Every year, more than 10 million people relocate in the US. If you’re one of them and worry about being ripped off for your money by unreputable movers, you should be, according to LDM. |
The moving industry players have a couple of scams up their sleeves to charge customers more than they should actually pay. In most cases, this can add up to several thousand bucks to your relocation budget and the worst thing is that people don’t even suspect they’re being ripped off!
Arm yourself with the insider knowledge we’re sharing today, protect your rights and fight against moving scams.
Moving scam #1: brokers First things first: before signing up with any mover, you have to find out whether it’s a real mover or not. In a nutshell, you should avoid household good brokers like hell because few people ever got it straight with them.
Brokers have no insurance and deliver no moving services. They simply accept your deposit and hire a moving company to handle your order. Should any problems arise, both the broker and the moving company refuse to help their clients: movers are saying their client is the broker, not a customer, and the broker is saying he/she doesn’t provide moving services, hence all questions should be redirected to the movers.
The best way to break this vicious circle is not to enter it, ever. Use the company’s USDOT number to check whether it’s a broker or mover via this site: http://www.safersys.org/CompanySnapshot.aspx. Entity type for a broker is “BROKER’ and for a real moving company it’s “CARRIER”.
Moving scam #2: packing boxes Here’s a straightforward scam to get more money out of you: moving companies charge up to 3 times more for the packing materials than local shops. For example, you can often get cardboard boxes for just $3 in a local shop (or even for free) while movers can charge you up to $15.
Regardless of how busy you are, consider taking care of the cardboard boxes on your own. Why pay more for the exact same stuff?
Moving scam #3: weighing Customers are often blissfully unaware that their movers are playing all sorts of tricks when weighing their belongings to drive the weight up. Here are some of their most outrageous tactics.
Tricks with a diesel tank
You may already know that your possessions are weighed to get a cost estimate. First, an empty truck is weighed. Then, your stuff is loaded and the truck is weighed again. The difference between the two figures will determine the costs.
Little you may know that movers can weigh an empty truck with an empty diesel tank but fill it with fuel when weighing a full truck! This adds a few hundred bucks to your budget.
Tricks with wheels
Another way your movers can fool you with weighing is by placing an empty truck on a scale unevenly so that the wheels are not actually on a scale. This reduces the total weight by 1,000 to 3,000 pounds! Of course, they won’t do this when weighing a fully loaded truck and you’ll end up with a huge difference that can cost you a fortune.
Adding more load
There’s a simple rule you should follow: always overlook the weighing process. If you’re not present or looking, the movers can simply add more load and you’ll end up paying more.
Moving scam #4: estimates over the phone The moving company can call you and offer a free cost estimate. If you agree they will ask you to provide them with a list of your inventory. Few people will bother to list every item they want to move over the phone.
So the movers will give you an average figure, for example 300 cubic feet for a 2-bedroom apartment while it’s usually no less than 700.
Solution: don’t fall for offers that sound too good to be true as they probably are.
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