Researching Moving Companies? Red Flags and Scams To Watch Out For


The idea of moving, whether it’s to a new home or an upgraded office space, is often full of excitement at first. However, once you start thinking about the entire process and all the time and effort it takes to pack everything up and get it loaded to transport from one place to another, panic usually begins to set in. It can be much more convenient and hassle-free to have professional movers do all the hard work for you, but unfortunately, not all moving companies have the same values and integrity. Before you choose who you’re going to hire, it’s important to be aware that moving scams do occur from time to time and to learn what to watch out for when considering different moving services.

No Office

You might want to think twice about any company that doesn’t have an office for customers to actually visit. Always look for a street address online or in the phone book, even if you don’t have intentions of going there, and skip any businesses that offer a contact form as their sole means of communication. If anything were to go wrong with your move, you wouldn’t have any way of knowing how to directly get ahold of the company again and would have to rely on them getting back to you at some point.

Over-the-Phone Estimate

There’s no way of obtaining an accurate estimate of moving services over the phone. A company must come to your residence or place of business to see exactly what your move entails in order to give you a proper assessment of cost. Without obtaining a written in-home estimate, you’re leaving the door open for a scamming company to tell you one thing over the phone and then change the amount on you later down the road.

Large Deposit/Cash Payment

It’s normal for a lot of moving companies to require a small deposit to ensure they don’t get stuck with a bunch of cancellations, but if they’re asking for a larger amount, it could be a warning sign. Under normal circumstances, payment should be given when the services have been completed so you don’t have to worry about being swindled out of a big deposit and never having the company show up to move your belongings. You should also have the option of paying by check or credit card and not just cash.

Holding Items For More Money

Many people have had the experience of getting an estimate that’s on the lower side and then basically having their possessions held for ransom in an attempt to get more money. Dishonest moving companies will make it seem like you’re getting a great deal and then rack up the bill with additional costs they made no mention of before. They will then actually refuse to deliver and unload your boxes and furniture unless you pay what they’re asking. If you get a quote that’s way lower than any others you receive, it’s probably too good to be true.

Don’t add to an already stressful and expensive situation by not paying attention to these red flags and ending up the victim of a scam. Use these tips as you research the moving companies and services in your area so you can make sure you’re hiring a trustworthy business to take care of your move.

Gina Ponce has moved all over the country while pursuing her passion for writing. She knows firsthand the benefits of hiring a moving company to take care of the task as long as they provide a reliable and honest service.