We’ve all heard the stories about people who were scammed by a “rogue mover” – a company that is not a professional mover and charges way more than the original estimate. Those same people may have watched the truck drive off with all their belongings never to see them again.
Do not let this happen to you. Here’s how a rogue mover typically works:
- The mover gives a phone or online estimate only without visiting your home and requires a deposit or full payment up front.
- On moving day, the mover shows up in a rented truck with no company logos and workers aren’t in a uniform.
- Once all the possessions are loaded into the truck, the mover demands more money citing the estimate was only a portion of the charges, or that possessions weighed more than what had been estimated.
- If the consumer refuses to pay the additional amount, the movers will remove all the possessions on to the curb, or hold the possessions hostage until the consumer agrees to pay. Sometimes the mover will agree to a lower fee if the consumer pays in cash.
- In worst-case scenarios, the movers will drive away with all the goods, and the consumer will never see their items or the company again.
Here are some red flags you should watch out for:
- Refusing or avoiding an in-home visual estimate. Often, dishonest movers want to provide an estimate over the phone or online. The most accurate estimate will be at the home, where the mover can see all of your possessions.
- Demanding a deposit or cash before the move. Reputable movers do not charge up front for moves. You pay when the move is complete.
- Company info. The mover does not have a local address, information about registration or insurance.
- They answer the phone with a generic greeting, such as, “movers,” or “moving company.” This is a sign that the mover could be operating on several names, which is common among rogue movers.
- On moving day, they show up with a generic truck or even a rented truck. Unless you’re okay with taking a chance that your items will be delivered where they’re supposed to go and cost what you were told it would cost, you’re better off sending the mover on his way and calling a reputable mover, even if it means delaying your move a few days.
Moving is stressful enough, don’t add to it by hiring a mover who isn’t licensed and in good standing. Do your research.