Unfortunately, moving scams are becoming more frequent and can cost you a lot of nerves and money if you don’t recognize and avoid them on time. Don’t let this ruin one of the most exciting events in your life when there are trustworthy moving companies in Philadelphia as well. We’ll help you find them and enable you to enjoy your relocation process without any worries.
Anyone Who Is Not Careful Enough Can Become a Victim of a Moving Scam
There is always a chance of becoming a victim of moving fraud, even around some of the safest Philadelphia neighborhoods. You’ll need to be fully aware of all the risks and tricks and pay attention to the fine print. People who are relocating are usually under a lot of stress but also full of hopes and expectations for their fresh start, so they are more prone to overlooking some stuff and making mistakes. So keep your eyes wide open and trust your gut. Stay focused and organized so you can easily see through all these traps and make wise decisions.
How Do Moving Scams Work?
These scams are usually very sneaky and can hit you where it hurts the most at the wrong time. Starting a new chapter in your life is a trickly period, even if you’re relocating to some of the best Philadelphia neighborhoods. You have to take care of so many responsibilities, and the last thing you want is to get scammed and lose your money or valuable belongings. These frauds usually work in a way that companies offer you something that seems too good to be true, and they trick you into paying them large amounts of money in advance before you become aware of what’s going on. Luckily, in the following article, you’ll learn all about common scams and the best ways to avoid them without going through hell.
6 Most Common Signs of Moving Scams You Should Be Aware Of
When it comes to common mistakes that people make while picking a Philadelphia moving company to take care of their relocation, it all comes down to one thing. These companies can be easily recognized based on the lack of professionalism – they don’t offer you safe terms, contracts, and professional relocation services. Their reviews seem too good to be true, and prices are usually the lowest on the market, which is always suspicious, especially if the services offered by all other competitors are pretty much in the same price range.
Requesting Large Deposits in Advance
If the mover you plan on hiring urges you to pay a large deposit – up to 80% of the final price of your move, before the process even starts, you have to wonder if this is legal. It’s not, so you should be suspicious because true professionals will never demand you to pay for services before you get them.
Unrealistically Low Prices
This might seem appealing to most people, but especially to those who are relocating in a hurry and have a way too long relocation expenses checklist. You look for a mover and find the one who offers you an unrealistically low bid – you might start thinking that you hit the jackpot and your budget will be saved, but that’s not how it works. This is one of the most common signs that something could be wrong. No one who plans to offer you really high-quality services will give them for free, so don’t be naive and fall for this. Check the background story, and feel free to ask them everything you find suspicious.
Lack of a Professional Website
Fake companies usually change their names frequently and don’t have a professional website – so the government can’t track them easily. If you choose to take the justice into your hands, feel free to play a private investigator – everyone with a reputable business has their website these days, and it is very suspicious if the company doesn’t provide any information online about their services and history.
Reviews That Are Too Good to Be True
Another thing to pay attention to is those unbelievably good reviews. Think again – real people leave real comments. If every comment is written as praise from the beginning to the end, the chances are high that there’s something shady about them. The thing is, some mistakes and accidents can happen to even the best and most experienced Philly movers, so it is not realistic that every single review is a stellar one.
Lack of Legal Contract, MC License, and US DOT Number
If they don’t offer you a contract and want you to trust their words – run as fast as you can before it’s too late. Every professional mover who truly values its customers and cares about its reputation will provide legal documents that protect both sides if something goes wrong. If they only offer you their word or a handshake, don’t accept that arrangement. If they are a registered mover, they will have a US DOT number and MC license, so ensure you check those as well.
Unprofessional Behavior and No Proper Equipment
Another thing that’s a significant sign of a scam is a lack of professionalism, skills, and knowledge. A trustworthy company will offer you a licensed and trained team of employees who know what they are doing at every moment of the process and know how to handle problems that might occur. If your helpers seem inexperienced or they don’t handle your belongings properly, you should be worried. Professionals should also have the proper equipment, but if that’s not the case, you might be working with scammers. Check out this video for a brief summary of all the red flags you should be aware of.
