When you worry about moving to a new place, what is your biggest fear? You’re probably worried that a mover will break your best china, or that they’ll forget a box of your favorite shoes at your old home. Maybe you’re just worried that your movers won’t show up on the big day. The average homeowner doesn’t expect things to go drastically wrong on moving day. Whether you’re moving across the country or across the street, you expect your belongings to be in good hands, and that everything will go smoothly.
Unfortunately, moving scams occur more often than we’d like to think. Not every moving company has the same level of integrity and dependability, which is why you need to do your research and watch out for red flags before your next move!
Tips for Avoiding Moving Scams
Do Your Research
The first step to avoid being in the midst of a moving scam is to do your research! Researching moving companies may seem like a very time consuming endeavor, but doing so before your move can save you a lot of money and heartache down the road. Check online reviews, check out their company websites, and ask around about the company’s reputation. You may discover that they are the best moving company out there, but that is much better than the alternative!
Ask for Recommendations
Online reviews are great, but they don’t always get the job done well. Searching online for "moving companies in DC" will ultimately give you a plethora of websites, reviews, and references - but how do you sort through them all? Most will tell you, the most trustworthy recommendation are the ones from your family and friends - having someone you know personally refer you to a company gives you peace of mind. Ask around!
Spot Red Flags Early
Some red flags are easy to spot; some you may not notice until moving day. Most moving companies, even the scams, are great at faking a hospitable tone and caring attitude, but the red flags are almost always still apparent. If a moving company does any of the following, reconsider your choice:
- If they quote you a suspiciously low price. It’s always good to get estimates from at least three moving companies before you choose - that way you can gauge a range for what a legitimate moving company should be charging you for their services.
- If they request a large down payment. When you pay a large portion of your moving expenses upfront, you run the risk of never seeing your movers again. On average, legitimate moving companies will collect anywhere from 10-15% of the total cost upfront - if it’s much more, be wary!
- If they don’t have a website. From dating to moving, having an online presence is so important these days. If the moving company you have hired doesn’t have a functional website and social media profiles you could be dealing with a scam.
- If they don’t have any online reviews. Websites like Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau were created for instances like this in mind - they let consumers know of any complaints about the company, whether they have a pattern of complaints, and if the company resolved them.
- If they only accept cash. When you pay with cash there is no evidence that you ever made a payment - so if the moving company doesn’t show up, or takes your things, there is no evidence you ever paid for the service.
- If they show up in unmarked moving trucks, or are not wearing the company’s logo. Real moving companies brand their moving trucks. Check the truck for a company logo before letting the movers in your home. Also, check to see if the movers are wearing the company logo on their uniforms or t-shirts.
Obviously, this was just to name a few - there are many other signs of a sketchy moving company. If you feel like something isn’t right on moving day, or before, take action to stop a scam before it starts!
Choosing a Moving Company in Washington, DC
Move safely with us! At Georgetown Moving and Storage Company, we pride ourselves on integrity and professionalism. Our movers are happy to assist you with any move, big or small! Give us a call today at (703) 466-0575 for more information on all of our moving and packing services in the Washington, DC metro area.