The first thing that goes through a person’s mind when they find out that they need to move is the need to locate cheap moving companies to handle the logistics of the move. Often, people go looking online and they fall into the trap of a less-than-desirable moving company who is only out to scam people. Because they did not take the time to research different movers, especially the long distance kind, these consumers get caught in a nasty game of cat and mouse with a company that will almost always win simply due to the fact that consumers are at the mercy of those who hold all of their belongings. Thankfully, the experts here have compiled helpful information that can point you in the right direction when you are moving. There is a way to find cheap moving companies without falling into the traps that bad movers have set. If you are facing a move, then heed the following advice.
There are many different definitions of cheap or budget moving companies in the relocation industry. While some people consider those who charge the least to be the cheap movers they are looking for, other people take the time to compare and contrast not only the companies, but the services they offer as well. The end result is a much happier customer and a better rating for the company who served them. Still, there are thousands of people victimized by moving scams each year, which can make that seemingly cheap company quite a bit more expensive than the others.
Common Scams and Red Flags
Of course, from your point of view as a consumer just learning about your need to move, picking the scam out of the many movers listed in your area can be difficult. This is why you should first understand the different moving scams that are out there. Here are a few of the most common, and what you should look for as red flags when seeking a great budget moving company.
- The Hostage Scam – Some moving companies will tell you their service costs one thing, which is generally way lower than what you imagined. Jumping on the deal you’ve found, you allow the movers to show up and load your things onto their truck. You meet them at your new home only to see them mulling around the truck instead of unloading your things. When you ask them what’s going on, they tell you that you have to pay them extra money or they will take your things and keep them until you pay up. Comparing multiple moving quotes will help you pick these companies out, as their quotes will be quite a bit lower than those offering comparable services.
- The Disappearing Trick Scam – There are, sadly, some moving companies out there who are considered fly by night companies. They operate under one name for a while, and then they seem to disappear. But, they don’t really disappear; instead, they simply assume a new name, get a new fake address, and resume operations until they can take someone else for a ride by taking a moving job and then simply never showing up to the destination they’re asked to deliver things to. Often, your things are sold before you even know they are missing. If you can’t find history for a company, or they refuse to give you references or license numbers, beware.
- The Demand Scam – Movers, or the workers who work for the moving company that you hire, may not always be happy with the money that they make. Because of this, they often will bully the people they are moving for larger tips in return for the services they are already supposed to provide. While giving a moving tip is often considered the right thing to do, don’t let the movers claim that they won’t unload the truck, or carry things to the rooms where they belong, unless you pay them. The best way to avoid this is to check a mover’s reputation online, get references of prior customers, and actually contact them.
You might be thinking now that there is no such thing as cheap moving companies, but you would be wrong. There are some budget moving companies out there, but they will take some looking for. Often, the cheapest movers are not the ones that come to you with the lowest moving quotes, but they are the ones who will stick to the estimate that they give you. Finding a genuinely cheap moving company isn’t as difficult as you might think, but you should consider the following steps if you want to ensure the movers you hire are the best and the most affordable.
- Compare costs – Never settle for the first moving quote that you’re given. Always collect multiple quotes and compare them with each other.
- Look at reputation – People love to share things online these days, so take to the internet to learn more about the company you are thinking of hiring.
- Call references – Any good mover will give you some references. Give those references a call and see what they have to say.
- Contact the BBB – The Better Business Bureau will have a record of any mover who has been in business for a while. If the company doesn’t have any record at all, it is best to stay away from them.
- Be aware of your rights – Anyone who is moving has a list of rights and responsibilities that they should follow. Be sure that you know what yours are so that you can stand up for your rights.
- Check license numbers – When you contact the mover, be sure to ask for license numbers so that you can check them with the appropriate authorities.
- Get a binding, flat rate quote – Flat rate movers offer moving services to a rate that is set forth in a moving estimate contract that cannot be exceeded. If you are worried about a scam, be sure to get this kind of quote.
As you can see, there are lots of things to worry about when you are moving to a new home. In order to avoid being caught in the middle of a moving scam, you will have to take certain steps and locate what might not seem like a cheap moving company, but one who will end up costing you far less money, time, heartache, and stress. Sure, this process takes time and effort, but will be well worth it in the end.