If you're going to hand over your most precious belongings, watch out for these signs first.
“We guarantee customer satisfaction”
The truth is that moving is a fairly uncommon event, which means you’re not likely to be a repeat customer any time soon—and shady companies know that, says Britt LaLiberte of Dunmar Moving. And even if you are unhappy, chances are good you’ll be living in another state with different laws, making it even harder to deal with your moving company. The best way to combat this is to be prepared and have realistic expectations. “Look for a mover who is telling you what is possible and not telling you what you want to hear,” he says.
“Just sign this, we’ll fill out the rest later”
Asking customers to sign a blank or incomplete contract is one of the primary ways dishonest movers con customers, according to Mr. Sapir. Make sure you get everything in writing—and read it—before inking your name on the dotted line.
“All insurance is the same”
The most basic and most common form of moving insurance is Standard Repair Coverage Insurance. However it only pays $0.60 per pound per item if something is damaged. That’s fine if you’re only moving pillows but heaven forbid the movers drop your 30-pound flat-screen TV. “With Standard coverage you’d only see an $18 check to cover your broken $500 TV,” says Mike Glanz, CEO of HireAHelper. “Most reputable moving services will offer another form of insurance, called Full-Value Replacement Coverage, which covers (just like it sounds) the full value of every item listed in your inventory. This coverage is generally available as a paid upgrade but is relatively cheap.
“We move everything!”
For safety reasons, federal laws prohibit moving companies from transporting any hazardous materials including paint, ammunition, propane, and other flammable items, says Randy Shacka, president of Two Men and a Truck. This means your moving company cannot move items that contain gas such as grills and lawnmowers and may not take perishable things like food, plants, or pets. It’s up to you to find out what you personally must be responsible for moving so there aren’t any surprises on moving day.