How Do I Not Get Scammed When I Move?
Now that you are aware of the most common red flags, you should definitely keep an eye on those things when doing your research. If some things from this list show true in your case, you might be on your way to get scammed, so try avoiding getting into trouble and try following some of these tips.
Refuse to Pay for Moving Services in Philadelphia in Advance
If you get an offer to pay everything in advance, or they demand that you pay them most of the final amount before the process even starts, that is not something you should accept. Some legitimate companies do ask for a deposit, but it is usually no more than 20%.
Check Out Other Companies in the City and Compare Quotes
The best way to compare if prices are competitive is to check some other companies in your area. Some of the moving companies in Philadelphia will offer you a free quote on their services so you can easily compare the prices and see if the price that your chosen team offers you it’s too low or too high compared to average.
It’s Good to Be Suspicious If Reviews Seem Fake
If you can’t find the company’s website or it’s “down” every time you refresh the page, try checking some online websites such as Yelp. A trustworthy and reputable company will always have reviews on other websites and forums except their own. If you can’t find any information and reviews about them online, this might be a huge red flag.
Always Require a Contract and Read It Carefully
We already mentioned that a reputable company will offer you a legal contract, but not the fraudulent one. They will try to find every possible way to avoid any written evidence and fool you into thinking that isn’t necessary. Even if they do offer you a piece of paper, don’t sign it before reading it carefully more than once, especially the fine print.
The fine print is the place where scammers usually hide their true intentions. There they can write something like all the terms mentioned in this contract can be changed under specific circumstances. By writing that, they have a legal background for changing terms however they like, and this usually applies to adding more services and fees you didn’t ask for. If you refuse to pay them, they can even hold your household goods hostage until you “pay off your debts.” Open your eyes widely and carefully check every line if you want to avoid this.
How Do I Know If a Moving Company Is Legit?
If you find real professionals, you’ll easily spot differences between them and potential scammers. They will offer you safe terms and great services from day one. Some of the things that can show you that the mover is legit are:
- Professional website,
- Real reviews,
- Free quote options,
- Low deposits,
- Reasonable prices,
- Responsive customer service,
- Trained and licensed movers in Philadelphia,
- Professional equipment.
You should also check reliable online sources and ask your friends for recommendations. Sometimes you can get a great tip or a recommendation for professional Philadelphia movers from neighbors who just moved to your affordable neighborhood. If they tell you that they had an awesome experience – this is definitely more valuable than some online review that could be written by anyone.
What to Do When a Moving Company Scams You?
There are few things you can do if you become a victim and get scammed. In most cases, you will have to have some legal documents as evidence, or you won’t be able to file a legal complaint. You can:
- File a complaint with mover,
- Notify organizations such as American Moving and Storage Association and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) about your problem and file additional complaints,
- Take the person who scammed you to the court if you have enough legal documents to get the case.
With Our Philadelphia Movers, You’re Safe From Moving Scams and Other Inconveniences
Once you find a perfect place for your new home, it’s time to look for a reputable mover. If you follow our instructions, all the roads will lead you to us, because we are the company that provides everything necessary to relocate safely and efficiently. We can offer you outstanding residential relocation services that are ideal for relocating an entire home, show you great relocation hacks and give you useful tips on how to avoid every problem during this process.
If you pick our commercial relocation service, you will efficiently move your business in no time. If you feel curious about packing books or you strongly believe that packing dishes on your own isn’t something you can handle, hire us for packing services and put all relocation stress to rest. Feel free to contact us and get your free quote. Apart from that, we guarantee you that there won’t be additional charges at the end. You’ll only need to check what items movers won’t move – every other task in your to-do list is our concern. Our movers in Philadelphia, PA, can also remind you of the most commonly forgotten things to pack, so you can feel safe knowing you won’t be experiencing any inconveniences.