How to Avoid Moving Scams and Find a Reliable Company in Seattle
How Do Moving Scams Work?
So how do you know a moving scam when you see one? Well, there are multiple ways in which fraudulent companies operate. We will trace out the most common fraudulent scenarios that might destroy a relocation expenses checklist in no time. So, get some Seattle takeout from your favorite place, and get familiar with fraudulent services.
Become Suspicious If You Get a Price That Is Extremely Low for the Requested Services
When scouting moving companies in Seattle, WA, you might find one that will give you a bargain of a price compared to the rest. A bid that doesn’t correspond to other companies’ estimates is the first red flag. It means that the company at hand will most likely come up with extra expenses on the day of the move and charge you way more than you would typically pay.
Most often, such extra billings will be that of insurance or excessive fuel charges. And by the time you realize what is happening, they have already loaded all of your goods on their truck and can hold your possessions for ransom. If you manage to fire them, however, you might end up with no professional assistance on the big day since you won’t be able to find a reputable crew last-minute.
Avoid Moving Companies that Often Change Names
As with any fraudulent business, those that employ moving company scams will always have to be on the run so they don’t get caught. That means that they will often change names, and by often, we mean changing their name five or six times in only a few years. Nowadays, it’s so easy to set up a business with only a PO box and a phone line or two. And additionally, there are so many good and cheap movers in Seattle whom you can contact directly. If a company presents itself as a middleman between you and those relocating your large items, in order to provide the most efficient move, you should run the other way. This is probably just a decoy where they’ll end up extorting you for money.
How Do I Know if a Moving Company Is Legit?
It is important to have all the necessary information on a provider of moving services in Seattle. The first step is to check if the mover you are looking at is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They are officiated to administer all interstate and intercity commercial transportations of household goods and will even help you plan your move.
To avoid any relocation stress, a fraud might bring up, check out their US Department of Transportation (US DOT) number. The US DOT number should be readily available on their website, so if you are having trouble finding it or getting it from the office’s representatives, you might be dealing with the wrong crowd.
There Are Fewer Chances to Run Into Fraud When You Move Within a City
Although you would assume that these frauds are not something you can expect from your local Seattleites, it is possible to be subjected to fraud even in your city. However, it’s pretty possible someone you already know has moved and can recommend you a good service they used, which lowers the chance of scamming. However, you should always check the FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database and your local Seattle Better Business Bureau before hiring a business to see if someone already filed complaints with the company you are thinking about hiring.
What Should Hiring a Quality Mover Be Based On?
While the previously mentioned licenses guarantee a mover is legitimate, it still doesn’t mean the service they provide is top-notch. It is not hard to go through a few things that will guarantee you have the best service provider working for you. The research your decision should be based on is easy, and you can do it from the comfort of your home while eating the best burger in town. This little relocation hack known as a background check will ensure that, when the time comes for a going-away party, you won’t have to worry about a thing.
- Obtain several free estimates from different companies – One of the first tasks on your relocation to-do list should be to get multiple free quotes from various relocation companies. By getting enough estimates, you will easily be able to tell what is the common price for a move around the best suburbs of Seattle.
- Ask for reviews of former customers – Good companies will always provide you with reviews and third-party references to show you they are the best for the task. Check out online reviews on Yelp and Google for some feedback based on experience. Such feedback will tell you not only if you are to avoid fraud but also how well the business at hand does their job – whether they know how to pack fragile items or if they can help you move a piano or a similar tricky object.
- Read up on their history – As already mentioned, a history of a business can tell you a lot about what they’ve been up to. That is, of course, if history is readily available. If not, consider it a red flag. Although it’s not uncommon that a mover will change its name due to rebranding, they will not do it a lot of times. As you would with any job in Seattle, check their websites, LinkedIn, and online reviews promptly.
How to Ensure a Relocation Company Won’t Scam You?
