All too often we hear of moving company scams where consumers lose their belongings or are completely ripped off financially. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is trying to put a stop to all that. While they cannot prevent more rogue moving companies out there from springing up, they can certainly help you identify them.
There are signs indicating that a particular moving company may not be worth your time – and definitely should not get any of your money. Here are some tips that the FMCSA has shared to help protected consumers like you:
- If the mover doesn’t do an inspection of your stuff before the move, don’t bother. Don’t accept a phone or Internet quote if the movers are not willing to visited your home (most for free).
- Walk the other way if the movers want a large sum of cash upfront. Reputable movers will not take full payment up front and won’t expect all money until your goods arrive at your destination home.
- All professional movers are required to provide customers with a booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” before interstate moves. So, if you don’t get one from the movers, they are not complying with Federal regulations. This should be a huge red flag that this is not reputable moving company.
- If you can’t easily find a local address, phone number, licensing information, or any insurance information on the movers’ website, stay away. This information should be easily found.
- When a mover claims everything is covered by their insurance and you don’t need anything further, there’s something up. Professional movers do not protect (insure) your belongings beyond the minimum liability of $.60 per pound automatically. But, professional movers will have an optional coverage you can purchase to cover your items while in their control against damage. This coverage is called valuation.
- If the telephone is answered with something generic, it should be a red flag. If you can’t talk to or get a call back from a human run the other way.
- Visit the office. This is a sure fire way to weed out the crooks from the legitimate companies. If the offices are nonexistent or in very poor condition, move on. If the “storage” facility is a self-storage location also look for a different company.
- A good sign you might be dealing with a rogue moving company is that a rental truck arrives on moving day rather than a truck owned by the so-called company.