20 Feb 12 warning Signs that you’re dealing with a fake mover
Every year there are thousands of complaints filed against moving companies, including loss or damage to property, overcharges, and reports of a situation where movers refused to give back belongings. Look at our 12 warning signs that will help you recognize a fake mover before it is too late.
- The mover demands cash or a large a deposit before the move.
- The mover does not provide a written estimate. Movers must give written estimates and may give binding estimates. Non-binding estimates should not always be accurate; actual charges may exceed the estimate.
- The mover asks you to sign blank or incomplete documents. The document should be as complete as possible before signing it: it should contain all relevant shipping information, except the actual shipment weight and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services performed.
- The mover promises to determine the charges after loading. Remember that rogue movers typically work like this: without ever visiting your home or seeing your belongings, they give a low estimate. When your things are on their truck, they demand more money before they deliver or unload them and they force you to pay more then you agreed to.
- The mover doesn’t agree to an on-site inspection of your household belongings and gives a low estimate over the telephone or online.
- The company’s website has no local address and no info about their registration or insurance.
- The mover doesn’t provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities”, and a copy of FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure, that movers are required to provide you and their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves by Federal regulations.
- The mover says that all your belongings are covered by their insurance. Remember that valuation coverage is not the same as moving insurance. Before moving, do your research on valuation coverage to find out what it does cover and what it doesn’t cover, you can request an explanation of the difference between valuation and actual insurance.
- The mover’s telephone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving company,” but not with the company’s name.
- Moving company’s offices and warehouse are in poor condition or don’t exist.
- On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned or marked fleet truck. You should know the difference between the actual mover and a household goods broker: a household goods broker only arranges for the transportation and it must not represent itself as a mover. A household goods broker does not own trucks. You should know that a household goods broker usually has no authority to provide you an estimate on behalf of a specific moving company. If a household goods broker provides you an estimate, it can not be binding on the actual mover and you may have to pay the actual charges the mover assesses. A household goods broker is not responsible for loss or damage.
- The mover claims that you have more stuff than estimated. If this happens, be sure the mover provides a revised estimate that you both sign, listing the additional items or services as well as a price that you both have agreed to and remember to sign before they begin packing or loading. You should also be provided with a copy of this new estimate.
Summing up, attentively read a booklet “Your rights and responsibilities when you move”, before you move and do your best to recognize a rogue mover before they have your goods.