5 Tips for Avoiding a Moving Scam

December 7, 2016

moving and storage services

The average American moves house approximately 12 times throughout his or her life. Although the majority of residential moving services are legitimate, there has been a noticeable uptick in fraudulent moving company scams over the last few years. If you require moving and storage services, you need to do your research to ensure that your possessions arrive at your final destination, safe and sound.

Scams aren't always easy to spot, but if you follow these tips, you'll be in much better shape to avoid them. Above all, eliminate the risk by hiring a reputable residential moving company. But if you just aren't sure about whether a company is legit, follow these five tips:

  • Get recommendations from friends and family
    Considering how many people move each year, you're bound to know a friend or a family member in your area who has recently moved. Ask around and see whether or not they were happy with the services they received. If they were, add that company to a list to call. If they weren't, make a note of it. If no one you know has heard of a particular moving company in your area, exercise caution before going further with them..

  • Get several different estimates
    You don't want to enter into a moving contract right away with the first company you call. Remember to compare your options. Call at least a few different companies to receive some estimates for your move. And remember, don't make your decision based just on cost. While it can be tempting to go with the lowest estimate, you need to take other factors into consideration. If the estimate from one company seems "off" or varies wildly from other estimates you've received, don't ignore your instincts..

  • Do your research
    In the past, finding out about lesser-known moving and storage services could be a bit challenging. But now, with Google right at our fingertips all the time, it's easy. A quick search can tell you a lot about the company: where the storefront is located, their Yelp ratings, previous reviews, whether or not they're registered with the Better Business Bureau, or whether they're a member of the Association or Movers or the American Moving and Storage Association. These can tell you a whole lot about the company's reputation. There are also websites that have a sole focus of warning consumers about various moving scams. If the moving and storage service you've zeroed in on has less-than-stellar reviews or there isn't a lot of information about the company, move on to another choice.
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  • Recognize red flags
    Beware of companies that are pushy, want large deposits prior to a move, or are reluctant to give you all the information you need. Make sure to get a contract, too. If there's no address or contact information for the company -- or if they insist on communicating through unconventional channels -- stay away. Get all costs and dates laid out in writing. Don't use blind trust for moving and storage services. You're the one with a lot to lose. Reputable companies understand that and will not take advantage of your situation..

  • Insist on seeing licensing
    You need to make sure that your moving company is fully insured and licensed. Make sure you know what that insurance covers -- i.e., whether items will be replaced, repaired, or you'll be given a settlement to cover those costs on your own. Know your rights and don't be afraid to exercise them. If a company doesn't want to provide proof of insurance, you do not want to work with them. Legitimate companies will be eager to provide the proper documentation..

If you require residential moving and storage services in San Diego, we'll bend over backwards to protect your valuables and make sure they safely arrive at your new home. Contact us today to find out more about our rates and how we can help make your move much easier..