This tends to be the busiest time of year for moving companies.
While some will be moving to college, others will be moving home. Many families will take advantage of the summer vacation to switch residences or accept new jobs, requiring a move. Whatever the reason, it is always necessary to be on the lookout for scams and untrustworthy businesses in order to keep from becoming a victim.
Complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau against moving companies nationwide have been on the rise since 2016, with more than 8,000 complaints filed just last year. In that time, the BBB has seen moving companies:
- Hold belongings. Untrustworthy movers may provide you with an estimate, and then add extra fees once they have your belongings. In order to get your items back, you’ll eventually have to pay whatever additional fees they charge you.
- Raise the estimate. They might sell you on a low price, then raise it at the last minute. By the end of your move, the cost is double or triple the price you originally agreed upon.
- Deliver items late. Sometimes, disreputable movers deliver items late because your belongings are packed behind someone else’s and theirs must be delivered first, breaking promises of on-time deliveries.
- Disappear with items. Some untrustworthy movers are scammers who take your payment, load up and leave, never to be seen again. This allows them to get away with your money and possessions.
Before hiring a moving company, BBB advises that you keep the following in mind:
- Research the movers. Always check www.bbb.org to see a company’s rating and reviews. You can also visit www.protectyourmove.gov to verify that your interstate mover is licensed by the federal government. Double-check that the mover is legitimate by making sure they have an actual physical address. Also, be sure that the representative you speak with works for that mover.
- Don’t give a large upfront cash deposit. Be wary of movers that request a large cash deposit upfront, as they may be ready to take your money and run. If something goes wrong or items go missing, you can’t prove you paid for the service. Use a credit card.
- Look for a branded truck. Real moving businesses will more than likely have real moving trucks that show their branding and logos.
- Never sign a partial contract. Do not sign a contract until all the details and prices are included in the contract. Always read through the completed contract to make sure all desired goods and services are included.
- Consider full value protection. Although it costs a bit more, it offers peace of mind, and may save you a hassle after you move. Investing in full (replacement) value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made to repair the item or to replace it at its current market value, regardless of age.