Most people decide to use professional moving services, instead of relocating on their own. However, it is sometimes difficult to make the right decision on who to hire. And, of course, the last thing anyone would want is to end up being a victim of fraud. This is why, besides recognizing the traits of professional movers, it is also valuable to know how to deal with fraudulent moving companies. Therefore, bear with us and find out the tips that will lead you to hire the best movers in Glendale CA.
Prevent fraudulent moving companies from scamming you
The best way to deal with rogue moving companies is to know how to recognize them. I.e., to find this out before you hire them. How to recognize fraudulent movers? It’s simple. By investigating the moving company you are considering to hire and identifying red-flag indicators of fraud. The consumers should be aware and careful of the following:
- There’s no local address on the company’s Web site. Also, if the movers change their location frequently, it’s a very good indicator that you’re dealing with fraudulent movers;
- They don’t possess the proper operating authority and information about their FMCSA registration;
- They try to avoid topics such as proof of the moving license;
- The movers do not possess the appropriate amount of insurance coverage needed to transport household goods;
- The company does not offer or agree to an onsite inspection of your household goods;
- They are not open with you about the costs (you should know exactly what goes into your moving quotes Los Angeles);
- They do not provide you with either a “binding” or “non-binding” written estimate. Moreover, these estimates sound too good to be true;
- The mover does not present you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet;
- The moving company asks for cash or a large deposit in advance;
- They don’t have a company-owned or marked fleet truck. Instead, the driver shows up on your moving day in a rental truck;
- They try to get you to sign any kind of blank forms on a moving day before even beginning to load your belongings into the truck;
- And, of course, bad reviews.
Things to be aware of during your moving process
The first case scenario is the one in which the movers give you a quite reasonable cost estimate. However, once your stuff has been loaded on the moving truck, they would suddenly inform you that the price is going to be higher than what had been estimated and deny giving them back to you before you would pay the new price. The second case scenario is the one in which they tell you that the load was larger than what they had expected and try and have you pay a higher price than the one that they had quoted you. The last model of moving scams we will talk about is when movers send you the bill after you move your residence. That bill can contain the charges never discussed before.
Always ask your prospective movers a lot of questions
Now that you are aware of things you need to be careful about, make sure you do a thorough due-diligence before you reach the final choice. Ask as many questions as you can to find out whether or not they are reliable and proper movers. You should be able to recognize their real intentions after a short interview. These are some of the most essential tasks to do:
- Ask for documentation. Before starting with the job, check the official government site that has offered a list of the required documents.
- Demand a written agreement. Don’t take them only for their word or a promise they have not signed. Remember that if you don’t put this in writing, it might put you in an unpleasant situation.
- Be precise when defining the contract. It is highly essential to understand every rule and offer and, just in case you have not heard everything clearly, ask them to confirm everything. Pay extra attention to footnotes and small letters. Also, sign only contracts that have been entirely filled in.
- Ask for insurance. Great moving companies, such as moving companies in California, will provide and recommend insurance simply because they know that every move has its risks.
- Don’t give them an up-front deposit. This is another common moving scam where you pay for a service, and then they never show again.
What to do if you suspect that you hired a fraudulent moving company
Still, there are scenarios in which we somehow fail to notice the red flags, and we end up hiring unreliable movers. In case you notice any signs that indicate that the movers you hired are scammers, keep reading to find out your options.
Try reasoning with them
A way out? Sure there is! If any of the above-mentioned things take place during your move, this is where your request for written estimates come in handy. Check the list of charges in your moving contract. Make sure not to pay a dime more than what was agreed on according to the moving estimate. Your argument when dealing with fraudulent moving companies should be pretty simple – the ones who make mistakes should endure the consequences and not the other way around.
File a moving fraud complaint to FMCSA
If you’ve ended up as a fraud victim, visit the official site of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, where you can file a complaint. This is your chance to help identify moving companies, brokers, and auto transporters who are reported to have engaged in violations of the commercial regulations.
Contact the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau can arbitrate the case of moving fraud. Visit their site and file a complaint. Besides helping you take care of your situation, they will help other people as well because the complaints people file are public for all to see. As a result, people will see these moving companies as unreliable, and avoid hiring them.
Ask for professional help
Another option is to contact your lawyer and try to cancel your agreement. They will go through the contract with the movers and, if there are any issues with it, they will act accordingly. Undoubtedly, your lawyer has a better method of dealing with fraudulent moving companies and getting you out of the contract.
Report fraudulent moving companies to the authorities
Your next possibility is to notice the local authorities. If the movers you hired participated in any kind of illegal activity, they should be prosecuted. Furthermore, if the moving company is participating in a hostage load, the local police can arrest them for theft.
Notify the local media
This is our last tip for dealing with fraudulent moving companies for today! Although reporting your scam to local media will not enact any legal action, they can help bring your case to the public attention for the goal of completely discrediting the scammers.