About 16.5 million households – or 38.7 million Americans – move annually. But consumers need to carefully screen those who help them move to make sure all goes smoothly in relocating their belongings.
U.S. News & World Report recently highlighted these three warning signs when choosing a moving company:
The price is significantly lower than competitors.
Don’t just go with the cheapest quote. You may want a deal, but carefully consider what’s behind that lower-priced quote from a moving company – that could be 20 to 30 percent lower than any other companies’ offers.
“While finding an affordable mover doesn’t mean you’re about to get scammed, if you feel like you’ve landed an unbelievable deal, it probably is unbelievable,” U.S. News & World Report noted. The quote may be lower, but some consumers later complain that prices mysteriously triple on moving day, items are stolen or missing, or they find lots of damage.
The required deposit is high.
“It’s not unreasonable for a mover to ask for a deposit of $100 or $200 to cover their costs if you change your mind, but if a mover wants more upfront – like 25 percent of the cost of the move – don’t pay it,” warned Nancy Conner in her book, Buying a Home: The Missing Manual.
There’s very little information about the company.
Finding a moving company in a brochure or mailer may give you some assurance that it must be legitimate since it’s advertising there, but don’t assume by just an ad. To check if the company is reputable, ask for its Department of Transportation numbers.
“If a company cannot prove [it is] registered with the state and United States Department of Transportation, that’s a warning sign,” reported U.S. News & World Report. Also, consumers should be leery of any company that doesn’t have any Better Business Bureau profile or no reviews.