How to Spot Moving Scams

Fly-by-night operations and tricky bait and switch tactics scam consumers out of thousands of dollars every day and are an unfortunate part of the moving industry. So how do you know your moving company is the real deal? Being a well-informed, educated consumer is key, so it’s important to do some detective work before you commit. 

Watch Out for These Common Moving Scams 

Hidden Moving Fees 

Rogue movers are notorious for tacking on unplanned and/or undisclosed fees for packing, climbing stairs, heavy moving, or additional weight at the last minute. You should insist on signing a completed moving contract before you let movers take possession of your belongings.  

Deposits for Moving Services 

A reputable moving company will never ask for a deposit to hold your move date. Generally, a credit card is requested closer to your load date. At Mayflower, we don’t require an upfront down payment or deposit to book a move. 

Suspicious Moving Quotes 

The Low-Ball Bid. A suspiciously low bid is likely missing some crucial details – and unexpected costs start adding up once the company has your belongings. Be sure to go over the full scope of your final costs before choosing a low-cost moving agreement. 

The One-Price-Fits-All Bid. Offering one price for every move is a huge red flag! A reputable mover will calculate your estimate not only by ZIP Code and number of rooms, but also weight of goods and the amount of space required on a truck to move your things.  

The In-and-Out Bid. This type of bid does not gather enough information to accurately cost-out a long-distance move. Rogue movers will try and hurry the conversation past pricing and neglect to discuss the complete terms of service until your entire household is packed onto their truck. Reputable estimators will inspect every room in your home (including closets) and ask important questions about your moving plans. 

The Volume-Based Bid. Be cautious of movers who quote your long-distance move by cubic footage of truck space. Interstate moves based on volume are illegal without a weight conversion factor and should be reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) . 

Protect Yourself from Moving Scams

With a little due diligence, you can avoid moving scams and stop fake movers in their tracks. 

Ask Friends and Family. They can recommend a moving company they have recently used and provide you with reviews based on their real-life experiences. 

Check with ATA. The American Trucking Associations Moving and Storage Conference keep an up-to-date list of Pro-Mover certified local and long-distance movers on file. Check with them to find a moving service or to screen a company you’ve already contacted. 

Research Companies Thoroughly. Check online for reviews with the BBB and Google to be sure that they have a history of customer service success.  

Document Everything. After delivery, you have nine months to report any problems to the moving company and file a written claim for loss or damage to your belongings. Note any problems on the mover’s copy of the inventory before signing it. Your mover has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, they must make an offer to pay or deny your claim. It’s a lot easier for them to deny it if you don’t have before-and-after proof or if they don’t see the damage before leaving your home. 

Know Your Moving Rights and Responsibilities. Federal law requires that every licensed mover provide consumers with an informational packet titled, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” during the planning stage of your move. Most legitimate moving companies will direct you online to their website to access this information or possibly provide you with a 25-page booklet on fair practices, industry regulations and consumer rights. 

With nearly 100 years as a trusted moving company, coupled with modern technology designed to deliver you a smooth, worry-free experience, you can count on Mayflower. Start a free online moving quote today. 

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