Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
you hire a mover, the feeling is as scary as giving a stranger your house keys.
You pay a significant amount and bestow responsibility to unknown faces to haul
every single belonging you own into a new home. There’s no doubt it’s a
daunting task to decide which mover should get this opportunity when there are
so many to choose from.
can also quickly go south if the wrong type of mover is picked. But
fortunately, by looking out for certain red flags, you can truly avoid hiring
an unreliable mover. In this article on red flags to consider when hiring
movers, we’ll share all the small cues you should pick on to keep away from the
ones that give the moving industry a bad name.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
The moving company’s registration and license are extremely important to prove the legitimacy of the mover. If your mover doesn’t confidently display their USDOT number at the bottom of their website or share it with you upon requesting for it, don't hesitate to completely drop the idea of hiring them.
USDOT number is issued to moving companies by the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration (FMCSA). An official number, its main purpose is to
ensure that the mover is following all the safety regulations they’ve set in
stone. If your mover refuses to show they have this license, it is undoubtedly
the biggest red flag. It creates room to doubt them and it’s possible that
their license is revoked, which is why they don’t wish to present it at all.
Tip - Always look for the
USDOT number of your moving company and pull out a report about the history
against that number. You’d be able to take out information regarding crash
records, complaints, their insurance status and even the safety rating they
hold. This should help you sieve through the quality movers during your search.
digital era we live in has made it a common practice to look for any company
online along with the reviews attached to the name before hiring them. And this
is a practice to follow even when you’re researching for a mover.
you notice that there’s a whole thread of negative experiences on platforms
like Better Business Bureau, Google Reviews, Facebook, and even Yelp, it could
be a sign that the company works in a fraudulent manner. Keep in mind that no
company will ever have a clean list of positive reviews; there will always be a
few negative ones. But when you see the negative ones outdo the positive
drastically then it’s best to avoid the company.
Always read reviews before confirming a mover. When you get the slightest
doubt, consider requesting the company for a referral and speak with a customer
that has used the same company in the past.
movers refuse to come visit your home to do an evaluation of the number of
things that need to get moved, they’re most probably taking you for a ride. You
must remember that an estimate provided only by answering a few questions on a
phone call with no physical, personal visit is usually also inaccurate.
when companies send representatives to visit your home, you ultimately get to
put a face to the name and it allows you to interpret the body language or
mannerisms of the employee. In cases where they send you a quote online and
keep everything strictly virtual, it becomes even more difficult to trust and
believe everything they tell you.
Always opt for a pre-move inspection so that you and the movers have a
crystal-clear understanding of the number and categories of items. Point out
the specialty items or furniture pieces that already have visible damage to
avoid misunderstandings on moving day.
that the mover also studies doorways, staircases and so on to be well prepared
for moving day. Take your chance to address issues or concerns you have about
the movers to the representative of the company directly at this time.
most movers will take a small amount of money as a deposit from you in advance
to confirm that you’ve booked your move with them. Many other small businesses
also always collect deposits to prevent losses for when the customer cancels at
the last moment. But the only time you should be on your guard is when the
mover asks for a full deposit or over 50% of the total amount you owe them.
movers could also insist on only paying the huge deposit via cash which is
another tell-tale sign that something isn’t right. When your mover is engaging
in fraudulent activity, they’d most likely ask for cash and not accept a card
payment so that there’s no trace of that transaction and also no way for you to
retrieve any of it.
A reasonable deposit to movers is 25% of the grand total. Anything between $100
to $500 can seem decent depending on the final amount owed. Every moving
company will have a different policy and condition to this, so make sure you
get it confirmed before agreeing to it.
you start searching the internet and leaving your contact information on a
moving website, be prepared to be bombarded with various sales calls. Some
might even be super convincing, but your way to know if you’re being scammed is
when they offer a price that’s too good to be true.
Rogue movers often choose unethical paths like this to reel in customers, only to scam you of your money later. It can be tempting to give in because of the attractive price range offered but trust us, it’s best to stay far as possible from such offers. In hindsight, it’s going to be financially damaging.
