When you decide to engage an organisation to help with your relocation, you have to look beyond the financial consequences. Picking a good company is such a major task considering that you have to trust the company with all your possessions, expect them to reach their destination in good condition, and then keep their end of the bargain by sticking to the agreed price. However, it isn’t always the case. Scams by moving companies seem to be increasing in tandem with the rise of people moving long distances.
Warning signs and possible scam indicators
Some moving companies have a legitimate-looking internet presence however they’re actually experienced scammers who fail to complete the move, take the possessions of customers while they are moving them, or charge exorbitant fees for their services. These are some of the most important warning signs and indications of fraud by movers that you must look out for:
- The moving company has no registration with a trade association such as the British Association of Removers (BAR) or The Removals Ombudsman.
- The company offers instant quotes instead of encouraging customers to agree to an in-person examination in order to determine a price.
- There are a lot of complaints from customers which haven’t been addressed or there are no reviews whatsoever by their previous customers.
- The company does not accept credit cards. Instead, they demand that you pay for their moving services in cash.
- Before you move in, they insist that you and other customers accept blank contracts as well as other forms.
- They demand a large deposit in advance of the relocation during the off-peak moving season.
Sometimes the scammers might give the impression that they are too busy to communicate with their clients or respond to their queries on a regular basis. However, the truth is that you as the customer have the right to be aware of what’s happening. Consider it a major cause for alarm if the moving company doesn’t appear willing to answer any questions you might have or if it’s difficult to contact them, or if they are only polite and responsive when it’s time to pay. It is possible to avoid scams by having polite and frequent discussions with your movers about the services they offer and the fees associated with the services they provide.
What is the best time to file a scam complaint?
If you feel your rights are being violated, or you want to let other customers know of a particular company that you feel has violated your rights, it’s a good idea to submit complaints. Be wary of scams that appear to be moving violations, and need the filing of an official complaint.
- Overpays: This happens when there is an increase in the final cost. Ordinarily, the increase in the final cost shouldn’t be more than 10% of the predicted amount on the quotation.
- Your belongings are held as hostages: To pressure you to pay an additional sum, criminals might use your possessions to keep you in shackles.
Some other instances include late delivery, damaged products, etc. Although bad service does not meet the requirements for legal action, nevertheless it is acceptable to file a complaint about them. Your concerns should be taken seriously if you are dealing with a reputable moving company. A reliable moving company would have staff members who do their best to resolve these issues.
Here are some factors to consider in selecting a reputable moving company.
One way to reduce the possibility of being scammed when you are choosing a company to move your belongings is to go through an individual screening process which teaches you to spot the many warning signs that are employed by fraudsters. Employ these tactics when considering other companies and considering your options:
- To avoid unpleasant price increases, it’s a good idea to request an in-house estimate from the mover or use a moving calculator like this.
- You can verify the address of the company by using the street-view option in Google Maps.
- You can read the comments left on several online review websites, such as qqmoving.
- If you’re looking for a moving company to hire make sure you choose a company that will take the time to note and put everything in writing. Estimates and quotes made on the phone aren’t legally binding in any manner.
- Contact a range of reliable moving companies and verify their credentials, including whether or not they’re registered and have insurance.
- Make sure that the moving provider offers you a comprehensive written contract that outlines all the obligations each party is responsible for.
Remember that you could always ask people you know such as your colleagues family members, friends, or neighbours for suggestions on legitimate moving firms with whom they have worked with in the past. This will allow you to stay clear of dealing with businesses that have the potential of being fraudsters.