Wouldn’t it be just lovely if we lived in a world where everything works perfectly? A world where when you decide to move, everything is a piece of cake. Well, unfortunately we are a long way from that, but hopefully we can help you understand the risks and avoid them without too much of a hassle. Moving scams are one such risk, especially when you are set on moving to Beverly Hills. And in case you are clueless on how to protect yourself against them, we are here to help.
Basic tips & tricks for understanding and avoiding moving scams
Now, in order for you to prevent something from happening, you first need to understand it. So what can be construed as a scam? Basically, any fraudulent activity done by a moving company. Whether they decide to overcharge you or falsely advertise themselves, it is all defined as scams. So the best course of action is to know what to look out for when searching for a moving company.
Reviews are very important
A good start is to pay attention when doing your research. The best way to avoid moving scams is to do a thorough background check. In 90% of situations this will lead to choosing the reliable company. Now, you might wonder what detailed research can be:
- Ask friends and co-workers for recommendations. This way you ensure first-hand reviews of a company and the experiences your friends had. You shouldn’t stop there, of course. You still need to check out the company and the services they provide.
- Avoid websites like Craigslist and such. Anyone can advertise on public websites and forums nowadays. Which doesn’t really provide confidence. So make sure that the mover you have in mind has an official website and contact information.
- Verify the credibility and licenses of the moving company. There are several government websites that can identify the claim of a company. You can also find “black lists” of moving companies with fraudulent history.
- Check customer reviews. The most honest way to check the company is to read through the reviews from previous clients. These can also be filtered so research other chat rooms that might mention the company.
What to consider when contacting the company
It’s very important to be focused when reaching out to the moving companies of your choice. The initial contact over the phone is key in determining what type of mover you are dealing with. While there are professionals out there that will give you all the terms right away, there are others that won’t. So these would be some essential indicators for phone negotiations:
Lack of professionalism and soft-skills
It is crucial for any reliable company that they know how to treat customers. And this means not only providing high-quality services, but initiating positive talks and handling potential clients also. It is very important that you are properly greeted and made aware of what the company can offer you. Also, make sure that the agent can answer all your questions and is willing to offer additional explanations.
Asking for booking payments up-front
No matter how small the amount, be on the lookout here. You might end up paying the moving costs up-front and end up with nothing to show for it. One scams scenario would be a no-show company – they take your money and disappear. Second scenario – the company comes, they pack your things, leave and never show up in your new Beverly Hills home. And you have no way of finding them or proving fraud if there is no paper trail. And here are two simple steps on how to avoid this:
- Partial payment up-front. Agree only to pay 20-30% of the moving cost up-front, and the rest upon the completion of the job.
- Document everything. Make sure that you have a legitimate contract with the company. That way you have proof of the agreement and insurance in case of any additional costs and damages.
Home visits are a must
A good moving company will never provide an exact cost estimate without checking out what they’re moving. If the agent is unwilling to stop by your home before the actual move to provide an estimate, something is off. So insist on meeting in person and going through the costs and terms. This way, you will get an estimate on the spot and be able to inquire about any potentially troublesome conditions. In addition to this, you will know who you’re dealing with and what to expect.
Scammers will not be as willing to meet you before-hand and will insist that everything is done over the phone. Also, if they offer a flat rate on everything, without mentioning any additional charges for size or weight, keep looking.
Always have a backup plan
No matter where you are moving to or from, consider that there are always choices. Moving is a large and competitive market and as such, there are a lot of players out there. Some might be good some might be bad, which is why it never hurts to have several options.
Get at least three estimates after conducting your research and home visits from the agents. Consider that it’s not always the cheapest company that is best for you. Even though you are moving to Beverly Hills and are looking to save as much money as you can, caution is still advised. If a company offers abnormally low costs in comparison to other candidates, red flags should be raised. It might not be a scam but you need to know why the offer is as it is.
Parting words to live by – there are two sides to every coin. Make sure that you look at both before you flip it.