Don’t Let This Moving Horror Story Happen To You
A friend recently shared her moving nightmare with us, and now we’d like to share her story with you. Our friend was working with a tight moving schedule and she believed she found the ideal moving company. The moving company’s website appeared legitimate, the quoted price was reasonable, and the contract said her items would arrive within three to five days in the new city. Smooth sailing, right? Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The movers loaded her belongings and seemingly disappeared. Our friend began wondering where she went wrong, and in telling her story, the red flags were easy for us to spot. But not knowing what to look for, she placed her trust in this company.
Nine Moving Scam Warning Signs
Here’s nine warning signs from UF Mover Guys, the moving company Gainesville, FL, residents trust with any type of move. To avoid having a moving experience like our friend, be on the lookout for these red flags.
1. The Company Isn’t Registered
Legitimate moving companies operating across state lines must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and be assigned a USDOT Number. The USDOT Number allows you to confirm registration with the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as look up safety information. Intrastate moving companies should be registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These regulators assist consumers to recover belongings and/or monetary damages from the moving company if damages or losses occurs during the move.
2. The Company Doesn’t Have A Physical Address
All movers should be able to provide a valid, physical, business address for the company, such as a local location and/or corporate headquarters. Whether the website lists a physical address or P.O. Box, be sure to follow up and use a satellite map view to verify the moving company really is located there, not a house or vacant lot.
3. A Large Down Payment Is Required
A large down payment is a red flag. Generally, 20 percent or less is required upfront, but many moving companies don’t ask for a down payment at all. By not requiring a down payment, the company has the full responsibility to safely bring your belongings to the new home in order to receive payment.
4. The Company Only Accepts Cash For Payment
If a mover says it only accept cash payments, you may want to consider looking for another company. A reputable company, such as the Gainesville movers with UF Mover Guys, will accept credit cards which creates documentation of the transaction.
5. Using Unmarked Or Rental Moving Trucks
A legal moving company conducts business with official moving trucks — not unmarked trucks. The company logo, color scheme, telephone number, and required registration numbers should be displayed on the moving truck. If the movers arrive in an unmarked truck, don’t let them load your belongings.
6. The Schedule Changes Too Many Times
Schedules change but when the moving company moves the date and time for pick up and/or delivery more than once, it’s a major red flag.
7. No In-Home Estimates Given
Requesting an online quote can make things a lot easier when it’s time to move. But if a company doesn’t require detailed information for a quote, or doesn’t offer in-home estimates, it can be a red flag. An in-home estimate allows us to form an accurate quote for the cost of the move. Estimates given over the phone with little information can be unrealistic and don’t account for total distance, weight, and how much space is needed to move your belongings, such as multiple moving trucks.
8. No Contracts Available
A move is a business transaction, and as with any good business transaction, there should be a written contract. The contract should include:
- Estimate: All services to be performed by the mover should be clearly detailed in writing and signed by the moving company.
- Order For Service: This includes all services provided by the mover specific to your move and outlines dates all belongings will be picked up and delivered.
- Bill of Lading: This is the contract between yourself and the mover, including a receipt of belongings. The mover should leave a partially completed bill of lading with you before leaving the original home.
- Inventory List: Every belonging and item to be shipped by the mover should be detailed in this list. Make sure you agree with the description of each item’s condition written by the mover.
9. Online Reviews Are Horrible Or Too Good To Be True
If there’s a slew of negative reviews across multiple reviewing platforms, the moving company should probably be avoided. But if all you find are glowing reviews, it should be taken with several grains of salt. Do your online research and evaluate each review — does it appear to have been written by a real person? Are several of the reviews similar? Do reviewers have the same last name?
Hire A Reputable Gainesville Moving Company
We’re happy to say our friend’s story does have a happy ending — her belongings were delivered 22 days later with no items missing or major damage. Our friend and the team with UF Mover Guys hope this story acts as a cautionary tale for anyone needing to move. We’ve been moving Gainesville residents for more than 10 years with a team of friendly and trained movers. To schedule a move or to receive a free, in-home estimate, contact UF Mover Guys today!