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Why You Should not Always Hire the Cheapest Movers
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|Whether you are moving across the country or just a few
miles, relocation can become a very costly venture. You may have just put a down
payment on a new home and are now left with limited finances. You will be
tempted to cut expenses wherever you can, but there are a few things to consider
when being frugal about hiring professional movers. While you will certainly
want to hire a company that gives you a great price, hiring movers that quote
you with a drastically low amount can be a huge mistake. The following guide
explains why hiring the cheapest moving company to handle your move is not
always the best idea.
The Bait and Switch EstimateIf a mover quotes you a price that
is too good to be true, it probably is. Many unreliable moving companies will
give the customer a very low verbal estimate, then hike up the price
exorbitantly when the move is complete. These movers rarely supply the customer
with a written estimate, so you will have no evidence to fight back. Although
not all written estimates are binding contracts, even non-binding estimates
cannot be raised more than ten percent. If you receive a quote from a moving
company that is much lower than quotes you received from other companies, it is
likely you are being scammed.
For more on common moving scams, read this guide.
Unregistered MoversThe FMCSA, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,
requires any long distance moving companies to register for a US Department of Transportation number. This allows the
government to identify and monitor a carrier, enforce safety regulations, and
subject the company to inspections and audits. Hiring a very low-priced moving
company may mean they are not registered, because licensing comes at a cost.
While any carrier operating interstate moves is required to have a licensed DOT
number, the requirements for intrastate vary--but most states do require a
moving company to have an in-state moving license. Do your research on the
licensing regulations for moving companies in your state and verify that the
company you hire is qualified before enlisting their services.
information on licensing and registration for moving companies, read this guide.
Goods for RansomA common scam pulled by rogue movers is using
the bait and switch estimate tactic, then holding your goods for ransom when you
refuse to pay. Hiring an unregistered or unlicensed mover will make you
vulnerable to trickery or illegal operations because the movers' conduct cannot
be monitored by the government. Before you hire an extremely cheap moving
company, do thorough research on their licensing and read reviews on the Better
Business Bureau website to ensure that they are not rogue movers.
more on how to spot a rogue mover, read this guide.
Stolen GoodsFailing to hire a reputable moving company could
also result in stolen goods. The unusually low price offered for their services
could be a way to ensure their hire--then they steal your most prized
possessions. This may be even more likely to occur if your belongings are being
put into storage first-- because you won't be unpacking right away, the movers
may assume you won't notice anything missing until it's too late. Though there
is no way to know for sure if movers will steal your belongings, researching the
company, asking for references, and checking for complaints on the Better
Business Bureau website can help to put your mind at ease.
Broken or Damaged GoodsIf a company is extraordinarily cheap,
it may be because they have hired inexperienced laborers that have not been
properly trained. You want to be sure your movers are professional, qualified,
and more than capable of using the proper procedures to pack and transport your
possessions. You are entrusting the movers with your whole life--you want to
know that they will conduct your move with the utmost care, caution, and skill.
Ask your movers about their procedures and the steps they take to protect your
home and your goods. You should also ask for references and read customer
Questions to Ask Your MoversTo be sure that you are hiring a
reputable moving company, there are several pertinent questions to ask.
For more information on questions you should ask your mover, read this guide.
- How long have you been in business?
Rogue movers or movers with
poor practices are unlikely to be in business for long. If the company has only
been in business a few years, you should conduct further research on the
company's credentials and reputation.
- Can you provide me with references from satisfied customers?
moving company has an excellent reputation, they will be more than happy to
provide with references to prove it.
- Is your company licensed for interstate and/or in-state
Find out the licensing requirements in your state and inquire
if the company meets them.
- Do you have a US DOT number?
Find out the company's US DOT number
and verify it with the FMSCA on their website.
- What types of estimates do you provide?
Rogue movers will often
provide only verbal estimates. Make sure the company provides you with a written
estimate, be it binding or non-binding.
- What do you consider special services and what are the extra charges for
Be well informed of the company's policies and fees for extra
services. A common scam conducted by movers is providing a very low estimate and
then tacking on numerous extra charges for special services after the move.
- Are your workers covered by liability insurance or workers
If the company's workers are not covered, you could be held
liable for any injury occurring on your property.
- What is the liability coverage for my goods?
Ask the company what
standard coverage is provided for your goods, the cost for additional insurance,
and the coverage it offers.
- If something is lost or damaged, what is the procedure for filing a
In case something becomes damaged during the move, you will want
to know in advance how the company will handle it. Ask the movers about the
steps you will have to take to file a claim should anything happen to your
Doing your homework, asking questions
and thoroughly researching a company's background will greatly reduce your
chance of being fooled by a rogue mover and their enticingly cheap quotes. Of
course, low prices do not automatically mean a moving company is unqualified,
unethical, dishonest or unskilled. However, unusually low estimates are often a
red flag for poor service or scams. Further investigation is required to verify
that you are hiring affordable, yet quality movers.