Moving can be stressful enough without having to worry about getting taken advantage of by a disreputable moving company. Unfortunately, this happens all too often in an area where the moving industry is not regulated, such as in Ontario. It is still important to protect yourself and know how to combat common moving scams. you can avoid being a victim and settle into your new place with ease.
Always Investigate a Moving Company Before Hiring Them
In this era of fly by night Internet companies, anyone can create a website to look like a legitimate business, whether it actually is or not. You may research moving companies and find one that looks reputable, only to find out you have hired a teenager with a pickup truck. The best way to avoid these kinds of surprises is to check with the Better Business Bureau in your area before hiring any company to help you move. Reports are free and can be obtained online. It would also be helpful to do a general Internet search to see if you can find a forum where people post actual reviews of moving companies and not just the glowing ones you find on their websites.
If the moving company's Better Business Bureau report checks out okay, ask for a company representative to come to your home and provide you with a written estimate. It is difficult to provide an accurate estimate over the phone or Internet, and you will likely be in for a scam if the company insists this is the only way it does business.
How to Protect Yourself From Dishonest Movers?
If the company doesn't list an address on its website or only lists a post office box number, this is a red flag that it is not a legitimate organization. While some companies do choose to receive mail at a PO Box, they should also provide a real street address when asked. If the company you are considering won't do this, choose someone else.
Moving companies should have a truck with a company logo on it if they are actually professional movers. If they don't, they likely aren't a real company but are posing as though they are. Since you are paying for professionals, it is best to steer clear of moving companies with unmarked trucks.
A reputable moving company would not be offended if you ask for references from previous customers. You should ask for at least three names, even if you don't contact all of them.
Finally, you may want to consider getting insurance for valuable items that will be transported during your move. This will protect both you and the moving company in case items are lost or damaged in transit. Ask the company to provide you with a claim form ahead of time. A real company will have these forms readily available.
When it comes to something as important as moving everything you own from one location to another, there is something to be said about trusting your gut instinct if something doesn't seem right.