Hiring a great moving company is one of the most important parts of making sure that your upcoming move is as easy and hassle-free as possible. These tips can help you find a seasoned moving company to handle your upcoming move.
Common Moving Scams and How to Avoid Them
Believe it or not, moving scams are actually surprisingly common. The process of moving can be quite stressful, and there are many unscrupulous people out there who are looking to take advantage of that.
How Moving Fraud Works
Illegitimate moving companies generally source their clients online, using both SEO (search engine optimization) and paid search advertising to target local searches for movers in the Jessup, Maryland area. These companies generally aren’t even remotely local, but their websites are often made to misleadingly appear that way. When you contact the company, you will probably be routed to a call center somewhere. You’ll be given an estimate for your move over the phone or email.
That in itself is a big red flag. To give you an accurate, itemized estimate, movers need to see what you have, in person. It’s not really possible to give a fair and accurate estimate without a physical inspection.
When you move, your bill will be higher than you expected, and they may even hold your belongings hostage if you do not, or cannot, pay. (This is actually illegal.)
Some of the red flags that indicate a moving scam can include:
- The movers won’t agree to an onsite inspection. Professional movers need to see what stuff they will be moving before estimating the total cost of your move, which is ultimately based on the weight of the goods. Reputable movers will not give a binding or non-binding estimate through email or a phone call.
- They insist on a large cash deposit before the move. In most states, state-level regulations require professional movers to accept a minimum number of different types of payment. Insisting on cash specifically may actually be illegal. When companies insist on being paid it cash, it could mean that they’re committing tax fraud, or that they’re otherwise trying to avoid a paper trail.
- They don’t provide you with the right paperwork. Licensed movers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and they’re required to give you certain paper documents. This includes a brochure or PDF called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” as well as an itemized estimate.
- The company’s website doesn’t have an address or contact information. Real moving companies have a physical location where you can contact them, and are required to provide you with that information.
- They offer interstate moving services, but are not registered with the FMCSA. Companies that provide moving services across state lines are required to be licensed and registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The organization maintains a searchable online database with information about moving companies’ licensure, insurance, and history of consumer complaints.
Tips for Finding a Great Moving Company Near You
One of the most important parts of moving in Jessup is to find a good, reputable local moving company. Because moving fraud is relatively common, finding professional movers with good reviews and testimonials is important. These tips can help you find a good company near you.
- Ask people you know. Word of mouth is something that companies have to genuinely earn, and it can’t be fabricated through clever marketing and advertising. One of the best ways to find good local movers in Jessup is to ask people you know. Your friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors may be able to recommend someone to you.
- up moving companies on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. If a company provides interstate moving services, they should be listed on the FCMSA’s website. You can see their licensing and insurance status, as well as any history of consumer complaints.
- Look at third party review sites. Companies have editorial control over which reviews and testimonials are published on their own website, but not over what people say on third party sites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. These resources can be helpful for getting a more balanced idea of a company’s quality of service.
- Get non-binding estimates from more than one moving company. Non-binding estimates are generally free, although you could ultimately pay up to 10% more than what you’re originally quoted. You can get estimates from more than one company before you making a hiring decision. This will help make sure you have something to compare to, so that unrealistically low estimates stand out.
- Make sure the company has a local office address, and is actually a moving company, not a household goods moving brokerage. Moving brokerages are nationwide companies that basically “sell” your move to the company that bids the most for it. Their websites often seem like they’re actually a moving company, but brokers are a different kind of company altogether. Make sure you’re hiring movers, not a brokerage.
- Avoid going with the lowest bidder. Unusually low quotes usually aren’t a good sign. It’s possible that the company is inexperienced, or skimps on the quality of their service. It can also be a sign of fraud.
Professional Movers in Jessup, MD
Looking for a great local moving company in Jessup? At Movers USA, we provide both residential and commercial moving services throughout Baltimore and the surrounding region. Call us any time to get started or get your free estimate online.