Important Questions You Need to Ask to Avoid Moving Scams
Unfortunately, there seems to be an upswing of fake moving companies and irreputable movers taking advantage of people in need of a move. If you are going to be moving in Frisco or throughout the state of Texas anytime soon, protect yourself by being on the lookout for moving scams that irreputable moving companies may try to pull. Whether it’s rip-offs or even the theft of your personal belongings, you stand to lose a lot if you fall prey to one of these common moving scams.
At Firehouse Movers, our local Frisco moving company not only wants to provide the very best in relocation services, but also aims to be a pillar in the community. Our trusted North Texas movers want help the residents of Frisco easily identify and avoid moving scams. That’s why they have answered the following questions.
What are the Most Common Moving Scams to Look Out For?
Change in Charges
A moving company will offer an attractively low estimate (oftentimes an unrealistically low estimate) and refuse to provide a hard copy of this original quote ahead of your move. Once your belongings have been loaded into their truck, they’ll increase your charges - sometimes by double or triple the original amount! Only when you agree to pay this new bill will they give you back your stuff.
The Bait and Switch
Your movers will entice you with an estimate based on the inventory of your belongings or another specific measurement, but your bill will come back with increased charges. The moving company will try to justify these new fees by saying your household goods exceeded the estimate using another measurement they had not used originally. Again, your belongings will be held hostage until you agree to pay up.
In this type of scam, your moving company will add new clauses to your original moving contract after you’ve already signed and agreed to it. Whether it’s extra fees, added time requirements, or some other clauses – if your movers are adding clauses that result in extra charges to your contract after the fact without properly notifying you in writing, you’re being scammed.
How to Protect Yourself from Moving Scams
Do Your Research
There are a few ways you can avoid falling victim to the moving scams listed above. First, you should collect quotes from multiple moving companies before settling on the Frisco moving company you’re going to hire. You’ll have a better idea of what a reasonable and realistic moving estimate look likes for your move – avoid estimates that are significantly lower than the average estimate.
Sign a Complete Moving Contract
Never sign a blank or partial contract, sometimes referred to as a “skinny” contract even when your movers promise to fill out the details later. Only sign a moving contract with all the details of your transaction including a guaranteed price, delivery date, necessary supplies, and complete inventory of the items being shipped.
Look Through Your Contract & Ask Questions
The contact should either state there are no additional charges or detail under what circumstances additional charges may be incurred. If you are unsure about something in your contract, don’t hesitate to ask questions – reputable North Texas movers will provide you with answers or make any modifications to the contract should you request it.
How to Check if a Moving Company is Legitimate?
Check for their License
First check if the moving company you are considering is licensed. Reputable local Frisco moving companies will have state or federal licenses. At Firehouse Movers, we are licensed by the Texas department of Motor Vehicles.
- TX DMV# 000570404B
Look for Marked Trucks
Their license numbers will be marked onto all their moving trucks and vehicles. Never allow your belongings to be loaded into an unmarked truck or you may fall prey to a scam.
Ask for References
If the moving company you are considering does not have a lot of online reviews and testimonials from previous customers, ask for at least three references. Request references from people who are from your area and moved within the last three months. Talk with them on the phone and ask specific questions.
When to Pay Movers – Upfront, Before Unloading, or After?
When it comes to paying your North Texas movers, there are some rules that are good follow to avoid getting ripped off or scammed.
Don’t Pay Cash
Except for tipping your movers, don’t pay in cash. Paying for a move in cash only means you won’t have a record of the paid transaction – which makes it easier for a fake moving company or an irreputable one to disappear with your money or your belongings. Be sure all transaction receipts are traceable and attached to your moving company’s name.
Look Out for Requested Deposits
A reputable Frisco moving company will never demand cash or a large deposit before moving you and your stuff. Avoid paying upfront – you’ll have zero control over where your belongings will go once they are in a moving truck. There’s nothing stopping a fake moving company from running off with your money and belongings. In most cases, you will be expected to pay upon delivery.