Once you start looking for movers you will soon learn that there are good ones and that there are bad ones. There are those who have years of moving experience and are capable to relocate you in record time. And, there are those who are just starting and are willing to lower their prices so that you will hire them and help them learn the business. But, we are not here to talk about finding top moving and storage NYC. We are here to talk about avoiding the worst of the worst movers. The ones that will make your relocation a nightmare. So, you better read up and learn about red flags for fraudulent movers.
Online red flags for fraudulent movers
As it is with every search, nowadays, you are probably going to start looking for your movers online. Now, this is never enough, even if you find good ones. You need to talk to them in order to make sure that they are legit and that it is safe to work with them. But, even before you come into actual contact with them, there are a couple of online red flags for fraudulent movers that you should be aware of. These will save you a lot of time and help you sort your potential movers much faster.
No bad reviews
Websites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook are tremendously useful. Not only can you use them to find moving companies, but you can spot certain red flags for fraudulent movers. One of them is if the movers in question do not have any bad reviews. Moving companies can easily make fake accounts on Google and Facebook and write good reviews. Or, they can manipulate the website and delete bad ones so that only good ones pop up. Of course, this is not always the case. A good mover that hasn’t worked for long will only have good reviews. But, if the company is in business for some time, and it has no bad reviews, watch out.
A good website costs money. You need to figure out a logo and pick the proper layout for it. All in all, it is not an easy or a cheap thing to do. That is why fraudulent movers don’t want to spend money on it. Only honest movers will go through the trouble of making a solid website, as they know that it will represent their company. So, if you are looking for a mover online and see a cheap, badly made website, stay away.
Check if the company is legit
Sites like the Better Business Bureau offer an overview of companies. There you can easily check if the company in question is legit. In order to be certified from the BBB, they need to have all of their legal paperwork and be officially certified to relocate people. Again, this is not a complete fail-safe, but it is a good sign. Some fraudulent movers will be legit on BBB, but that is extremely rare. Others may be legit, but will not appear on BBB, as they do not yet have all of the requirements met. Overall, BBB is a good way to scout for red flags for fraudulent movers, but it is certainly not the only one.
How to check them out in person
Once you have checked out your movers online, you can simply hire them and be done with it, right? No! You need to talk with your movers in order to know if they are trustworthy. Look, moving is a complicated project. Especially if you are moving with a baby to NYC. Therefore, you need to do what you can in order to make sure that the movers you are going to hire are legit and capable. It is hard to understate how important it is to avoid moving scams. “But, hey, what are the odds of me getting scammed? Surely it won’t happen to me.” Said every person that got scammed, ever.
Using moving estimates
After you’ve picked a mover that seems legit you need to call them to give you an onsite estimate. If they say that they only do online estimates, bam! RED ALERT! Moving estimates can vary based on many different factors that are impossible to factor in online. A company representative needs to come over a take stock of your items. Then they have to figure out when to move you and how much manpower they are going to need. Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to have multiple estimates. This will give you an opportunity to compare them and figure out how much is fair to pay for your particular relocation. Therefore, you will know if a mover is offering to move you at a suspiciously low price. That is a red flag and a big one.
Talk with the company representative
To truly see how honest your movers are you need to size up their representative. That is the best way of finding red flags for fraudulent movers. If the representative is too eager for you to accept the contract or they do not know the answers to some standard moving questions, stay away. An honest mover expects an honest pay for their work. A fraudulent mover will take your items for a cheap price and then take them hostage. Watch the company representative carefully, and if something smells fishy, stay away. If you are not sure how to do so, you should consider hiring a moving broker.
Carefully read the moving documents
Your moving contract will be the legal document you will use if something goes wrong. If your movers are pushing you to sign without reading by saying that it is a “standard moving contract” and that you do not have to read it, don’t listen. Actually, that is the most important time for you to read it. Get legal counsel if necessary. This way, if you do get scammed, you will be able to follow the recommended procedure.