Learn How YOU Can Avoid Mover Scams!
How can you be sure you're working with a professional mover, especially with the
instances of scams and frauds on the rise? The moving and storage industry is known
for disreputable companies that are only out to take your money - and possibly your
worldly belongings. Don't be a victim. Learn how to avoid moving scams and choose
an upstanding mover in your area with the help of North American Van Lines.
The following tips are from The Today Show feature on "How to Avoid Being Scammed
by Movers." The Today Show outlined the common moving scams and how consumers
can avoid being conned by a mover.
The most popular mover scams include:
- The Hostage
- Bait and Switch
- Trumped Up Delivery Charges
- Late (or Never) Delivery
- Reckless Abandonment
You may be asking, what does all this mean? Don't worry. We'll go through each moving
scam in detail so you can familiarize yourself with how each works. The more you
know, the safer you'll be from being tricked into a scam. The Today Show outlined
the above scams as follows:
Hostage is exactly that: your belongings are held hostage until you give the mover
what they want. What they want typically is more money through tacking on fees that
were not outlined in your in-home estimate. Since they already have your belongings,
they know they have the upper hand when it comes to getting more money. You want
your furniture back? Pay what they're asking.
Bait and Switch:
mover will "bait" you with an estimate (typically one that is too good
to be true), then "switch" the agreed price when it is too late to complain
or resolve the situation. You will choose the mover based on their fantastic pricing,
but wind up paying for a move that is nowhere near the price you originally agreed
Trumped Up Delivery Charges:
Trumped up charges are the unnecessary extras a mover will add
on to the cost of your move. Once they have your belongings on their truck, they
will tell you the shipment takes up more cubic feet than the estimate based on weight
and charge you more money. This equation is nearly impossible to compute, so you
have no other choice but to pay - or not receive your belongings.
Trumped up charges can also include paying extra for packing when you weren't told,
charging more because your boxes were not packed and ready for loading and similar
Late (or Never) Delivery:
far one of the scariest scams, the name says it all. A mover will load your belongings
on their truck, and you trust that your valuables are delivered safely and on-time
as promised. However, days, weeks or months later, you're dealing with a company
that claims to have your items on a truck behind two other families' things, preventing
them from delivering yours.
Even worse, if a mover has a licensing violation and their truck is impounded in
transit by the Department of Transportation (DOT), you won't receive your belongings
until the truck is released from being impounded.
Whether it's late, or never, delayed delivery scams can be one of the most frightening
situations to be in.
abandonment is typically a scam seen from rogue movers. A "mover" will
come pick up your worldly possessions and take your payment. The mover will then
leave the truck somewhere, leave your items at an undisclosed storage facility or
all but vanish, leaving you without your shipment or your money. If you happen to
even find your missing belongings, you can expect to pay many, many dollars to retrieve
your items from storage.
How to Avoid the Scams from a Rogue Mover
You may be asking yourself, "What's the good news?" The good news is that
there ARE reputable movers out there. You just need to know what the most common
scams are and how to recognize them. Then, you must educate yourself on the tips
and tools you can use to avoid choosing a mover who might scam you and your family.
You can find a mover who will carefully, securely and professionally move your goods.
Read below for some helpful tips on choosing a mover and avoiding being scammed:
Demand an On-Site Estimate: Get your estimate in-house, in writing.
North American Van Lines provides FREE IN-HOME MOVING ESTIMATES.
Check the Company's Address: Research the company online or in
the phone book to locate their address. A real company has a real address.
Ask for Recommendations from Friends, Family and Neighbors: One
thing most people have in common? We've all moved. Ask the people around you for
Ask your Real Estate Agent: Who knows better about movers than
people who deal with families moving all the time? Talk to your real estate agent
about who they would recommend.
Get Three Competitive In-Home Estimates: Get three competitive
estimates and compare. If one seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Choose a mover who Base Price off Weight, Not Cubic Feet: Whichever
way a mover provides your estimate, whether on the weight or cubic feet, get
it in writing.
Check the Mover's Complaint History: Check your local Better Business
Bureau (BBB). If the company has more than eight complaints or a less than glowing
rating, you might want to consider another option.
How to Protect Yourself from a Mover's Scams
Now you know what the scams and tips are to avoid them. Below are some things NEVER
to do when moving. By following these tips, you can rest assured your move will
be a hassle-free, cost-effective experience.
Don't Fall for a Front Company: Be sure the company has an actual
address and location.
Do Not Give a Deposit: Don't ever give a deposit upfront. If a
company demands money right away or as a deposit, this is a red flag.
Do NOT Pay Cash: A reputable moving company will not demand cash.
Be sure to pay with something that keeps evidence of the transaction, such as a
Make Sure the Truck is Branded: Don't trust a truck that drives
up without a logo or brand on it. Unmarked trucks are a sign of a front company
or disreputable mover.
