5 Questions You Can Ask to Tell if a Mover is Trying to Scam You
Posted Mar 22nd 2022
5 Essential Questions You Can Ask to Determine if a Mover is Trying to Scam You
As illustrated by a months-long investigation conducted by Utah’s KSL, moving scams are on the rise. Ordinary people every day are duped by fraudulent movers, and these scams can be devastating on their everyday lives.
But bad moves can also happen with poorly managed or newer movers. For example, without proper planning, infrastructure, and existing policies, newer moving companies are more likely to overpromise and underdeliver.
If you want to avoid the possibility of a cancelled move, unreasonably high fees, or your things being abandoned during transit, you can ask these five questions and quickly vet out unreputable moving companies from reliable ones.
1. How Long Have You Been in Business?
This question really exemplifies the reputation of your moving company. Longevity goes a long way in terms of business, so moving companies that have been around longer are more likely to be ones you can count on.
In general, try to avoid movers that haven’t been in business longer than a year or so. With more time comes more experience and having a mover with 10+ years of moves under their belt means you’re more likely to have a good move.
2. Do You Require a Deposit? If So, How Much Is Your Deposit Requirement?
Most reputable movers choose not to charge deposits, or they charge slightly higher rates according to seasonality. One common way unreputable movers procure funds from customers fraudulently is by charging hefty deposits before the move date.
Keep an eye out for movers or move brokers that require large payments before your move happens. A customer is more likely to get scammed if they’re paying a lot upfront for a service that hasn’t happened yet.
Avoid paying anything until you’ve signed your moving paperwork and met with a move estimator. And it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid choosing movers who charge large deposits.
3. Are You Registered With the FMCSA?
FMCSA-registered moving companies are required by regulatory law to uphold certain standards for their customers. If you choose a mover who’s registered with the FMCSA, you immediately know they follow certain safety and customer service standards outlined by federal regulations.
Ask your mover early on if they’re registered with the FMCSA, especially if you’re going through a long-distance move. If you’re moving locally, you can still determine whether a moving company follows state-level regulations for safety and training. If your mover isn’t registered with any regulatory agency, you’re more likely to experience issues with movers not reimbursing for damages. It’s also more likely damage to your household goods may happen in the first place.
4. Do You Broker Out Moves, or Do You Do Them Yourself?
We’ve covered a lot on move brokers vs. moving companies, but in short: Move brokers act as the middleman between a potential customer and moving company. They typically offer low prices to customers and hire movers that charge lower rates. Or they quote low prices, but customers pay much more on move day.
There are some benefits to working with a move broker (such as saving time). But customers who want accurate quotes and the ability to work directly with their moving company should avoid brokers.
5. Will You Require a Walkthrough Before Drawing Up an Estimate?
For the most accurate written estimate, customers must meet either in-person or virtually with a move estimator. The meeting is designed to allow the estimator to draft the most cost-accurate estimate possible, and it’s also a great chance for customers to ask any questions they may have before the move happens.
If you have a potential mover trying to get you to sign a written estimate without conducting an initial walkthrough, you should explore more reputable options. Walkthroughs are your guarantee for more accurate estimates. You also get to meet with a representative of the company and get a better feel for your movers before deciding your best option.
You Don’t Always Need Movers, So Make Sure You Work with Good Ones
Most of our customers don’t move too often in their lifetimes – only about 8 times on average. However, moving is a big deal for many. It’s stressful and difficult no matter what way you choose.
Working with a good moving company makes a huge impact on not only your move, but the start of your new chapter. So, make sure you’re vetting all your options and go with a moving company you feel you can trust.