How To Avoid Moving Scams & Protect Yourself From Becoming A Moving Scam Victim

When you are looking for a moving company you might think that any company with a good reputation will do but you would be wrong.  The moving industry is largely unregulated and should you become a victim of a moving scam, you have little recourse. moving companies The agency that handles the safety and regulation for moving companies has just limited resources, so it’s up to you to avoid the more common moving scams.  In just the last year alone, there were 9,405 moving scam complaints against movers according to the BBB.

Moving Scam 1: Low Balling Quotes.

The most common moving scam in the moving industry is giving you a low ball estimate then hitting you up for extra charges at the destination—sometimes as much as quadruple the original amount your signed for!  If you do not pay the extra charges, the moving company will store your possessions in a warehouse until you cough up the money.  Even if you’ve signed a “binding and not to exceed quote” you are not safe so be sure to read every word of the contract!

Moving Scam 2: Subcontracting Your Move.

Another way moving companies will overcharge you is by accepting your business but subcontracting the job to another mover for half the price that you paid.  This subcontractor isn’t subject to your original contract, nor is he bound to the schedule that you agreed to.  His employees are often day laborers who have no real experience moving items and breakage is common.

Moving Scam 3: Low Insurance Coverage.

Breakage is a third common moving scam that consumers complain about when they move their households.  Did you know that most moving companies’ mover’s liability coverage (known as “valuation”) allows them to pay you only around $.60 per pound for a damaged item?  That means that your beautiful new plasma television that you bought for a few thousand dollars could be broken and you would receive only about $30 in compensation!   The best way to beat this moving scam is to get a rider on your homeowner’s policy to cover any damage that might occur during your move.  Take pictures of your goods and be sure you and the movers sign a statement of the condition of your items before you sign the receipt!

Moving Scam 4: Price Based On Cubic Feet.

A fourth common way that a moving company will rip you off is the weight versus cubic feet arrangement.  You are entitled to witness weigh-ins and verify the amount but a mover can make your load take up as much space as they want it to in order to jack up the charges.  Be sure to divide the total weight of your load and divide it by the number of items you have.  If you come up with more than 35-45 pounds per piece, be suspicious of your mover’s motives!

Moving Scam 5: Additional Parking Expenses.

A fifth, common moving scam is extra charges incurred by claiming the movers could not park their truck in front of your residence, resulting in “long carries” from half a block or so away.  These can add up to several thousand dollars!  Be sure that you make arrangements to avoid this moving scam.

How To Avoid Moving Scams.

You can avoid these moving scams by reading moving company reviews on the internet or consumer publications, getting several moving estimates, having an attorney approve the contract and documenting the condition and weight of your load.  Find out which moving companies that large corporations use to move their employees and ask friends who have recently moved about how satisfied they were with their movers.


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