When hiring moving services, carry out intense research to avoid choosing the wrong movers. Your items are life-long investments, and if you make a mistake in hiring moving services, you may end up with irreplaceable memories. With the number of moving companies increasing by the day, it is inevitable to have unprofessional movers and scammers. Therefore, the only way to avoid losing money or your belongings is by having s thorough screening process.
Weather is a factor to consider when you are planning to relocate because it affects loading, unloading and transporting your belongings to a new home. Normally, summer is the busiest moving season of most people due to favorable weather. However, due to the high demand of moving services, professional movers cannot be able to handle the workload, and they give scammers an opportunity to exploit homeowners. According to Linda Darr who is the president of America Moving & Storage Association, most frequent scams involves money. This is because, most scammer movers are out there to make money either by overcharging or holding your items hostage claiming for more money.
Unfortunately, most homeowners have a connection with their belongings, and it is better for them to pay the money rather than lose their items. Hence, most people spend the money to have their items delivered or unloaded from the load truck. One problem in handling such cases is lack of licensing and insurance covers from the movers. Also, failure to have a written agreement on the quote makes it complicated because there is no supporting document in the claim. You will come to find out that police department is reluctant in handling such cases and since it is time sensitive, most people give up and pay the money. Although AMSA can help you negotiate if you contact them when the problem arises, they may not guarantee to solve the problem.
It is all lies with the homeowner during selection process. You’ve to be very considerate and keen while hiring a moving company. Look out for the red flags such as very low rates, the mover asking for a large down payment, the mover refusing to offer an onsite estimate or failing to agree on a written agreement. When hiring a mover, look out for the following signs:
• Moving companies that refuse credit cards – paying using your credit card is an ideal method to determine whether a mover is professional or not. All professional moving companies accept credit cards but suspicious companies do not agree because in case of a dispute you can easily get a refund through the credit card company or withhold the money.
• Moving companies without a physical address or an office – many disreputable moving companies have a fake address or operate on a mail forwarding address because they cannot risk having an office.
Make sure you’ve visited the offices of the moving company you are about to hire to discuss about the moving process.
• Look out for companies that work with unmarked trucks – every professional company have their logo, contact details and an address. You can quickly identify their trucks because they are well marked unlike those used by scammers. In fact, a moving company which cannot afford a rolling billboard in town can be a red flag.
• Extremely low rates – most people use rates to determine whether they will hire a moving company. This is a wrong way to do it. Most scammers know this and they tend to give very low rates to unsuspecting homeowners only to raise the quote after loading your items. If you won’t pay the excess amount, your items cannot be delivered and since you don’t want to lose your life long investment, you will end up paying. These low quotes are a means to lure homeowners to hire these companies. Some of the rates given are extremely low such that it would be impossible to pay the workers and make a profit.
• Low level of experience – you should consider the level of experience when hiring a moving company because it will determine their efficiency and reliability. If a moving company is not established, they may not have necessary equipment or skills to safely pack and transport your items. You may end up having lost or damaged items during transit. Also, these companies may not be licensed, insured or even bonded and hence you may not be able to track them down in case you lose your items!
Understand your insurance liability
When goods are lost or damaged, most people do not understand about insurance covers, and they end up losing their items, money or getting confused on what to do. If you are planning to move, it is recommended you take your time to understand insurance liability involved. According to law, movers can only cover up to 60 cents in a pound making it hard to get full compensation. However, with this knowledge, you can purchase additional insurance through the mover you are about to hire to get a full valuation. Although this additional insurance ranges between $200 and $600, it is the best option to have because you will be having a full insurance cover against loss or damage of your items during transit.Also, check with your local authorities because insurance covers vary by state. For instance, Texas forbids movers from selling insurance directly to the movers. It is a necessity to understand insurance liability when moving.
As a precautionary measure, you can check the company through the Department of Transportation site i.e. protectyourmove.gov if you are moving from one state to another. Here, you can get relevant information about the moving company e.g. the number of trucks and drivers the company has, its license number and their history of complaints. You can as well check their ProMover certificate offered by AMSA. A moving company with this certification is reputable because they are scanned by AMSA to make sure they’ve met the standards.
If you don’t want to be a victim of moving scams, you will have to research and gather information from other people. Since you cannot do it alone, you will need to check with relevant authorities while still researching online. Better you spend a lot of time trying to get the right moving services rather than being ignorant and get exploited or lose your items.