Finally, you have gotten a new apartment after all the stress. Now, you are wondering how you will move. Out of every moving phase, one of the most important parts is the mover. If you have a crappy mover, you may have a crappy moving job in your hands. This is why it is of great importance that you look for a good mover. How can you tell a professional from a scam? When you get the moving company, you have to be rest assured that they will do the right job. This is why it is advisable to run a background check on the moving company. How good are they? Have they had clients that complained? Have prior clients complained about things getting missing? It is important to know that the mover you use will have access to you, your properties, and your new home.
Below are tips that you should follow to get good movers and not scams.
1. Large Down Payment
Usually, a lot of legitimate movers only request that you make a bit of a down payment before the job is done. They do not ask for everything to be paid before they move your things.
After asking for small down payment before they start the job, they expect that you make the rest payment on delivery, immediately they are done with the job.
This allows the firm to be held liable for ensuring that your properties get to their destination quickly and in a safe manner.
If you see a moving company that requests that you make a large down payment, you should consider taking your business elsewhere because that screams of scam.
Once they get the entire sum before movement, what will make them come over on the D-day and move you?
2. Cash-Only Payments
One thing you should know is that if you made a cash payment, you tend to get a higher value for your cash, but once you notice that it is only cash payments that the movers accept, you should be careful. If they don't accept anything else, apart from cash, you should run to the hills. It is advisable that you opt for credit card payments because it leaves a paper trail. If you have some disputes, how can you prove that you made payments if you opted for cash? The paper trail of a credit card can act as proof.
One can tell a legitimate mover from those that are scammed by looking at how many payments forms that they have. If they don't have more than one, you should consider taking your business elsewhere. Ask them if they accept credit payments, as a legitimate one should. After that, you can decide to use such a payment form or cash.
3. Extremely Low Rates
A company that asks for a large down payment should leave you suspicious; the same can be said for very low rates. If you notice that the rates are too low, your red flag meter should start waving.
One thing you should know is that moving is not a job that is done for a very affordable price. No one can do that, that's the basic truth. One thing you should note is that moving is not affordable, and once you find something like that, there is a great chance that it is a scam.
The moving firm has vehicles to take care of and fuel; it also has employees that it has to pay and so on.
Whatever estimates a moving company gives you should be compared with different estimates from another firm. How does it look like? Are the estimates too cheap for now? One thing you should know is that scams will give you a very cheap estimate at first, then on a moving day, they tell you that the rates have increased because of one flimsy reason or the other. At that moment, they know that finding a moving company will be almost impossible for you.
4. No Logo
It won't be a bad idea to look at their moving trucks. If you can, please do. See what kind of moving trucks they use. Are their logos on the trucks? Do the trucks look good or seem like things that came out of a freak show? These things should be considered. If you can't see the trucks, you can ask around. Who has used the moving company before? Did they use a marked moving truck or not?
If you notice that your moving company comes on the D-day with a truck that is not marked with their logo, or a rental truck, you should become suspicious.
Every legitimate mover embeds their logo on their moving truck, and that's the basic truth. Many of these movers use a rolling billboard to advertise their firm, while they get paid to move your properties around. If you notice that your moving company doesn't have a logo on the truck, and you can't see their phone number on it, there is a great chance that it can't be termed a legitimate one.
5. No Address or Office
A lot of companies, especially the movers, have running and updated websites. Their online presence can give you a hint if the company is legitimate or not. The internet is a perfect place to find scams. Sometimes, it is advised that before you use a product or service, you search the internet to see how legitimate it is. You can start by searching the name of the product or company and put 'scam' on it. There is a great chance that you will get hits if the company is a scam. Look at the moving company's website. How does it look like? Did you notice reviews? How genuine do they look? Do some companies fake their reviews? Do they have similar wording?
Does the website have an address of the mover written there? Is the address just a city or a P.O. box? Whatever moving company that you opt for should have an address.
Once you see the address, it is important to find out if it is genuine. You can track out if an address is really a building that houses companies or merely an empty lot. Find out yourself if you don't want to be scammed or be offered crappy services.
6. No Bill of Lading
Every legitimate mover will ask to sign a contract with you. Immediately you agree to use them; they will expect that you append your signature on their contract, this is usually called a Bill of Lading (BOL).
What the bill of lading contains are things like estimated price, delivery date, as well as the needed supplies. Whatever BOL that you append your signature on should have words that specify that you won't have to make extra payments like driver's fee or compulsory tip. What you agreed on should be what is paid. This should be written on the contract.
The BOL shouldn't be ignored because it ensures that both your properties and interests should be protected. You don't want your properties missing.
7. Many Extreme Reviews
Look at the reviews of the company, how are they like? Before you hire any moving company, you have to look at their reviews? Are they commendable or scary? If you notice that they have amassed a lot of negative reviews, you should consider running to the hills. This most likely means that their services are nothing to write home about and should be avoided.
If you notice that every review there seems too positive, then there is a great chance that the reviews were faked.
Look at the reviews that were written concerning a moving company on a popular review site before you make that decision.
A great way to see if a company is legitimate or a scam is to see if they have been certified as a ProMover at American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA).
This program was created in a bid to find scam movers while telling clients what movers are professional and reputable.
If you can't find your moving company there, then you know what to do, run for your life.
8. Scheduling Trouble
If you notice that the movers keep postponing the move, then you should become very suspicious. Sometimes, change of schedule may occur, but it should only be once. Once it becomes more than one, you should consider running to the hills, when the scheduling changes become a lot, there is a high tendency that it is a scam. Try and look for another mover.
If you wait for this moving company, you may notice that in the end, you will be frustrated. One thing we advise people to do is never tolerate tardiness that occurs more than once because you may end up paying for it. This is why when you sign a contract, you look at the conditions attached to it. Are there any hints that you can't back out of the contract as long as you give them the necessary notification? If there are, this may affect you later when you notice that they are tardy. At that moment, you won't be able to do without them because you agreed to unfavorable terms. Whatever contract you sign should have the terms that are beneficial to you.
9. Lax Phone Etiquette
When you call them on the phone, how do they sound? Do they sound like they are bored and irritated by your call? Do they sound professional? Once you call them, what do they say? Do they state the name of the moving company? If you call a cross country moving company, and they answer with 'movers,' or 'hello,' you may be onto a rogue mover. Are they nice? Or rude? No matter how nice they are, and there is no level of professionalism in the way that they interact with you, they are most likely a scam.
Call them on the phone and listen to their tone. What did you notice about the interactions? Are they too playful? Too serious?
One thing you should note that is if they are either too playful or too serious, then there is a problem. They should be friendly and professional at the same time.
Try to hear what's happening at the background while the conversation is ongoing. Is the person on the other end, shushing someone close to him? Can you hear kids playing about? What of screaming? It is quite easy to find out if someone is a scam or not by listening. Sometimes, the signs may be there, but since you are not alert, you may not notice them.
This saves you from falling into the arms of a scam.
10. No On-Site Quote
A lot of moving firms are known to send their representative to your home before they come up with an estimate. This is done because the moving prices usually are not dependent on solely the distance between the old house and the new one. It also encompasses the number of properties you have, and how much they weigh.
A lot of homeowners usually possess more properties than they may have thought. A professional representative looks at the house and tries to draft a quote that is dependent on the estimated weight.
If you get a mover and they don't come to see what you have in your apartment, your red flag meter should be moving. A good mover must come to your house to look at what you have, and make estimates from there.
Why is this important? If they don't come to see what you have, they may end up giving an estimate that's not realistic.