Avoid Moving Scams
We’ve all heard the stories about people who were scammed by a “rogue mover” – a company that is not a professional mover and charges way more than the original estimate. Those same people may have watched the truck drive off with all their belongings never to see them again.
Do not let this happen to you. Begin by checking the federal website, protectyourmove.gov, which lists all licensed movers across the country. It’s understandable that you want to minimize your moving costs. However, finding the lowest cost estimate isn’t always the best deal. Be sure to thoroughly evaluate an estimate that is much lower than others. You’re moving all of your prized possessions and entrusting complete strangers to move your life – selecting a reputable moving partner is an integral part of making a successful move.
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Here's how a rogue mover typically works:
- Company gives a phone or online estimate only without a home visit and requires a deposit or full payment up front.
- On moving day, the company shows up in a rented truck with no company logos and workers aren't in uniforms.
- Once all the possessions are loaded into the truck, the company demands more money citing the estimate was only a portion of the charges, or that possessions weighed more than what had been estimated.
- If the consumer refuses to pay the additional amount, the company will remove all the possessions on to the curb, or hold the possessions hostage until the consumer agrees to pay. Sometimes the mover will agree to a lower fee if the consumer pays in cash.
- In worst-case scenarios, the company will drive away with all the goods, and the consumer will never see their items or the company again.
Here are some red flags you should watch out for:
- Refusing or avoiding an in-home visual estimate. Often, dishonest movers want to provide an estimate over the phone or online. The most accurate estimate will be at the home, where the mover can see all of your possessions. One cost factor of interstate moving is based on the weight of the items – linens weigh less than books, etc.
- Demanding a deposit or cash before the move. Reputable movers do not charge up front for moves. You pay when the move is complete.
- Company info. The moving company does not have a local address, information about registration or insurance.
- They answer the phone with a generic greeting, such as, “movers,” or “moving company.” This is a sign that they could be operating on several names, which is common among rogue movers.
- On moving day, they show up with a generic truck or even a rented truck. Unless you’re okay with taking a chance that your items will be delivered where they're supposed to go and cost what you were told it would cost, you’re better off sending them on their way and calling a reputable mover, even if it means delaying your move a few days.
Moving is stressful enough, don’t add to it by hiring a mover who isn’t licensed and in good standing. Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage is a fully licensed and registered professional moving company. We serve over 3,000 local moves each year and we are committed to taking care of our customers - check out our real customer testimonials.