There are tons of moving company horror stories out there. Ask your friends and family or just Google moving company scams. No wonder you feel hesitant to hire a mover. Let me help you feel more confident in your moving company choice. I will explain three ways that movers try to scam you so you can be aware and beware. I will also share tips for overcoming these common traps.
1. The Low Ball Estimate
Moving companies try to rope you into working with them by providing a low estimate. Then you think that you are getting a deal so you hire the movers with the low estimate. Then at the end of the move, you get stuck with a bill much bigger than the original estimate. The movers who charge hourly rates will simply tell you, “It took more time.” The movers who charge fees will simply add on more fees that were never disclosed with the original estimate.
Tips For Overcoming the Low Ball Estimate
Get at least three estimates and compare. Any estimates that are on the low side should raise a red flag and be questioned. If that mover cannot provide a good explanation or rectify it, then probably pass on working with that moving company.
Ask about prep time and prep policies. Read the paperwork about prep time and prep policies. Movers will spend a lot of time prepping if they want to jack up the prices. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the prep time and prep policies and it is something that you want to pay for. A reputable mover won’t completely skimp on prep to save you money, though. That prep protects your home and your items and saves you the hassle of damages. Like anything in life, a happy medium is best.
2. Payment Before Unloading Your Items
Moving companies who require payment before unloading your items are typically trying to make sure you pay more than the estimate. So scam number one and number two work together. Movers are given the power of the “carrier’s lien” by Colorado law and federal law. This means that movers can keep your household goods as collateral until you pay.
Tips for overcoming the payment before unloading your items
Ask about the payment policy and read the paperwork about payment policies. Consider passing on working with moving companies that require payment before unloading.
Educate yourself on consumer protection laws. Colorado law only allows movers to charge 110 percent of the estimate on the day of the move. Anything over that may be billed at a later date upon your request. Movers also cannot hold children’s items and medical supplies as collateral for payment.
3. The Runaround
Moving companies don’t have to deal with damage if they don’t want to. Not dealing with damage saves them money. These moving companies are banking on the fact that you won’t sue them for their liability to fix any damages they caused. When you call on this moving company to fix the damage, they give you the runaround. They won’t return phone calls or emails.
Tips for dealing with the runaround
Prevention is best. Avoid working with moving companies who have unresolved complaints regarding damage and other customer service issues. Read the complaints on the Better Business Bureau regarding any moving company you are considering. Read the reviews on any company you are considering. If the moving company’s response to damage complaints is anything less than professional, then move on.
If you are currently dealing with a runaround, document the damage and your attempts at reporting it. Ask the moving company who their arbiter is and approach the arbiter for help to resolve the claim. Don’t delay because some moving companies put time limits on the damage claim process.
Call a reputable moving company in the Northern Colorado region for a free quote. Dirty Deeds will do the dirty work for you with better service.