Summer is just around the corner, and moving season will soon be in full swing. Unfortunately, scams are also in full swing, too. Last year, the Better Business Bureau received more than 8,900 complaints against dishonest movers. Most complaints are about items that have been destroyed or damaged, and final prices that are significantly higher than the original quote.
But you can protect yourself and prevent an already stressful time from become worse. The Better Business Bureau and the American Moving & Storage Association offer these tips on avoiding a moving scam:
Know who you’re hiring. Go online and look for reviews of the companies you’re thinking of hiring. Steer clear of any company that has received multiple complaints. Try to find movers that received a good rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Make sure the mover is licensed. Household movers are required to have a license issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can verify a mover’s motor carrier number on the FMCSA website.
Get a minimum of three written in-home estimates. Beware of a mover that offers to give you a firm price online or via phone. How can they offer you a quote without seeing your house?
Know your rights. Look for a list of your consumer rights by checking with the FMCSA for interstate movers or the state in which you reside for a move within that state. If the mover you choose does not live up to its promise or tries to hold your belongings hostage, report this to the BBB or local law enforcement. Interstate movers are required by the FMCSA to offer arbitration to help settle disputes.
Think about getting full value protection. Investing in full (or replacement) value protection means that any of your belongings that have been damaged or lost will be repaired or replaced or a cash settlement will be made to repair the item or to replace it at its current market value, regardless of its age.