Shortlist a few moving companies you’d like to consider hiring and compare the
quotes you receive. The price range should more or less match and that would
tell you that these companies are offering you an average market rate that is
followed in the moving industry.
you even hire the mover, you may notice that it’s been next to impossible to
get in touch with them on phone call or in person. It just proves to you that
things will be even more difficult post moving day. When you call and all you
hear is the sound of crickets chirping, it just adds to your moving stress.
if your movers don’t assign you a company representative or someone who is
supposed to get back to you on truck status, paperwork and so on, you know
things are going to be disorganized going ahead. This is why you should
consider putting a stop to hiring such a mover from the beginning. Also, when
the representatives themselves aren’t courteous at all, don't revert often and
practically keep you in the dark, this is another warning sign that you can’t
really depend on such movers.
You want to be on the lookout for signs that show you that your mover is
responsible and most importantly, responsive. Pick up cues on phone calls and
understand if the person on the line with you is being professional.
Moving Contract, also known as the Bill Of Lading (BOL), is the most important
document that is provided to you by the moving company. This is a legal
document that serves to protect you from asset theft. If the moving company is
unethical in nature, they’ll most likely tamper with the information on this
contract. If you find that certain terms and conditions don’t make sense and
seem out of place, then avoid signing it.
Tip - We cannot stress this enough - it is
absolutely essential that you fine-comb through the moving contract before
leaving your signature on it. If you have any questions, make sure you get them
clarified so that nothing on the contract can be held against you.
Legitimate moving companies maintain a certain standard of service and also live up to to it. This is the reason why when you hear a specific brand name in the market, you know for sure that you’re in for quality service. Rogue movers understand this and use this tactic to their advantage.
create convincing websites, add a fake address and even go to the extent of
duplicating part of their company name to resonate with a legitimate company
just to get leads. If you notice that the name and physical office address is
flakey, be convinced that this is a mover pretending to be of high standards
and in reality, isn’t.
When you find a moving company that you’d like to hire, start doing more
research on the company if you find the name too generic. You’d also be able to
detect that the company is phony if every single review is super positive,
vague and not detailed at all.
can avoid hiring the bad apple version of a mover if they arrive with just a
few laborers and a truck. A mover that is oriented towards keeping the client’s
belongings safe and undamaged will reach your property with a dolly, moving
straps, tools to lift, and even carts if needed. If your mover didn’t bother to
get any equipment and is solely depending on the physical strength of their employees,
it shows that they won’t do a very safe and good job.
Tip - When your mover evaluates your belongings, think about whether they bother to ask you questions about the heavier or specialty items. When your mover is asking you a bunch of questions, it shows that they are concerned about the fine details of your move. They also ask so that they can pre-plan and understand the weight of the job. Many questions and concerns the mover addresses before moving day is a sign that they want to secure things that are delicate and important to you.
you find it challenging to pick a legitimate moving company, consider using the
tips shared above so you’re nowhere close to being a victim of a moving scam.
It will also make things a lot easier. We highly recommend that you begin the
search in advance so you have sufficient time to research your moving company.
Lastly, don’t rush yourself into confirming a mover because it certainly is a
heavy decision to make.
What To Watch Out For When Hiring A Mover?
you hire a moving company, you want to first make sure that they are licensed
and insured. Spend enough time reading testimonials of the company on platforms
such as Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Google Reviews. Lastly, it’s good
practice to ask for a referral so you get candid insights about the movers from
a past customer.
Is Hiring A Moving Company Worth It?
Hiring movers definitely reduces the stress of moving. Movers save you both time and energy. A moving company brings all the equipment, the manpower and reduces all your moving related tasks in half, making it worth consideration.
What To Look For In A Moving Contract?
Before you sign a moving contract, you want to fine-comb through the whole document paying special attention to the sections of fees, payment and delivery window.
See also: What to do When Movers Are Working too Slowly on Purpose
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