Guide On How To Avoid Relocation Scams
The moving business has grown a lot in recent years, which is amazing. You can now find professional moving companies everywhere, and make your relocation much easier. However, with the growth of the moving business, many fraudulent companies appeared, too. Sometimes, it is difficult to recognise them and people easily get scammed in different ways. Since moving your home or office is an important task that can be quite expensive, you need to learn everything about possible scam scenarios and how to deal with them. Here is a simple guide on how to avoid relocation scams and protect your family and your items.
Have a variety of options
The most common mistake people make is to take the first option they find online. When trusting your home to a company, you need to make sure that they are the right ones. To do that, you need to make a comparison of moving companies and have at least three of them send you a moving estimate. By comparing a couple of movers, you will be able to get the idea of a median price range of your move, the quality and detail of services and friendliness of the staff. Don’t go for the first name you see online, since some fraudulent companies pay a lot for advertising, and often pop up before high-quality companies.
Do some research
When you narrow your choice of moving companies, be sure to do some research on them. This should include:
- reading online reviews – these can be very handy in getting a clear picture of a moving company, but some of the reviews can be fake, so don’t let this be the only reason why you decide to hire someone.
- ask for recommendations – be sure to talk to your friends, family or co-workers who recently moved. They can share some recommendations, as well as negative experiences that can help you avoid relocation scams. Also, when the move is done, don’t forget about referring your movers to your friends and family. Every good experience can be precious to someone else who needs to move.
- check the company’s website – a moving company’s online presence can tell a lot about their business. Check their website and social media profiles. See if the contact information is clear and easy to understand, as well as info on their services. Furthermore, if they post regularly on their social media profiles, they probably do a good job.
- find their legal information – every reputable company should include some legal info on their website as well as the DOT number, so you can check them online. If you can’t find any license or number – stay away from those movers.
Checking your removal company online is a great way to avoid relocation scams.
Ask for an in-home estimate
Fraudulent moving companies will do everything to avoid direct communication and a precise moving estimate. That’s why you should always require a representative of the company you want to hire to come to your home and see all the things you need to move. A proper estimate includes listing all the items but also taking a look at other specific details like stairs, tricky items, etc. If a moving company tries to avoid an in-house estimate and promises to do it over the phone or Skype – we recommend you start looking for another company immediately.
A good price does not equal good quality
One of the ways fraudulent companies lure customers to hire them is by offering a price that’s much lower than is common. However, be careful when you see a very attractive deal that’s too good to be true – very often it’s just a trap. On the other hand, if a company has very high prices, it doesn’t mean they offer high-quality services. That’s why comparing a couple of companies is a good thing – you can see what’s the average price of your move and therefore avoid relocation scams.
If you are confident that you can accomplish most of the moving tasks on your own, such as packing, for example, you can hire a man and van company instead of a full-service moving business. This can help you save money on your move, while also staying safe and knowing that professionals are doing the heavy lifting.
Don’t pay a large deposit
No matter how attractive a moving company may seem, if they ask for a large deposit – you should definitely look for another candidate. Generally, a professional, reputable company shouldn’t ask for any kind of deposit, but asking for a large amount of money is a big no. However, moving companies do ask for half of the money after they load the items, and the other half is paid after the move is done. Just be sure to pay your transaction using a card rather than cash, so there’s a proof if anything suspicious happens.
If you want to avoid relocation scams, be sure to avoid large cash deposits and blank online payments.
Take a close look at the contract
The contract is the most common way that moving scams happen. The moving representative is so friendly and ‘professional’ that people often forget or feel uncomfortable to ask for a more detailed contract. However, never sign an incomplete document – it’s very often a sign of a fraud. So, to avoid relocation scams, always ask your mover to provide you with a detailed contract that includes all the fees, the final moving costs and ALL the items you are relocating.
Anything that is left out from the bill of landing doesn’t have to be delivered to your door. Therefore, be careful and take your time to study the contract and the bill of landing in detail. This will help you avoid relocation scams, and stay away from real estate scams as well. Studying the documents thoroughly is very important during these big life events.
A blank document is the number one sign of a fraudulent company.
Check their vehicles , insurance policy and feedback
A reputable company should have vehicles that are clearly marked with the logo or name of the company – one of the things to look for in a good relocation company. It should look professional and be in good condition. Also, when you hire a man and a van removal company, be sure to check if they can handle your move – do they have vehicles big enough to avoid making multiple trips.
As you can see, there are many ways you can avoid relocation scams. However, the most important thing is to rely on your own gut – pay attention to the general behaviour of the movers you come in contact with. They should be friendly and professional so that you feel you can rely on them. This way, you will be able to pick the right moving company and enjoy a stress-free move. Have a safe relocation!