Do Not Sign a Partial Contract: You would never sign a loan agreement,
pre-nup or binding contract of other sorts with blanks; the same rule applies for
moving contracts. Make sure the contract is complete and all filled in before signing
Do Not Agree to a Skinny Contract: Sign a complete contract. It
should be multiple pages with all of your goods listed on the papers.
Buy Extra Insurance: There are typically two types of valuation
insurance offered, basic and extra care protection. Extra care provides the best
possible protection for your goods in the event that anything is lost or damaged
during the move.
Ask About the mover' Claims Policy: In the event there is loss
or damage, you will need to file a claim. Find out more about the company's claim
policy and how they go about resolving any issues.
You Can Have a Great Relocation - Scam Free!
As a consumer, you are entitled to an exceptional relocation at a fair price. With
the current economic state and the need to watch where every penny goes, you can't
afford to be scammed by a mover. Utilize the information from The Today Show and
our tips to ensure you avoid fly by then night movers and only work with a mover
who is professional and upstanding. Save yourself lost memories, money and many
headaches by knowing the common moving scams and how to avoid them.
One of the first steps to a successful move is getting your ON-SITE ESTIMATE.
Why not save money and get your FREE MOVING ESTIMATE from North American Van Lines today! Contact North American Van Lines
today regarding your moving needs. Or, use our quote form to request your FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATE right now!
North American Van Lines - Your Choice of Mover for a Great Relocation
At North American Van Lines, your relocation is our first priority. We pride ourselves
on customized moves at a fair price for our customers, ensuring an enjoyable, worry-free
experience. Put your move in the capable hands of North American Van Lines, and
worry about the more important things in life.
So, How Do I Choose a Reputable Mover?
The economic climate may be improving, but there is still much uncertainty about
the future. Foreclosures are upwards of 30%, and people are more conscious, if not
frugal, when spending their money. People are searching for places where they can
save a dime. This is why moving scams are on the rise, especially in this economic
downturn. People search for the best price, not paying enough attention to exactly
who they are entrusting their valuables to.
With more than 75 years of experience in the moving business, North American Van
Lines knows the ins and outs of the industry. And, since we are a reputable
moving company, we can tell you exactly how to choose a professional mover. We know
you want a great relocation at a fair price. Here are some tips on how to choose
a mover who can provide you with just that:
Begin the search for the perfect mover 8 weeks prior to your move.
If you have longer, take longer. If the move is last minute, try and start planning
as soon as possible.
Ask for references. Ask friends, family members, neighbors, real
estate agents and anyone you know for recommendations! Word of mouth is one of the
best and easiest ways to find a reputable mover.
Make a list of the services you need. What are your exact moving
needs? From packing and custom crating to swing set assembly or permanent storage,
make a list of all the services you will need so you can choose a company to accommodate
Research companies thoroughly. Do the research. Put the time and
effort into knowing just who will be handling your goods, and this forethought will
pay off in dividends.
Get multiple in-home estimates. Get your estimate in-house and
in writing. Get at least three estimates from three different companies to comparison
Use these helpful tips to help find the best mover. Just Remember: Cheapest
is not always best. What may seem like a great deal upfront can actually
end up costing you MUCH more in the end.
What Can You Look for to Identify a Reputable Mover?
The mover's credentials: Make sure the mover is licensed, insured
and bonded; registered with the Department of Transportation; check its standing
with the Better Business Bureau; check to make sure the company has a physical address.
A physical address: Visit their location. Or, research the yellow
pages, use the internet, call their offices and do everything you can to establish
a physical address.
Branded trucks and uniformed men: Your mover will send uniformed
crews in a branded truck with the company's name and logo. Don't trust some people
in plain clothes that jump out of a van.
Clean complaint history: Every mover is undoubtedly going to have
a couple complaints. After all, people only tend to contact the BBB if they have
something negative to say. However, too many complaints are a red flag. Strive for
a mover with eight or less.
Bill of Lading and Rights and Responsibilities: A reputable mover
will give you a Bill of Lading and your Rights and Responsibilities. You are entitled
to these documents and a copy of your contract during your move. A professional
mover will provide you with these documents.
Know What to Look For and What to Avoid
Utilize this information for your next move, and pass on the information to your
family and friends who may be moving. The more educated you are about moving scams,
what to look for and what to avoid, the better decision you will make when it comes
to choosing a mover. Use the information from The Today Show's segment on "How
to Avoid Being Scammed by Movers," and you too can have a happy and headache-free
Avoid a relocation nightmare, and have the move of your dreams by choosing a professional,
upstanding mover. Protect your memories, and your bank account, by selecting a mover
who will provide a great relocation at a fair price.
North American Van Lines - Your Mover of Choice
Contact us today to arrange your FREE IN-HOME MOVING ESTIMATE,
and get your move started off on the right foot. We look forward to handling all
your moving needs as your mover of choice.