How to Avoid Mover Scams

July 7, 2011

How to Avoid Mover ScamsThe summer (between Memorial Day and Labor Day) is the busiest season for moving.  The kids are out of school, the weather’s good and summer vacations are in full effect.  Sometimes, you can’t do the moving from your Hendersonville home all by yourself and need to hire a professional.  Unfortunately, scammers know this.  Here are some tips on how to avoid mover scams:

  • Get Personal Referrals – Know anyone who has moved lately and had to hire a professional moving company to do it?  Ask them who they used and what they thought of them.  This includes family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.  Research at least three moving companies that have offices in your general area.  Check their rating on a website like JD Power and Associates.
  • Double Check – One common scam is for a moving company is to call itself something similar to a reputable moving company or even saying they are an affiliate of an established moving company.  Go to the website that the moving company says they are affiliated with to make sure that they are indeed a part of the company.  If in doubt, contact the reputable company directly to ask.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Demand an On-Site Inspection – When a moving company gives you a quote over the phone, be wary.  Typically, a moving company needs to see what goods they will be transporting before they can give an adequate estimate.
  • No Upfront Costs – Avoid moving companies who ask for a large deposit up front or insist on cash payment only.  Scammers will take the money and run or pick up your belongings, which you will never see again.
  • Website Red Flags – When visiting a mover’s website, the following should send up some red flags: no local address or other local information, no licensing information and no insurance information is given.
  • Calling Up a Mover – If someone answers the phone with a generic “movers” or “moving company” greeting instead of the actual name of the company, they could very possibly be a scam.
  • Moving Trucks – On the day of your move, make sure the moving truck is marked with the company’s logo and contact information.  A mover who uses a rental truck or unmarked vehicle is most likely a scammer.
  • Know Your Rights – You have rights.  Every licensed moving company is supposed to provide you with a copy of the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” handbook.  This is especially important when you are moving out of state.  If one is not provided to you before you move, don’t use their service.

When moving from your Hendersonville home, avoid mover scams by being educated about what you should and should not expect from your mover.  If you need help selling your Western North Carolina home, please contact me today.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

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