No matter if you are moving across town or across country, knowing how to avoid scams when hiring movers is of vital importance. Look for reviews online which provide more than just star ratings – read them and look for something specific and descriptive rather than simply star ratings!
Be wary of movers that measure shipment size by cubic feet; this can be used as an easy way to cheat numbers and increase charges beyond what was agreed upon.
1. Scammers Who Ask for a Large Deposit Upfront
Moving scams have become more widespread, yet you can safeguard yourself by being an informed consumer. Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous movers:
Reputable moving companies won’t require an upfront deposit; rather, they typically only charge you after your shipment has been delivered. When paying, always use credit or debit cards so you have transaction records should any problems arise, never pay cash and be sure to read and sign your contract carefully before signing it!
Before selecting your mover, it’s advisable to verify their license with California’s Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS), or with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration if moving interstate. Furthermore, getting quotes from multiple moving companies before making your selection may help save you money as well as speak up if there are any concerns with them!
2. Scammers Who Charge You for Extra Services
California law forbids moving companies from charging extra services without first receiving authorization from customers. If an unknown moving company claims they can charge extra fees without prior consent from their customer, and claims this practice is legal, you should request proof of their license and insurance policies; otherwise it would be wiser to search elsewhere.
Another telltale sign of scam movers is when they only accept cash payments, while legitimate companies will accept both forms of payments so as to maintain accurate records. Furthermore, scam movers often change names frequently in order to escape negative reviews and ratings from consumers.
Legitimate moving companies always provide you with a contract to sign. This should contain all essential details, such as estimated pricing and additional charges; contact details; as well as how best to reach out with any inquiries or problems; in addition, no blank or incomplete sections should exist within it.
3. Scammers Who Give You a Low Estimate and Then Charge You for Additional Services
As with any professional service, hiring household movers requires taking several precautions. If a company with multiple complaints appears online, look for their address and list of insurance policies before giving your money to them. In cases related to moving-related issues, contact FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) or state agencies directly – they often help resolve such disputes efficiently.
Real moving companies will never require payment or signature before providing you with an instant quote and in-person inspection. Moving prices depend on several factors, including the size and shipment volume.
Red flags include companies claiming that an in-person inspection isn’t required; in reality, most reputable firms insist upon one to ensure accurate quotes. Another warning sign may be moving companies that only accept cash payments; this tactic can help scammers bypass authorities. Finally, be wary of firms with multiple name changes.
4. Scammers Who Charge you for Packing Materials
Moving can be a time-consuming and tedious process. However, with proper preparations and planning in place, the experience can become much less arduous and less time consuming. No matter if you’re moving to Walnut Creek or elsewhere – creating an inventory list will help ensure all of your belongings arrive at their new homes safely.
One way to protect against scam movers is by asking for references from them before hiring them. Reputable moving companies will be more than happy to provide you with testimonials from former customers and have websites where reviews and complaints can be posted for easy reference.
If you encounter scammers, file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency regulates trucking and moving industry, with an assigned department specifically handling consumer complaints.