Doing things right, taking pride in your work, and neighborly concern are concepts that our grandparents talk about from the golden days. But these values are not always present in our everyday transactions. Relocating is already a significant event in most people’s lives and the different aspects that need to be juggled can seem daunting. The last thing that you should have to worry about is moving scams. See our post “Spot a Rogue Mover Before Its Too Late!” for more information on how to avoid the pitfalls of unregulated movers.
In this blog we focus on a few common moving scams that can cause heartache.
1. Flat Rate Quotes versus Guaranteed Quotes
First understand the difference between binding and nonbinding estimates. If you do not know the difference, check out our glossary. When a quote is based on weight or number of items it is easy to assume that the quoted price is guaranteed but some movers prey on the fact that you don’t know the actual total weight of your household goods or exactly how many boxes or pieces of furniture you really need moved. They underestimate the item count or weight knowing you’ll sign on the dotted line for the quote they give you, and then charge penalties when your items weigh more or when more boxes or furniture need to be moved.
2. Multiple Business Names
One of the worst moving scams is when a rogue company changes its name due to complaints in order to dodge the allegations or responsibility. I personally know of a business owner in the Kansas City area who has operated a moving company under five different names in the last three years in an effort to run from his smeared past of ripping off unsuspecting clients. Earlier this year, we did a blog series on common mistakes people make when hiring a moving company; the tips suggested in Part 1 and Part 2 will help you make good decisions.
It may not be possible for the mover to get an accurate idea of your belongings unless they send a representative to do an in-home survey of your home. No two households are the same and cannot be treated the same. The reason many companies will not even offer to come onsite is to leave the door open to charge extra fees on moving day for oversized or difficult items or circumstances. Ask for an onsite estimate and fully understand the pricing structure and charges before you make your decision on a moving company.
4. Booking Deposits
The only time you should have to put down a deposit is when you rent a truck from U-haul or Budget for your DIY move. A reputable, local moving company does not require a deposit prior to the service being completed. Some businesses may ask for a credit card number to hold on file in case of last minute cancellations, but you should never be asked to pay half of the relocation costs up front.
Be aware of these and other types of moving scams before your next relocation in Kansas City, Johnson County, or Topeka, KS.