How to avoid moving scams?

avoid moving scams - scam alert

Moving scams are, unfortunately, a part of numerous relocation processes. When you start searching for a great moving company to conduct your move, you will inevitably come across several "strange" offers. Most of the time, these offers from fraudulent moving companies will be enticing due to their lower price . And with the economy being what it is, you will want to save as much money as possible. These are the prime conditions for moving scams to happen. However, with some careful research, a bit of knowledge and a clear mind, you can avoid moving scams. At Aleks Moving, we take these matters very seriously and wish to protect everyone from falling into this trap. That is why we have prepared a small article for you, so you can arm yourself with the necessary knowledge to avoid being a victim of a scam.

How to avoid moving scams and choose a reliable moving company?

Here is what you will need to do/know:

• Create a list of all the movers in your area
• Ask your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family for recommendations.
• Read moving reviews.
• Customer service will have an answer to all your moving-related questions.
• Obtain a moving quote from several moving companies and compare prices.
• A professional moving company is registered with the BBB/FMCSA and is adequately insured.
• Make sure that your contract is complete - Read it twice before signing.

Create a list of all the movers in your area

To start things off, you will want to have an exhaustive list of movers that operate within your area. When choosing experts to handle your household items , you first need to know who is available. So, fire up that browser and start writing the names down. While this part of the process will not differentiate fraudulent movers from legitimate ones, it will serve you well in the steps to come. Most moving companies that do honest business have a similar layout of their webpages. And there are a lot more of them than shady ones. By visiting each website, you will pick up on these layouts and might be able to recognize an outlier. After you have the list in hand, the next step is to:

a person writing notes

The first order of business is to compile a list of moving companies in your area.

Ask your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family for recommendations.

Even today, personal recommendations are still one of the best ways to ensure that you are dealing with an honest company. Therefore, you want to get your social "feelers" out and reach as many people as you can. During this process, you will most likely hear about some of the names on your list. Feel free to bold these names, as they now have additional credibility. However, that is just the beginning of the process. To ensure that you don’t get tricked, you need to be diligent all the way through.

Read moving reviews

You may already have several companies that you are interested in at this point. You want to know as much about them as possible . The only way to do so is to read what other customers say about their services. You can find moving reviews all around the internet, from the company's webpage to dedicated review sites such as Yelp.com. However, do note that the most valuable information comes from external sources, as they are much less likely to be "managed" by the company itself. You want to see the whole picture, not only what the mover in question wants you to know. Fraudulent movers usually do not have good reviews anywhere due to their business policies.

One final note: If all you can find are recent reviews, be more skeptical than otherwise.

a person using a phone

Carefully reading moving reviews will tell you a lot about the company.

Customer service will have an answer to all your moving-related questions.

After reading all the reviews, it is time to contact the companies on your list directly. You will want to talk to them at length and ask as many questions about your relocation as possible. But before you do so, prepare a list of questions to ask. This will allow you to get the same information from all the movers you will be speaking to. The reason why you are doing this is to gauge the response from customer service. Most companies that are out to scam you will provide incomplete information. Thus, asking them about a moving checklist , utility transfer, and all the other relocation necessities is a good idea. Feel free to add any other questions you can think of and see how they react.

Obtain a moving quote from several moving companies and compare prices.

Obtaining a free quote is usually the first thing you want to do. However, there is a reason why we have not mentioned it by now. You see, scammers use moving quotes as their primary tool to lure you in. If you have followed all the steps before this one, your list will contain several movers that all seem legitimate. Try to provide the exact same information to every company and get a moving quote from each one. This way, you will be able to avoid moving scams by merely looking at the numbers. If they are way-off from the majority of offers, something smells fishy. But even if everything looks in order, you still need to be careful who you hire. Follow through with the last few steps.

a person calculating, money on the table

Comparing the prices is probably the best way to avoid moving scams.

A professional moving company is registered with the BBB/FMCSA and is adequately insured.

Before you sign anything, always check if the authorities and prominent organizations accredit the company in question. Most notably, you should be looking at the FMCSA moving directory and the BBB list of movers. If your mover is not listed with any of these two organizations, it is a high probability that they are not "on the up and up."

Make sure that your contract is complete - Read it twice before signing.

The last piece of the " avoid moving scams " puzzle is the contract itself. Make sure that all the services you have hired, e.g., packing services are included in it. It is quite common that fraudulent moving companies omit several services in the contract and then ask for payment down the road, at extortionate prices. Read the entire agreement several times before signing it. If this is your first time looking at this type of document, you may also want to send a copy to your lawyer, just in case.

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