We live in a competitive world, and in order to survive and stand out, you need to show determination and flexibility. The business that is relocation is no different. The bigger the city, the bigger the competition – and the harder it is to pick the right moving company. This goes especially when you consider that fraudulent companies can be found everywhere. You must have heard the stories – people hire movers and get overcharged or even lose all their stuff during transport etc. Basically, you need to be extra cautious and smart when deciding on a mover. And our top advice is to put an effort and find moving companies that are both reputable and reliable. And by doing that, you will be sure to avoid fraudulent movers.
A brief guide to avoid fraudulent movers
It is always better to root out a problem before it gets a chance to grow and complicate. So in order for us to help you avoid fraudulent movers, we first need to provide you with the know-how for identifying them. As well as any moving scams they might offer. So consider this our walk-through on how to evade moving scams.
Comprise a list of reliable moving companies
Even though you might not be aware of it, the spreadsheet of fraudulent moving companies and scams is a wide one. So the first step you need to take would be composing a list of all moving companies operating in the Brooklyn area. Or at least those you consider the top choices to hire for your relocation. Be ready to set out some time, as there will be quite a few of them. Here are some ways to go about doing this:
- Ask family members and friends who recently used or needed moving services. The good thing here is that they’ve already gone through the research process you are about to undertake. And if everything went through fine with their move, chances are good that the company is legitimate. In case you have no one to recommend any companies – let’s move on to the next step.
- Talk to your acquaintances. There must be someone who has moved recently. They would be the next circle of trust to believe when searching for reliable and reputable relocation companies. In case you get recommendation here, it would also be reliable enough to accept and check out.
- Next step would be the phone book. This is the place where you can find a great deal of movers. So that is a great source of potential choices when searching for professional moving companies. This would be the step after which you would need to go online or start dialing phone numbers.
- Online search for companies. Social media, public forums, relocation companies with their own websites and reviews – the more information, the better. If you wish to avoid fraudulent movers, we would advise avoiding websites such as Craigslist and alike.
The importance of background checks
After you’ve made a list of potential moving companies for your relocation, the more important part comes into play. In order to avoid fraudulent movers one needs to thoroughly research all the relocation & storage companies on his/her list. And that list should contain at least 3, if not a minimum of 5 moving companies. The more the merrier. And this is a rule-of-thumb. That being said, the more home relocation experts you have on your list, the better the chances are to find a reputable and reliable moving company.
When doing the research, in accordance with this article, it is the most important to spot the moving fraud markers. Here are some of the red flags to notice:
- Shady license: Never hire a mover from Brooklyn not owning a license. No matter how good people claim it is, or how cheap moving services you would get.
- Bad reviews or lack of: Bad reviews could point put the bad or fraudulent moving companies. Also, when you can’t find some moving company reviews, you should assume there’s something wrong.
- Unbelievably low moving estimates: You probably heard of this, but it is essential to say it here, if something looks too good to be true, it mostly is! The same goes for movers that are too cheap.
- Big deposit requirements: It is quite understandable if the moving company asks for an upfront payment, but it shouldn’t be a large percentage of the total sum.
- Incomplete documents: If you are asked to sign on them, just smile and keep searching for the reliable moving professionals.
Reaching out to the top movers on your list
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, time to get in touch with the moving company representatives. Now, this is one of the crucial steps, so your focus needs to be high. The manner in which the conversation with the rep goes can help you identify and avoid fraudulent movers. For starters, professionalism and soft-skills are important, as they build customer confidence. So do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you have in regards to the services being offered.
Next marker to pay attention to is if the company is asking for payment to be made in advance. This always poses a risk, since the mover can turn out to be a no-show or even worse – they pack everything up and you never see any of your stuff again. So go as far as paying a partial advance, and keep the rest until the job is done. And of course, make sure that everything is documented and a contract signed as a backup.
Making a face-to-face meeting with the relocation company
Legitimate moving companies will always want to make a house-call to get an estimate of the work and moving costs. So have the top movers from your list stop by to have a look around and gather the total tally. This way you get a feel for who you’re dealing with, as well as go further into the moving details. Be sure to ask about any additional costs and terms and to once again verify the information gathered about the company.
Most fraudulent relocation companies will be looking to conduct their business over the phone and will look to avoid a face-to-face meet. Also, in case their offer is flat out one price, without any negotiations or additional terms, be on the lookout.
Avoid fraudulent movers with the help of backup plans
At the end of the day, you need to understand that you always have options. The market being so large, there are countless moving companies out there, and you should never feel dependent on any single one. So our advice would be to have a primary and secondary backup choice for your relocation. Consider everything we mentioned previously, go through it once again for both choices and you should be just fine. Also, be especially careful when searching for moving company for long-distance relocation. Given that the cost of a mistake would be multiplied comparing to the local move.
The most important goal here should be ensuring a scams-free peace of mind relocation. If you still are not sure how, ask us, and we will be more than happy to help you!