Relocating to a new place, perhaps due to social, business or professional reasons can be both an exciting yet challenging experience. It is exciting in the sense that you will be living in a new place, with new opportunities. On the other hand, it is challenging because leaving behind your old neighborhood and its memories can be difficult.
Furthermore, the idea of packing, loading and transporting can be overwhelming for most, particularly if you have a large family and many items to move. Moreover, the process of moving has not been made easy with the growing number of moving scams. With hundreds of moves occurring in New York alone every year, reported cases of moving scams seem to be on the rise. However, the best protection against such scams is to be an informed consumer. Some of the things to be on the lookout for include:
• Skipping on-site inspection
Movers who do not insist on on-site inspection for purposes of determining the number and weight of household or office goods are more susceptible to rude surprises. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid movers who insist on evaluations facilitated over the phone or via email. Homeowners typically have more items than they otherwise think they have. Therefore, a physical estimate of the items is paramount to avoid a scenario where the mover may give the option of leaving some valuable items behind or opting for a higher rate in order to get everything transported. This is because moving rates are based on the weight of the valuables, amount of space the valuables take up in the moving truck and mileage.
• Bait & switch
Thousands of property owners have their belongings held hostage by moving scam artists who offer low-priced quotes and then refuse to deliver the items until the owner has paid a couple of thousands of dollars more. A moving company estimator who simply undertakes a quick walk-through through your home, opening cabinets to assess how much you plan to move is likely to miss the mark.
A good estimator should be in a position to ask questions, weigh some of the heavy furniture, and measure the sizes of bulky items. He may recommend a yard sale to get rid of excess baggage or the need to consume any food that may remain in the pantry. Make sure you give as much information as possible, such as how much of your items you intend to donate.
A reputable moving company does not demand for any large deposits or cash to initiate or facilitate a move. Ideally, payments are made once all the goods are delivered. Paying up front gets you to a point where you have little control when you will see your valuable items again. If possible, you should consider using a credit card to make your payments because it will grant you the ideal opportunity to fight fraudulent activity.
• Name change
Some businesses get around the BBB reviews by constantly doing business using new names. Therefore, it is advisable to deal with a moving company with a local address. In addition, the company should be able to furnish you with information on licensing and insurance. Furthermore, when you call, the company should be able to answer the phone using the full name as opposed to “moving services” or another term that is generic.
Moreover, deal with a company that is ready to issue you with the contacts of at least a dozen references. To be on the safe side, make sure to call all to find out their experience in the hands of the service provider. In addition, pay attention to the time the service was provided in order to verify the number of years the provider has been in business.