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Although there are many reputable moving companies out there, there are just also just as many unscrupulous people who advertise as movers, end up providing consumers with expensive nightmares instead of a smooth and stress-free move. The price of hiring a moving company can be expensive, which leads many people to turn to online ads that promise cheap prices. However, it is important to remember that you really do get what you pay for and, instead of a professional moving company, you have no idea who will actually show up at your door.
How Do I Know if a Company Is Not Legit?
If a price a company is offering seems too good to be true, it probably is. These companies will advertise at one price, to hook the customer in, but that low price really isn’t clarified anywhere in the ad or does not specify what the price covers. Then during the move, you find out that certain factors – such as stairs, loading route, etc., are NOT covered under the advertised price. And here you are, with your property being held hostage in the moving company’s truck, with no choice but to pay those contingency fees. Suddenly your cheap move has become double what a move with a reputable company would be.
Unfortunately, for many consumers in this position, the signs were all there before they hired the company. A legitimate company will have a strong online presence on review sites, such as Yelp!, Google+, and Angie’s List. A reputable company will have many positive reviews because they have made the effort to ensure their customers are happy. However, you do need to watch out for companies that have “perfect” scores on these sites as that can indicate reviews that were not written by real customers.
The sooner you begin searching for a company and booking your moving date, the better your chances are of finding a reputable and professional company. If you wait too long, those companies will be already committed, and you may get stuck with the two guys with the banged-up van.
Another way to determine if a company follows through with what they say is by scheduling a site visit before your moving date. Not only will this ensure that the company knows exactly what they have to move (also ensuring the estimate they give you will be an accurate one), but how they handle that site visit will also give you good insight in their professionalism.
What If a Company Wants a Deposit?
It is common for moving companies Washington, DC offers to require a deposit to secure the date of your move. How much that deposit is will vary on the company, as well as what the move will involve. Red flags should go up, however, if they want a very large deposit or a full payment before the move.
What If I Am a Victim of a Scam?
The first thing you should do is try to work things out with the company. If they refuse to work with you, contact the Better Business Bureau. You can also take to social media, on all those review sites to voice your experience to other consumers. Following the above advice, however, can help avoid being taken advantage of.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Suburban Solutions for their insight into moving and how to avoid moving company scams.