A household move is never easy. You are trying to figure out all these relocation tips everyone is throwing your way, while all you want to do is go on the best hikes near Seattle. If you need to pack to move in a hurry, things can get so complicated you forget what your reason to move to a new home even was, let alone get all your tasks done in time. While we get your frustrations, we have to remind you that with a bit of extra attention and organization, you’ll be able to do romantic things in Seattle in no time. Just take the last ounce of strength you have to educate yourself on these tiny hacks that are true life saviors.
Get Everything in Writing With the Crew That Will Be Moving Boxes in Seattle for You
A wise man once said: ”Documents create a paper reality we call proof”, and that might be the truest thing you’ll read today. This aphorism definitely relates to the situation of relocating home. You will want all service details in writing to avoid any potential relocation scam. And don’t forget to check the information you get twice.
That means looking at the final bill, as well as the clauses made in the agreement with the service provider. Just like you should know your renters’ rights, you have to be aware of your customer rights and responsibilities of both you and the company at hand. And that means being aware that the business you hired is by federal law only responsible for the things made in the agreement. So don’t find yourself making a mistake and labeling something as a fraud if it was an oversight.
Avoid Leaving Large Deposits With Your Movers
Know this: a reputable mover will never ask for a large deposit before they get to relocating your household. While they might ask for some money in advance, the cost at stake will never exceed 25% of the total amount. Scammers will tend to provide you with a low quote which will lack details and won’t specify how they reached the price they did in order to help you move your home.
Another thing to keep in mind when paying for the transportation of your goods is that you will want to pay by credit card. It is impossible to track cash, which is why scammers love to be paid in this form. Use trackable ways of payment as these are the safest. To learn more on the ways to use credit cards in safe ways, check out the following video:
What to Do When a Moving Company Scams You?
If prevention is no longer an option for you, and you have to deal with the consequences of a relocation scam, there are a few things you can do. Don’t despair. All is not yet lost:
- File an official complaint – If a company is holding your items hostage, contacting their representative probably won’t do much. However, you will want to have written evidence that you filed a complaint. Keep in mind that by law, movers have to give you back your belongings once you pay the full cost of a binding estimate, or a 110% of a non-binding estimate, that is, one with additional costs of weight. In case you did your part, it’s time to call in government agencies.
- Call the local enforcement agency – Notify the Seattle police department of your situation. While there is not much police can do if only local or state laws have been broken, it’s still a good idea to inform them.
- Notify government regulators – If you don’t manage to find common ground with the scammers and local police are of no use, it’s time to go a rank higher. The FMCSA, the local office of the BBB, or the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) will all be of help.
- File a lawsuit – When you’ve exhausted all your other options, it’s time to go to court. A lawsuit can be complicated and time-consuming, and depending on your case, it might end up costing you more than you’ll be able to get back. Still, it is an option when no other mode of battle is of use.
- Leave an online review – This step you should take either way if you are certain you’ve dealt with a fraudulent mover. Go to a popular website like Yelp, and spread the word further. By providing potential customers with the true story, you’ll save another soul from falling for the scam.
How Do You Avoid Moving Scams? By Hiring Experienced and Reputable Seattle Professional Movers
As a company that has been around for more than two decades with a five-star rating that hasn’t wavered through the years, you can rest assured that our professional packers and movers will transfer your goods so that they are safe and sound. Our local relocation crew is licensed and insured and has reviews other companies can only envy us on. This is why we strongly advise you to look no further than our company.
We will provide the best residential relocation experience. It will be so good that you can go for a Seattle weekend getaway, and when you come back, you’ll be ready for the next chapter of your life. If you need specific types of assistance, like packing assistance for when you are unsure how to pack a computer or an in- and-out-of storage relocation, you can contact us. We specialize in commercial relocation, as we put the safety of your business as our priority. You won’t need to organize your documents at home and hide valuable items if you hire us. Contact us today via phone or email to obtain your free quote and get an answer to any questions you may have. We are waiting for your call!