Millions of Americans move households every year. Though it can be a tiring process, a little bit of planning and preparation can make a WORLD of difference. In the August 2011 edition of Real Estate magazine (published by RISMedia), the Carl Walter, vice president of Mayflower, one of the nation’s oldest moving companies, dishes out some helpful advice on ways to avoid falling for scam movers.
1. Stick to companies you’ve heard of and names you know. Try to find at least 3 moving companies with local offices that have been in business for more than 10 years.
2. Get a referral. Why not ask around for recommendations?
3. Ask for an in-home estimate. Walter says, “Transportation charges are based on the distance of the move as well as the weight of the items being moved. To ensure your estimate is accurate, have the moving company come and look at the items being moved.”
4. Don’t be hooked by the lowest price. Scammers and disreputable movers often will use low prices to lure customers and then hit them later with bogus or unreasonable charges. The best way to avoid this: “Get three estimates. If one is much lower than the others, that’s a red flag.”
5. Be sure the company is who it says. Some dodgy companies will take prey on consumers by using names that are extremely similar to other more reputable companies.
6. Don’t pay upfront. According to Walter, “Typically you should not be required to pay a deposit to have your items moved.”
7. Do your research. For interstate moves, check to make sure your mover is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for interstate moves. You can find this out by visiting protectyourmove.gov.
8. Get it in writing. Have your movers give you pick up and delivery dates in writing.
9. Know your rights. Walter’s final advice: “Request a copy of ‘Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,’ a brochure created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that outlines consumers’ rights.
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