Is it illegal for long distance movers to require a deposit?
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One mover told me it is illegal for long distance movers to require a deposit, and another asked for 1/2 the amount in deposit. Is it illegal or uneth

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Asked by Sue

March 15, 2017 under Others

I have one mover, who says they are carrier and not a broker, asking for a deposit of 50% of the cost, then the remainder on delivery. Another van line told me it is illegal for long distance movers to ask for deposit. Is it somewhere in between? 1/2 for deposit seems extensive.

Answered by Kelly Martini

March 16, 2017

Thank you for contacting with your question! This is a common misconception in the moving industry, but one that mostly serves to warn customers about potential scams that unscrupulous "moving companies" tend to carry out on unsuspecting victims. In general, it is not illegal for a moving company to ask for a deposit, but that doesn't mean it's common. In fact, it is highly uncommon to encounter a moving company that asks for a deposit up front. 

Requesting deposits
In most cases where a deposit is requested upon booking, the deposit is for a small amount (usually no more than $100). This is used as a type of insurance for the moving company, so the customer won't back out and cancel the booking on the day of. This will cost the company money in lost time. The deposit is to protect the moving companies from these cancellations.

Red flags
When moving companies request a deposit, it should never be more than a few hundred dollars. The biggest red flag to look for when booking a moving company is one that asks the customer to put down a large sum of money before the move. These companies are most often operating a scam. So beware, if you are booking a moving company that is requiring you to pay half of the total moving costs upfront. It is likely that you are dealing with a moving broker and not an actual moving company, and there is a possibility that you are being scammed. An honest and reliable moving company will never require you to pay a large amount of money as a deposit before the move ever takes place.

Background checks
When hiring a moving company, it's important to do the necessary research on the background of the company to make sure that they check out, and also be sure to ask the movers any questions you may have about the moving process before you make your choice. To learn more about the different kinds of moving scams and moving fraud that takes place in the moving and relocation industry, check out our moving guides page to read up on everything moving related.

Thank for you visiting, and I wish you the best of luck in your move!

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