Moving can be a challenging experience, both emotionally and financially. It can be stressful and overwhelming. There are a lot of things to think about, from packing your belongings to finding a new place to live. And one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing a moving company, which will not scam you. Along with experts from Shark south Florida moving company, we discovered how to spot the moving scammers and prepared tips to avoid them.
The most common moving scams:
- Hostage scam: The movers in South Florida refuse to release your belongings until you pay an exorbitant amount of money. This scam is often used by fly-by-night companies that are not licensed or insured.
- Bait-and-switch scam: The mover gives you a lowball estimate to get your business, but then raises the price at the last minute. This scam is often used by companies that are not upfront about their fees.
- Exorbitant delivery charges: The mover charges you extra fees for made-up reasons, such as fuel surcharges or hidden fees. This scam is often used by companies that are trying to make a profit at your expense.
- Late delivery: The mover fails to deliver your belongings on time, or even loses them altogether. This scam can be very stressful and disruptive, and it can be difficult to get your belongings back.
- Reckless abandonment: The mover takes your money and then disappears, leaving your belongings behind. This scam is the most serious, and it can be very difficult to recover your belongings.
Here are some tips on how to spot moving scammers and avoid them:
Don’t pay a large deposit upfront.
Reputable South Florida moving companies will not ask for a large deposit before the move. If a mover asks for a large deposit, it is a red flag that they may be a scam.
If you do need to pay a deposit, it should be a small amount, such as $200 or $300. You should also get everything in writing, including the amount of the deposit, the purpose of the deposit, and the terms of repayment.
It is always best to pay for your move upon delivery. This will protect you in case there are any problems with the move.
Avoid moving companies with a name switch
Some South Florida movers change their names to avoid being flagged by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other consumer protection agencies. This is a red flag that the company may be a scam.
Here are some things to look out for:
- The company does not have a local address.
- The company’s employees do not answer the phone with the full name of the business.
- The company has multiple names, also known as “doing business as” (DBA) names.
- The company is reluctant to provide you with its license and insurance information.
If you see any of these red flags, it is best to avoid the company.
Be aware of packing costs
If you are considering having the movers pack your belongings, be sure to ask about the packing costs. The cost of packing can vary depending on the size of your move, the type of items you are moving, and the level of service you require.
Some moving companies in South Florida offer basic packing services, while others offer more specialized services, such as packing furniture items or packing antiques. Be sure to get an estimate from the moving company before you book your move.
Here are some things to keep in mind when budgeting for packing costs:
- The size of your move: The larger your move, the more expensive the packing costs will be.
- The type of items you are moving: Some items, such as fragile items or antiques, require more specialized packing services and will therefore be more expensive to pack.
- The level of service you require: If you want the movers to pack all of your belongings, the cost will be higher than if you pack some of your belongings yourself.
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider packing your belongings yourself. This can save you a significant amount of money. However, it is important to pack your belongings carefully to avoid damage.
Be aware of hidden fees
Moving companies often charge hidden fees for things like:
- Stairs and elevators: If the movers have to carry your belongings up or down stairs or an elevator, they may charge you an additional fee.
- High-traffic areas: If the movers have to move your belongings in a high-traffic area, they may charge you an additional fee.
- Narrow streets: If the movers have to move your belongings on a narrow street, they may charge you an additional fee.
These fees are not always unreasonable, but it is important to be aware of them before you sign a contract with a moving company.
Don’t sign a contract without reading it
A moving contract is a legally binding document, so it is important to read it carefully before you sign it. The contract should include the following information:
- The name and contact information of the moving company
- The date of the move
- The estimated cost of the move
- The services that will be provided by the moving company
- The terms and conditions of the move, such as the amount of liability coverage
- The process for filing a claim if your belongings are damaged
It is also important to make sure that all of your belongings are listed on the inventory list. This is important because you cannot file a claim for something that is not on the inventory list.
Report the problems at once
If your belongings are damaged during the move, you have 9 months to file a claim with the moving company. This is important because the moving company may deny your claim if you do not file it within the time limit.
Here are the steps on how to file a claim:
- Inspect your belongings carefully as soon as possible after the move.
- Make a list of any damaged items.
- Take pictures of the damaged items.
- Contact the moving company and file a claim.
- Be sure to keep a copy of all documentation related to your claim.
The moving company will have 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, the moving company must deny your claim or make an offer to pay.