Moving to a new home is an exciting experience. It’s simply great having found the perfect place for you and your family to live in. And when that finally happens, you don’t want your joy to be shadowed by ending up being scammed by fraudulent movers, do you? Sadly, this has been happening more and more lately – as there are a lot of unprofessional moving companies, and thousands of Americans reported having gone through moving fraud. Thus, they complained about having been asked higher prices before being given their stuff back or have noticed the missing of expensive items. That totally steals the entire excitement of moving, doesn’t it?
Don’t be their next victim! Just take into account the following tips in order for your moving experience to be a pleasant one. The best way to avoid such a problem is being informed.
#1. Thorough Research
This is the first thing you should do – thorough, careful research. Keep an eye out for complaint history before actually selecting the mover. Make sure that the company presents a proper level of insurance. After having decided what company you wish to hire, make sure to look up for additional information. Are they reliable? Is their online feedback overall positive? Many of these companies can be found online, so it won’t be that difficult getting across customer reviews.
Don’t overlook this aspect – it’s more important than you might think. It is better being reassured that you’re hiring a professional, safe moving company and know exactly what to expect from the movers, than having to find that out on your own, isn’t it?
A reliable company will undoubtedly present positive reviews – that’s a given. Just make sure to be consequent and don’t give up easily while doing your research.
#2. Meet in Person
Another mistake most people unwillingly make is never getting in personal contact with someone from the moving company. Of course, it requires some of your time. It’s not as time-effective as dealing with the problem over the phone. But we are talking about the safety of everything you own here, so it’s of focus point meeting someone from the company in person.
Don’t settle down for a price estimate over the phone – insist on having the meeting in your own home. Price estimations over the phone are utterly unreliable and fluctuating. Just take a moment and think about it. How can you get a proper price evaluation if the company is not aware of the amount of furniture you mean to get transported? This will give them a chance to scam you – they’ll just say they didn’t know what to expect and that prices range according to every home and so on and so forth. An unprofessional company always has a set of excuses prepared, don’t worry about that.
After the home visit from a representative of the moving company, make sure to have the final estimate in writing. This is crucial if you wish to avoid getting scammed and ending up paying a larger amount of money than you initially planned.
#3. Inventory List
The inventory is the official document stating all the goods that you wish the moving company to get transported, including accurate information about their condition before the shipment, and afterward as well. It’s important to remember that you should receive a written copy of this document after the moving procedure is finalized, in order to check if the information on the inventory is correct or not.
#4. Be Aware of Binding Estimates
After having had a home visit and an official price estimate, you should no longer expect a higher bill – only if you consider adding more items or services than you initially considered. However, if not, your bill should not exceed the previous evaluation. Claiming a higher bill is an utterly illegal action on the behalf of the moving company, especially after having established the estimate in writing.
#5. Don’t Sign Any Blank Documents
This can also happen. A dishonest representative from the moving company might ask you to sign a blank document before actually having filled in the blanks, with the fraudulent purpose of later on including different figures and information than the ones you initially spoke about. This raises a red flag – it violates your rights, and you should know that. In order to prevent this unauthorized thing from happening, only after having double-checked the document should you consider signing it?
#6. Get Acquainted with Your Rights
Always, always know your rights. A professional moving company should provide you with the official information concerning your rights and obligations during your moving experience. This aspect is often overlooked but is utterly significant, and you should be aware of your rights. Movers are required by Federal regulations to administrate their customers with official indications about the responsibility of the mover and the client as well.
After having gotten acquainted with your rights and responsibilities, you’ll know if you are treated rightfully or not. If the odds are unfortunate, and the moving company is unprofessional, you may consider filing an official complaint.
#7. Transportation Charges
There are cases in which moving companies might charge you extra fees for transportation. This is why it is important going over this aspect and deciding on an official price before actually proceeding with the moving procedure. If you consider that you have been unfairly overcharged, take action and file a dispute. Keep in mind though that it can all be easily avoided by analyzing transportation charges upfront, thoroughly, no matter how large or small the print is!
What if there’s a problem?
Typically, your mover should provide you with a dispute settlement program. That is required in case of the occurrence of damaged or even missing goods. It should provide you with information about how to solve the problem effectively.
If you notice that your goods are damaged or some items are missing, you have to contact your moving company in order for them to offer you a claim form. The next step is completing the claim form in writing. If the settlement provided by the moving company does not satisfy you, you may consider seeking other legal approaches.