covering the value of a damaged item. So, to cover yourself more readily against damaged or broken property, you’d be advised to either get your own insurance to cover a higher cost per item (especially on more pricey items such as collectibles or heirlooms), or to get a rider on your homeowners insurance. Having a rider on your homeowners insurance could cover the cost of your possessions in almost any situation whether it be damage in the move or damage from a house fire, you’ll be covered.
Another moving company tactic to avoid is if they charge you by weight rather than cubic feet. If a company does try to charge you by weight, they must prove (at no extra cost to you) the amount it weighs (which can be done at any truck-scale location). They should, however, charge you by the cubic feet you take up in their trucks.
Now you know what to avoid about moving companies. This should give you better insight on how to spot a legit moving company vs a scam. Keep your eyes open, do your research, and ask lots of questions.