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How to Recognize a Dishonest Moving Company

Updated on January 19, 2020
Monica Pocelujko profile image

has a B.A. in English and 7 years of experience as a freelance writer working on the Internet.

It's an unfortunate fact that in today's world many companies simply do not have your best interests at heart when they do business with you. That's why you have to be especially careful when hiring a moving company. You can save yourself a lot of money, aggravation, and trauma if you follow some simple rules about how to recognize a rogue moving company.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can be a great help to you by providing you with a comprehensive list on how to spot a rogue moving company, as these corrupt businesses are referred to. In addition, they can supply you with all the necessary information you require pertaining to your rights and expectations as a consumer.

Below is a list of tips that can serve as a guide to assist you in what to look for in identifying a fraudulent moving company:

1. Unusually low moving estimate: You know what they say, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is," so beware! An over the phone or Internet estimate that is dramatically less than the average cost is cause for suspicion.

2. Estimate in cubic feet: When you receive an estimate from a moving company it is always based on weight. Rogue moving companies won't do this. Instead, their estimates will be based on cubic feet, i.e., truck space, not weight. These estimates are not valid. If a company insists on giving you this type of estimate, that's a glaring red signal not to do business with them.

3. No home visit: Often a rogue moving company will not even send someone out to your home for an onsite inspection of your possessions.

4. Cash Upfront: If the moving company insists on being paid in full or receiving a large deposit before they do any work, and if they want to be paid in cash only, alarm bells should go off in your head.

5. No copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move: It's the law. According to Federal regulations, every moving company has to give its customers a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.

6. No contact information on website: Not only doesn't the moving company provide any contact information on their website, but there will also be no information on licensing or insurance.

7. Insurance: If the moving company states that all of your possessions are entirely covered by their insurance, do not believe them. This is another glaring sign of dishonesty.

8. Rental truck: Beware if a rental truck shows up at your house to begin moving your belongings. It should always be a company-owned and marked truck that is used. Ask yourself this question, what legitimate company wouldn't own their own fleet of moving trucks?

9. Excellent resource for learning about rogue movers. If you have any questions, all you have to do is post them and someone will reply to you.

10. Better Business Bureau: Here it gets a little tricky. If you check out the moving company using the Better Business Bureau and it turns out the company has no records, this can be both a good thing or a bad thing. This could be because the company has not had any complaints filed against it, which is good; however, it can also happen because the company changes its name so often the new name is not registered.

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are you still manage to get scammed. That's because the moving business can be a bit shady in some areas, and if someone is determined to fool you, then they probably will. However, most moving companies are legitimate and will provide you with the dedicated service you deserve. Don't be overly anxious about choosing a moving company. Just use caution and the resources available to you online and off. The odds are you'll be just fine and your moving experience will be a good one.


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