Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, it’s important to know how to avoid moving scams and unexpected fees. If you’re not careful, you may end up with a scammer stealing your belongings or a mover taking your money without even moving your stuff.
One of the most common scams is the bait and switch. This type of scam involves a low estimate, which is then inflated once the moving company arrives. For example, the moving company may ask for a large cash deposit upfront. It’s important to understand that although this is entirely legal, you should avoid moving companies that ask for large deposits without offering any other services. You can avoid this type of scam by ensuring the moving company has a license to operate and that they have optional moving insurance.
Another common moving scam involves a “hold your stuff hostage” scheme. This scam involves a moving company holding your belongings hostage until you pay them an unaffordable price. Another trick is to charge you a fee for using a smaller moving truck instead of the one you originally signed up for. This scam can be especially rife during interstate moves.
In addition to the above, make sure you have everything in writing before signing a contract. A legitimate moving company will offer an itemized quote, complete with any conditions that may affect the price. The most important itemized quote is the one that includes the total cost of your move. If the moving company has any other hidden costs or charges, be sure to ask about them before you sign any paperwork.
Moving scams and unexpected fees can be hard to detect, but the best way to avoid them is to research a moving company before you move. Make sure the company is licensed and has references, and get everything in writing. Also, take advantage of moving apps to help you calculate the cost of moving. A great place to begin is to get multiple moving quotes from professional house movers, you can also ask friends and family for recommendations.
A moving scam can also involve adding extra fees, inflated weight and packing items into the truck in a way to make it seem the cubic volume is more than originally quoted. There are moving checklists you can use to make sure you’re getting a fair deal and moving websites that help you calculate the volume and keep track of your belongings. You can even use an app to inventory your home and plan a move.
There are many ways to avoid moving scams and unexpected fees, and you can do your part by following the NZOMA checklist and conducting your own research. However, there’s always a chance that you will fall prey to a scam, so make sure you’re prepared. You’ll also want to ask questions to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.