The day after Memorial Day is “National Moving Day.” As a moving company, we can see why – summer is the season for moving! May is the perfect time of year to start a new life. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the kids have escaped from school.
And moving is even better when you can hire someone else to take care of the hard work for you.
What most people don’t realize about hiring a moving company is that there is a danger that might occur. The could become victim to moving scams. Let’s shine some light on the subject.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. A moving company schemes up a way to take your money while providing horrible service. Or no service. Or holding your belongings for ransom until you pay them even more money. These happen regularly, every single day. Their goal is to take your money without providing any of the services previously discussed or agreed upon.
There are as many different types of moving scams as there are moving scammers. We’re going to talk about the main types and what each scenario might look like.
The first type of moving scam to watch out for is the large deposit request. With this scam, the moving company asks for a large deposit prior to the move, usually more than 20% of the estimate. This should be a huge red flag to customers as most companies only ask for a small deposit, if any at all. Deposits are typically made to lock in your move date and go toward the cost of moving. But not in this case. Once the scammer receives your money, they cut off all contact and disappear. They’ve got your hard-earned cash, and have moved on to the next victim.
The next scam is the “invented charges” scheme. This scenario looks like everything is going fine, until you get the bill for the service. Then you find there are added fees listed. The company does this to drive up the price, not just by a little bit, but by huge amounts. There could be a driver’s fee, or a stairs fee that weren’t mentioned in the estimate or contract. If these things weren’t discussed in the contract you signed, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a scam.
Another simple way you could be scammed is by the weight estimate that the company provided. With this scam, the company arrives at your home and gives you an estimate based on the weight of your belongings. But once the service is over and they hand you the bill, the price jumps to two or three times the original estimate.
The last scam, and probably the worst one, is the hostage situation. This scam is all about providing proper estimates. Having wonderful loading times. Giving you amazing service. Until you show up at your new home and your belongings don’t. The movers either just stole everything you own, or they’re holding your belongings hostage until you pay them a huge amount of money. This situation is especially awful because you’re just trying to move into your new home, but don’t have so much as a couch or bed to lay down in. You feel like you have to pay the company what they ask, otherwise you won’t get your stuff back.
I know these situations sound horrible, and might make you wary about hiring a moving company – but never fear. There are steps you can take to avoid these scams.
I know these situations sound horrible, and might make you wary about hiring a moving company- but do not fear! There are steps you can take to avoid these scams and luckily we listed them below just for you!
To check whether or not a company has proper authority and insurance, please visit the Missouri Department of Transportation’s website. To check if a company is properly licensed, and to verify their safety rating and other useful information, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Company Snapshot page.
Here are some resources you can use to report a moving company due to a scam.
For more ideas on how to deal with a fraudulent moving company, you can read Moving Scam’s article, “I’ve Been Scammed! What Now?”
Moving scame can be incredibly frightening. Move It With M&S, LLC has noticed a recent rise in new moving “companies” trying to advertise here in Saint Joseph. We want as many people to be aware of the possible scams that could be popping up in your area, and to understand what to do if you see one going on. We also want to tell you that it’s okay to put your trust in legit moving companies. As long as you follow the necessary steps to ensure your safety and the company’s trustworthiness, you’ll be sure to find an honest moving company to help you start a new life in your beautiful new home.
The owners of Move It With M&S, LLC, Theresa Meyer and Louis Simental, have more than 14 years of experience in the moving industry. If you have any questions or need advice about hiring a moving company, even if it’s not ours, please feel free to reach out at 816-689-2627, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep an eye out for our next blog post to learn more about moving estimates and pricing!