One doesn’t have to look far to find or hear of stories from folks who had thought they had hired a reputable moving company, only to discover they were fleeced by a rogue mover. People often lose their possessions or are forced to pay exorbitant fees for the scam artists to unload their belongings in what are known as hostage loads. However, you can avoid rogue movers.
Avoid Rogue Movers
Avoiding rogue movers can be avoided in simple ways. Check the federal website, protectyourmove.gov, which lists all licensed movers around the country or The Texas Truck Stop, a database of movers in Texas maintained by the TxDMV. Consumers should also look to see if their moving company is a ProMover, an American Moving and Storage Association certification. When looking for a reputable mover in Texas, look for those that are Pinnacle Movers with the Southwest Movers Association.
Moving is consistently rated as one of the top 3 most stressful times in a person’s life. People typically are moving because of a life change – a change in employment, separation or divorce, marriage, or a death in the family. Often, people simply want to minimize costs of moving, so they look for the best price. But, the lowest cost estimate isn’t always the best deal when your fly-by-night company fleeces you or damages your belongings and won’t return your attempts to call and file a claim.
Check the cost: Too low is an indicator
If the estimate or cost seems really low, you should consider why the estimate is so low and realize all those cut corners can add up in delays, missed dates and neglected claims. Allowing people in your house to move and ship your most prized possessions across town or across the country is a big decision. What can you do to make sure your mover is there to serve you and that you can trust them?
Watch for a Rogue Moving Company’s Standard Operating Procedures
A rogue moving company will quickly give an oddly low estimate over the phone or online without taking the time to hear about your wants and needs. You don’t hear from the company again until moving day, and they are often hard to reach or slow to respond. The big day arrives, and the company shows up with a rented truck with no company logos and workers without standardized uniforms. The manager or crew supervisor will then try to get full payment up front. Once all the possessions are loaded into the truck, the company demands more money, citing the estimate was only a portion of the charges, or that the initial charges were just to load the truck. If the customer objects to paying the additional costs, they will hold the items until additional payment is secured or even drop the items on the side of the road. In nightmare scenarios, the rogue mover will drive away with all the goods, never to be seen again.
Other Signs of a Rogue Mover
Generic web sites. Often unscrupulous movers will pay companies that have cookie-cutter, cut-and-paste web sites that can be easily changed out. Additionally, any company in Texas without the TxDMV help line on the site and the company’s Tx DMV number prominently on the home page should be avoided. This company is not displaying this required information because they aren’t operating legally.
They answer the phone with a generic greeting, such as, “movers,” or “moving company.” This is a sign that they could be using several names, which is common among rogue movers, or they change names so often, they can’t remember which one they are today.
Moving is stressful enough, don’t add to it by hiring a rogue mover to fleece and scam you. Remember to Use Movers You Can Trust!