Business owners who are intent on tricking consumers through dishonest practices can often be very creative. Consequently, the list of potential moving scams is endless. However, we have compiled a list of some of the most common moving scams in order to help educate people looking to hire a reputable mover in New York. If you’re considering hiring a moving company, watch out for some of these common traps.
Getting an estimate over the phone
Let’s face it, we all want a quick estimate so that we can compare moving companies and go with the one that quotes the best price. But the truth is, in order for a mover to give you an accurate estimate, they have to come out to your house and actually take an inventory of all of the items that will need to be moved. That doesn’t mean they’re going to go through your closet – it means they need to know how much furniture, how many boxes, fragile or irregularly shaped items, especially heavy items like a piano or a large mirror, and so on. They’ll also take into account how many stairs or elevators they’ll need to navigate, accessibility of the house from the street, parking availability, and more. For a moving company to know how much it’ll cost them to move you, they need to know the approximate volume and weight of the items as well as the ease of carrying your belongings to the truck. If you’re speaking with a mover who gives you a moving estimate without offering to come out to your house, this may be a sign that the quoted price may change once moving day is coming to a close – and not in your favor!
Asking for a deposit
This one’s simple. An honest New York moving company takes payment upon delivery. If you’re being pressured to put down a deposit, this may be a red flag. There are some things the mover can say that may sound reasonable. For example, what if they show up and you’re not even home? Now they’ve wasted a day they could have been moving someone else. Or, what if it turns out to take longer than expected due to unpredictable weather? Points such as these may sound like a good reason to put down a deposit to indicate that you’re serious about carrying out your move. However, this is a tactic that many dishonest companies employ. They may choose not to show up at all, or show up hours late, without releasing your deposit. Or, they may increase the moving cost at the last minute and you’ll be stuck with that cost since they are already holding some of your money.
The topic of insurance comes up very frequently, and it’s a difficult one. The number one cause of stress on moving day is trying to ensure that the movers don’t damage any of your belongings. Of course, they’ll all assure you that they take the greatest of care with your stuff, but coming moving day, you might be surprised to find the moving crew tossing your boxes of fragile items and dragging your furniture against the walls. A common trick is for them to offer you an insurance policy to protect from such incidental damage. That may seem like a good idea to you, since you want to protect your belongings. However, you should know that all moving companies in New York are required to be liable for the items that they transport. If something is damaged, it is their liability by law. You do not need to purchase additional insurance in order to keep them accountable. Generally speaking, a reputable New York mover will not pressure you to purchase insurance.
There are many other moving scams that exist in New York and across the country. While it’s impossible to describe them all, we hope this guide will be helpful to you as you evaluate moving companies for your upcoming relocation.