How to avoid moving scams

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How to avoid scams by movers in Austin

When people are selling their homes or buying a new one they sometimes end up being victims to moving scams. This is when someone takes advantage of the customer’s trust in order to rip them off. Customers often fall for these because they are under pressure from having to move quickly, and because they may not have had much experience with hiring Austin movers before.

There are ways that customers can avoid scammers, however, if they know what to look out for. Here are some tips on how you can spot a scammer who is trying to trick you into paying more than you should.

Signs of moving scams

No official quote

If someone calls offering really great rates, but does not give an official quote over the phone then there is a chance that they are actually a scam artist or a con artist. If they can’t give you an official quote over the phone, then it’s definitely worth finding other Austin moving companies to handle your move.

Pressuring you to make a quick decision

If an Austin moving company tries to pressure you into signing a contract immediately, without giving you time to think it over, then there is a good chance that they are actually trying to scam you. In this situation, they probably have a very low-quality service in mind and don’t want you thinking about the quality of the moving services they offer.

How to avoid moving scams
If any Austin mover tries to pressure you into signing a contract immediately, you’re most likely to be dealing with a scammer.

Adding extra fees for unnecessary moving services

Watch out if someone tries telling you that extra fees need to be paid at the end of your move. For example, they might say, “I would recommend gas for your stove” then watch out! They are trying to trick you into paying extra costs that you don’t need to pay.

Jacking up the cost

Some scammers will say to expect a low estimate and then ask for more money after your items have been moved. Since the fee cannot be adjusted once loaded on the truck, this leaves you with no good options if you only had enough money to move the estimated amount.

Asking you to sign blank documents

Scam artists will often try to trick people into signing away their rights by failing to go over all the terms of any deal properly.

Demanding full payment right away

If suspicious Austin movers demand full payment before your goods are dropped off, this should be considered as an extremely dubious transaction.

Asking for money upfront

Be wary of people who ask for money up front before the moving services are detailed to you. You’ll notice this when you are asked to provide identification papers before receiving the full contract.

Overloaded trucks

Movers in Austin with overloaded moving trucks usually mean that they’re trying to rip you off. If you notice this, then it’s time to move on to another company, especially if there is more than one truck involved in your move.

How to avoid moving scams
Overloaded moving trucks usually mean that they’re not a reliable moving company.

How to avoid scams by Austin movers

Assess their services thoroughly.

If they aren’t going to give you time to properly assess their services before signing a contract with them, then don’t do it! Walk away from any potential deal in which you feel pressured or rushed into anything.

Always check local movers’ websites.

Don’t book with a moving company if their website does not contain any sensible information such as a thorough FAQ section. If they haven’t invested enough time and effort building a decent website, then there’s no way that they are going to put in the time necessary for your move to be stress-free.

Be cautious of really low prices.

There is always a reason why these deals come about. Price isn’t the only factor in deciding on a mover, but still a serious matter when the offer is too good to be true. In addition, if they can’t provide straightforward pricing, then it’s likely they have additional charges that will surprise you.

Don’t give out personal information right away.

Don’t give out personal information like bank account numbers or credit card details if anyone calls up asking about your move – no matter how trustworthy they may appear! They could be taking down this information so that they can use it later on for fraudulent purposes. An honest full service moving company doesn’t need this information at all. Instead, they’ll be more than happy to discuss your move over the phone without needing any sensitive information.

Have access to what is being loaded onto the truck.

If you can’t see what’s being loaded onto trucks by workers when loading, then it might mean that the company is trying to scam you. You should always have access to proof of what is being loaded so that you know nothing’s being stolen or scammed during the packing process.

Watch out for sudden changes in terms and conditions.

Don’t risk moving with a company if they change their terms and conditions while quoting your move. This may mean that they are planning on ripping you off somewhere along the line. Any honest mover will have no problem understanding the requirements to complete your move. It shouldn’t make any sudden changes later on down the road at the same time.

Spot persuasive tactics early on.

Prepare for scam artists that use extremely persuasive tactics to get you to do what they want. They may call and pretend to be someone else (such as a government official) or might try scaremongering. They may tell you horrible stories of other people falling for scams and getting ripped off.

When told that there’ll be more charges than originally quoted for the entire moving process, then it’s time to walk away from any deal! If an honest mover can’t give you a properly-detailed quote, they’re likely to be hiding something.

Never sign any blank documents or forms.

Be sure to read all pages of the contract first. Anything you sign must be completely free of mistakes or typos so that there aren’t any errors later on down the line. Honest movers won’t have a problem with providing you with accurate paperwork for your move.

Anything you sign must be completely free of mistakes or typos so that there aren't any errors later on down the line
Anything you sign must be completely free of mistakes or typos so that there aren’t any errors later on down the line.

Review the contract.

When hiring movers in Austin, use extra caution when contracts include more than one date, such as “pick up on January 12th” and “delivery on February 2nd.” The last thing you want to happen is paying an additional fee for storage and delivery when your stuff are held “hostage” by the service provider.

Research the company and make sure they are reputable professional Austin movers.

The best Austin movers should have no active complaints filed or pending against them. Check out the company registration and reviews online before hiring them. If anything seems irregular, look elsewhere.  You can start asking around among family and friends to see if they know of any cheap yet reliable movers.

Verify mover’s insurance for both property damage and workers’ compensation.

This will help protect you if something happens to your goods during transport.  Check whether the insurance is current. Anything that expires before the agreed-upon time frame is null and void. Some companies may offer “extra” coverage for a fee, which could potentially mean getting less money back in case of loss or damage.

Frequently Asked Questions about how to avoid scams during the moving process

  1. How can I verify the reputation of a moving company?

    You can check out consumer complaint websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If there are any formal grievances lodged against the said business, you can easily verify it from the BBB.

  2. What should I do if I hire a moving company that has no appropriate coverage?

    If you do use a company without appropriate coverage, make sure that they will pay for any damage or loss before letting them move your items onto the truck.

  3. Can I demand references from their previous customers?

    Yes, you may. If they refuse to give one, avoid hiring these movers. You may also check online reviews from Yelp! and Google.

  4. I can’t reach their customer service representative. What should I do?

    If there is trouble in getting in contact with a company’s representative or even speaking to them at all, this could also be a telltale sign of moving fraud.

  5. Which is a better way to contact a company?

    Try calling the company directly instead of using email if you’re dealing with a suspicious moving company. It is suspicious when the business does not have a phone number listed on its website. Another sign is when its hotline constantly forwards you to another line with no customer service representative to answer your queries.

Enjoy a streamlined relocation with expert moving teams no matter where you live with Heavenly Moving and Storage. Book your move knowing you have the full support of the only moving company in Austin on ABJ’s 2021 Best Places to Work and Best of the Best Moving Company FinalistGet your free quote today or call us at 512-340-0551.

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