The best defense against moving scams is to be a knowledgeable customer who performs their research at every stage. Scammers look to take advantage of confused and anxious people, which we can all become during the relocation. How to avoid them then? Thanks to expert movers in Virginia, the list of the most typical relocation scams can be seen below. Learning how to recognize a moving scam will save you patience, time, and money, and will ensure stress-free relocation!
It is not authorized by the FMCSA
Did you know that the trucking sector is monitored and governed by a federal agency? There is a very significant possibility that a business is fraudulent if it lacks the required FMCSA licensing. There should be a USDOT (US Department of Transportation) number listed in the small print at the bottom of every legitimate moving company’s website. Once you have a company’s number, you may use it to look up any information the FMCSA has on that business in its database. You’ll see a chart about that moving firm when you first enter the number into the database. Locate the field titled “Operating Status.” If it reads “Authorized,” the business has an FMCSA license.
Customers pay more than they first agreed to pay
A moving company may be a fraud if the majority of its clients claim that it overcharged them by a significant amount. Excessive prices and hidden costs are signs of moving scams, even when there are legitimate reasons for a firm to increase its pricing (for example, your relocation takes longer than expected or you have more belongings to carry than you declared). Customer reviews aren’t usually the most reliable information sources. Reviews typically under-represent consumers’ positive experiences since people are more likely to leave them if they have something negative to say. As a result, you should treat them with caution. Following are some guidelines for sorting through customer reviews to find real information:
- Read testimonials on various review websites (Yelp, Google Reviews, Consumer Affairs, etc.).
- Don’t just rely on the star ratings; actually, read the reviews.
- Read both favorable and unfavorable comments.
Charges per cubic foot
One of the most prevalent relocation scams is this one. Reputable residential movers in Northern VA will bill you based on the weight rather than how many cubic feet it would occupy in a moving truck. When you receive your moving estimate, pay close attention to the pricing methods. Choose a different company if rates are determined by cubic feet or some other size metric (square feet, cubic meters, etc.). It’s more probable that you’re working with a trustworthy company if the quote is based on weight, but you should still check this in some of the other methods we’ve described.
Low rates will help you help recognize a moving scam
Rates that are too low are suspect. Moving is not something that can be done at minimal costs. The business must pay its workers, as well as cover the cost of gas and car maintenance. Make sure to contrast the estimate you receive with that of other moving firms. Scams like this rely on your inability to source a replacement and may suddenly double the price.
Some businesses will impose surcharges on you that you weren’t aware of to make more money. The final bill you receive should list each charge that goes into the overall fee in detail. Pay close attention to the bill and look for any unusual charges. For instance, if the moving van can’t fit down a tight street, some con artists may charge you a surcharge. They’ll charge you for the transfer and claim they need to relocate your possessions to a smaller truck. Therefore, learning to recognize a moving scam can be vital for your budget
What else to look out for
Real moving companies Fort Belvoir VA won’t demand that you sign any documents or give them any money before they conduct an in-home estimate to determine the precise weight of your shipment. Watch cautiously if a company skips this stage and asks for your money or your signature as soon as you receive a moving quote. It’s most likely attempting to con you.
Numerous movers will provide you with free moving quotations on the phone or online. This does not necessarily imply that a business is dubious. These are rough estimates provided to give you an idea of how much your relocation might cost. After an in-home estimate, the final price is probably going to increase by at least a bit. Most moving firms will send an estimator to your home to evaluate whatever you’re relocating after providing you with an instant quote. The estimator will provide you with an updated estimate detailing the exact cost of your move after finishing this examination.
Blank contract- a moving scam
Some con artists will ask you to sign a blank contract in addition to giving you wring estimations and telling you that they’ll fill in the blanks later because they’re currently busy. In essence, they are asking you to believe them when they say they will accurately fill out the contract. Moreover, refuse to sign a blank contract if they ask you to, and look for another moving company. When you do sign a completed contract, be sure to read it thoroughly. Verify that every piece of information corresponds to what you and the local movers VA have discussed. The contract is a legally binding agreement that will be challenging to challenge after you sign it. The contract contains information about the delivery date, the anticipated cost, and the required supplies.
How to recognize a moving scam- conclusion
Additionally, the contract should state that there are no additional fees, such as a driver’s fee or forced tips. A contract is crucial because it safeguards both you and the moving business, keeping your interests and possessions secure. Once anything awful occurs while you are moving, it is simple to identify a dishonest moving business for what it truly is. You’ll find a wonderful moving company and be moving stress-free and sadness-free in no time if you stay away from the red flags! Learn how to recognize a moving scam.