Long-Distance Moving Scams & What to Watch Out For
Moving cross country is a big ordeal, and can be both expensive and stressful. While hiring professional Phoenix long distance movers is immensely helpful, it is important to keep your eye out for any possible scams from a fraudulent Phoenix moving company that is just looking to take advantage of your stressful time and make money off of you. At Leo’s Moving, we want to help you avoid any scams and make sure your long distance move is safe and stress-free. Here are a few red flags to watch out for when choosing professional Phoenix local movers, so that you do not fall victim to any fraud.
LARGE DEPOSIT UP FRONT
If the local moving company you are considering is asking for a large sum of cash or money prior to the move, you should be wary of continuing to work with them. Typically, trustworthy Phoenix movers only require a small deposit up front to hold your place on their schedule. Most legitimate Phoenix moving companies recognize that your possessions are collateral, and therefore do not need a large deposit up front. If someone wants you to make a large deposit to hold your place, and especially if they ask for that deposit in cash, they are ikely fraudulent, and you would be wise to cross them off your list and find someone else.
Additionally, the experts at Leo’s Moving recommend never using cash for your moving deposit. Instead, use a credit card with built-in theft protection and physical bank statements that create a trail. This way, you will have protection for any potential theft that comes your way.
Check to see if the Phoenix affordable moving company you want to hire has an actual physical base location. Any legitimate, reliable moving business will have a physical address where they conduct their business, park their trucks, and perhaps even have a temporary storage unit for you to store possessions during your move.
Remember that most scams happen online when the robbers pretend to represent certain companies but cannot actually prove they have a physical address. These thieves will pocket your money (which is why they ask for a larger than normal deposit up front), and then disappear without a trace. Sometimes they may even show up and move your possessions, only to hold them hostage somewhere until you pay an outrageous amount of money as ransom.
The smartest step is to check references and the Better Business Bureau, and speak with them on the phone or in person. If the movers are hesitant to provide a real address, that is a red flag. If they offer an address, make sure you double check it to ensure it truly belongs to that company, and overall, do not be afraid to ask lots of questions. Check with your friends, family, and neighbors who have recently moved to see what companies they recommend for Phoenix local moves and cross country relocations. The more research you do, the better off you will be.
QUOTES & ESTIMATES
Any reputable moving company in Phoenix will be able to give you a binding quote. This essentially means that after your move is said and done, there will be no surprise fees, charges, or taxes that you were unaware of beforehand. Even if your move takes extended time, there are many extra boxes, or issues come up, a reputable Phoenix moving company will 100% stick to their binding quote and will not add any extra charges. As long-distance moves can be quite expensive, these binding quotes are really a lifesaver for you in planning your moving budget.
Any company that beats around the bush and tries to avoid giving a quote or estimate based on a walk-through of your home and possessions should be left behind. Consider it a giant red flag! Because nobody can provide a reasonable estimate over the phone without physically seeing your home and possessions, do not trust a company that tries to do so. Remember that generally, moving rates are based on mileage, weight, or sometimes even by the hour (depending on the distance of your move). Flat rates are much less accurate than estimates that are based on the size of your home or a walk-through of what will be moved. Additionally, do not be afraid to ask for a written estimate. This will provide an extra layer of protection for you and your belongings.
These three areas are big red flags that should prompt you to find a different moving company. However, keep an eye out for these other warning signs as well:
Movers who show up without wearing any professional clothing, with no logo or representation of their company on their clothing or vehicle.
Any legitimate company will always provide proof of insurance. If your movers can’t or won’t, send them away and hire someone else.
Watch for any bad reviews on the BBB site.
Check their vehicles for a Dept of Transportation number, or ask for vehicle insurance information.
Watching out for these red flags and warning signs will help tremendously in keeping you safe from scams and fraudulent movers. Moving is stressful, but hiring a legitimate, reliable moving company such as Leo’s Moving will help your long distance relocation be much smoother and more seamless. Our experts all carry insurance, and are highly trained to move your possessions with care and ease. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, Leo’s Moving is experienced, affordable, and trustworthy. To learn more about our services and rates, visit a location near you, or call us at (480) 447-8821 to speak with an expert.