Moving scams happen all the time. And even when they don't, uninformed consumers coast through the process of hiring a movers, assuming that everything will likely be fine.
Sadly, this 'coasting' approach many times leads to inconvenience and in many cases disaster. Moving companies could be a great convenience, and may take a lot of the effort out of relocating your home and family. Bear in mind: whoever you choose to handle your move, you might be entrusting with everything you have. That is not a decision to take lightly!
In that spirit, use this guide to help you avoid many of the common pitfalls that customers encounter when dealing with movers. These tips can save you a lot of money and heartache.
First - A bit of History
Previous to 1980, moving company prices were regulated through the now defunct Interstate Commerce Commission, or ICC. The ICC governed the costs that moving companies were in a position to charge consumers for moving services.
In 1980, Congress passed the Household Goods Transportation Act. This act deregulated moving industry pricing, allowing movers to issue their particular estimates and develop their own pricing structure. This brought new competition to the moving industry, sufficient reason for this competition came less expensive costs and an ever dwindling profit margin.
What Does This Mean To me?
Moving companies are in the market to make money. With thin profit margins and keen competition, movers will tend to do anything to squeeze the maximum amount of money as they can through your upcoming move. Sometimes this may mean hidden fees or extra charges. Maybe it may mean out right scams.
Being a consumer, you would prosper to be as educated that you can about your moving company along with the moving process generally. Here are some tips to avoid scams, hidden fees, along with other moving nightmares:
- Get a binding, in-home estimate. Typically, over-the-phone or over-the-internet estimates aren't considered binding. Your mover has to inspect your property and household goods to accurately present an estimate for you.
- Avoid firms that show no interest in providing an in-home estimate, that only accept cash, or which need large deposits before the move.
- Read reviews on the net. There are a number of consumer watch dog sites along with user driven review websites that will offer you feedback in your moving company. Google Maps gives a review system, and it is often a good place to start for information about your moving company. In addition, ask your mover to provide references and ensure to call them. Also, speak to your local Better Business Bureau to see if any reports are already generated regarding your moving companies.
- Ask for a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. Federal regulations require that the moving company supplies you with a reproduction of this booklet in the planning stages of an interstate move.
- Avoid companies which show up in rental trucks or that answer their phones with generic responses for example 'Movers'.
- Avoid companies that list no local address on their site or who are struggling to produce any information about their state or federal licensing.
- Ask for the copy of your moving company's insurance certificate.
- Find out should your moving company charges minimum rates (e.g. a nominal amount billing for 4 hours of work, regardless of real time expended), travel expenses, fuel charges, or another fees that will be constructed into your estimate.
- Find out in case your moving company is a broker.
- A broker creates moving jobs for one more company. If you choose to decide on a broker, research the company that they are brokering your move to.
- Be involved at all times. Read what you sign. Seek advice. Get everything in writing. The higher documented your move is, better able you are to guard yourself.
- At the end of day, there are several good moving companies on the market. We'd like to think that we're one of them! But you do may need to look after yourself. Using the tips above can help you do just that!
Benefit from our exclusive moving services for your upcoming move. Receive your free no obligation moving quote today. Let us move yours!