Dec 1, 2023

How to avoid fraudulent moving companies

How to avoid fraudulent moving companies

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One of the biggest worries for people moving for the first time is how to spot fraudulent moving companies. These are the "movers" who will do their best to get your money based on technicalities, misusing the law or just stealing your stuff. Of course, one of the priorities for any mover will be to avoid them. But how do you do that when you have no experience in choosing a reliable moving company that can also offer moving bin rental services? How can you tell who is really working in your best interest, and whose goals are not really what they seem? Well, you are in luck! Today, we are answering all those questions! Keep reading to learn more about the red flags and what to look out for when looking for a moving company!

Get recommendations to avoid fraudulent moving companies

The first thing you should do when you want reliable movers is to know where to search. The internet offers a variety of information - but it also has dangers as well. This is because of the amount of information out there. Sometimes, people can post anything online and claim that is true. This is how fraudulent moving companies first get their clients - by advertising false services. By knowing exactly where to look for the companies, you can block out the first wave of these unreliable movers.

Looking into moving companies

First, you should ask your friends and colleges about their moving experiences. Getting information first hand will be great. Not only are these the people you can trust, but you can also talk to them in detail about their moving experience. Maybe they had a great move and will gladly share all the info they have with you. Or, they worked with an unsatisfactory company, and they can tell you to stay away from them. Either way, you will be going home with valuable information you can use.

Friends talking over coffee.

Talk to your friends about moving companies.If the people near you come up short, though, then it's time to look online. There are many websites you can check, but try to keep to the reliable ones. Make sure to see who is supporting the website you are looking into. You can also try to find reviews of the moving companies you are interested in, and try to find out more about them this way.

Fraudulent moving companies can game the reviews

There is a thing to be careful about, though! Sometimes, fraudulent movers will find a way to play around the reviews. The systems are not perfect, so you need to take everything you find online with a grain of salt. Just think about it logically - how possible it is for a company that has worked for countless years to have all 5-star reviews? Getting a negative one from time to time is perfectly normal - we're all human after all. Of course, if there is a trend of negative reviews, then you should make a point of addressing the issue when contacting the company.

Get phone references

A man on the phone.

Talk to the references you get.Another thing you can do when calling your potential moving company is to get phone references from them. Avoid getting only emails - those can easily be faked as well. Make a point of calling the people whose contact information you got. Then, ask them about their moving experience. Don't be afraid to go into detail - yes-or-no questions will not give you too many information about a moving company.

Look at the way a company communicates

An important thing that can help you figure out if you are working with fraudulent moving companies or not is just how they communicate with you. This starts from the moment they pick up their phone. Are they professional and nice? How do they answer it - with their full name or something generic like "a moving company"? All of these can help you differentiate between the movers you can trust and the ones you cannot.Then, another aspect of the moving company is their estimator. Not only will they tell you how much the move will cost, but they might also be the best tell about how trustworthy the movers are. First, you should see how the company suggest they do an estimate. If it's over the phone, then you should probably stop working with them. Think about it - can someone really tell how much stuff you have just based on the number of rooms in your house? This is why you should ask for an in-house estimate.

A man in the suit – fraudulent moving companies usually don’t have professional estimators.

Pay a closer look at how professional the estimator behaves.When the estimator arrives, look into how they behave. Are they just rushing to get the job done and not paying too much attention to your things? This is a sure sign you are working with fraudulent moving companies. Instead, the estimator should be detailed. Don't be surprised if they are opening all your cupboards and wardrobes - just to get a better image of how much stuff the company needs to move. They will also ask you about the garage and the attic - and what you plan to take and leave behind. Make sure you ask them a lot of questions about the moving company as well!

Screen the company online

When the estimator leaves, you should have a couple of basic information about your company. This should include their physical address as well as the US DOT number. This is like an ID for a moving company - and all companies doing long-distance moves need to have them. Using it, you can go to the U.S. Department of Transportation's website and learn more about the company. This is also a great way to separate fraudulent moving companies from the reliable ones - by reading up their information. You can see how long they are in the business, the insurance policies they have and whether or not they have all their paperwork in order. This way, you can be sure you are working with movers you can trust.