Moving comes with a lot of stressors. That’s why the last thing you want to deal with is a moving scam. When you hire a moving company, you need to know that you can trust them with your move and your belongings.
To make sure you have the moving experience you deserve, we put together 10 warning signs to look out for in order to avoid moving scams or “rogue movers.”
10 Signs that Your Moving Company is a Scam
Don’t get taken advantage of on moving day. Pay attention for any of the following red flags from your moving company:
1. Large Down Payment
Most legitimate moving companies will only ask for a small down payment up front. In fact, many movers don’t even ask for a down payment at all—instead, you simply pay upon delivery. A company that asks for a significantly higher down payment is likely to be a scam. This is because there is nothing compelling them to even show up on moving day once they have a down payment.
2. Cash Only
Sometimes you can get a better deal when you pay your moving company in cash. However, if the movers will only accept cash, it may be a scam. Credit card payments leave a trail and the ability to dispute a charge. A legitimate moving company will accept multiple forms of payment, including credit payments.
3. Extremely Low Rates
While large down payments are suspicious, so are extremely low moving rates. Moving is not something that can or should be done for extremely cheap. This is because the company needs to pay their employees, pay for vehicle upkeep and gas and more. Be sure to compare the estimate you’re given to those from other moving companies. Scams may double the price last minute and rely on you being unable to find another company.
4. There’s No Logo
If your movers show up on moving day with an unmarked vehicle, there may be cause for concern. There’s no reason for a moving company to not want their logo on their moving trucks because a rolling billboard is perfect advertising while they’re getting paid to move your belongings. If your mover can’t afford or doesn’t want a logo and phone number on the side of a moving truck, chances are, the business is illegitimate.
5. No Address or Office
A website gives you the perfect opportunity to check for a possible scam. If there’s no address listed on the mover’s site or if the only address is a P.O. box, you should question it. It’s also a good idea to check if the address is actually a business or if it’s just a vacant lot.
6. No Bill of Lading
Any legitimate moving company will have you sign a contract known as a Bill of Lading (BOL). The BOL has details including the delivery date, estimated price, needed supplies and more. The BOL should also specify that there are no additional and unexpected costs. A BOL is important to keeping your interests and belongings safe as it protects both you and the moving company.
7. Many Extreme Reviews
You always want to check the reviews before hiring a moving company. Clearly, too many negative reviews stand out as a testament of their bad service. Additionally, you should also keep an eye out for too many overly positive reviews as that, too, could be a sign of false reviewers.
8. Issues With Scheduling
If the movers keep changing the time or date of your move, be wary. Plus, another bad sign is if the team arrives late for the move or for an on-site estimate. While some scheduling changes or tardiness is acceptable, a high amount of scheduling trouble could indicate a scam.
9. Unprofessional Phone Etiquette
Any professional business will answer a phone call by clearly saying the name of the company. If a mover answers the phone with a simple “hello,” they may not be a legitimate business. There should always be a level of professionalism in your interactions with your moving company.
10. Poor Legal Ratings
Be sure to look up your mover on protectyourmove.gov. If a company is a legal mover, that’s a good sign. However, if they are a broker, that’s not a good sign. You should also check to see how many trucks they have. A legitimate nationwide moving company operates hundreds of trucks or more to ensure great service to customers from coast to coast.
Wheaton Worldwide, for example, operates more than 1,000 trucks across the country!
How can I find a trustworthy moving company near me?
As you prepare for an upcoming move, do the due diligence required to ensure that your movers have the resources to finish your move efficiently and safely.
Check the American Trucking Association
A great way to find out if your mover is legitimate is checking to see if they are a certified ProMover from the American Trucking Association. The ProMover program is designed to identify “rogue movers,” giving customers a clear indicator of which companies are reputable, professional interstate movers.
Wheaton Worldwide Van Lines is a moving company that is recognized as a ProMover by the American Trucking Association. To qualify as a ProMover, movers must pass a rigorous review of professional business standards. That’s why the ProMover status clearly separates professional movers from rogue operators posing as legitimate movers.
Get in touch with Wheaton Worldwide
Are you anticipating a move in the near future? Let Wheaton Worldwide help! With a network of about 400 agents (all recognized as ProMovers) across the United States, there is nowhere we won’t move you. To get started, request a free in-home moving estimate or get in touch with a local agent today!