Decided to move to Los Angeles? Congratulations! Before moving to this amazing city, you must be aware of some important facts. Although moving is an exciting adventure, it is also one stressful process that can be difficult to execute. Therefore, you need to be well prepared – there is a lot of research to do. We are here to support you with all the investigation and planning. The reasons for your move to LA can be diverse – a hometown atmosphere, top beaches in the world, etc. But for every reason you will encounter similar kinds of obstacles that you might experience. Be cautious while choosing a moving company. That will prevent you from dealing with moving scams. Also, it will save you a lot of money on moving costs.
What is a moving scam?
A moving scam is a broad term for fraudulent activities by a moving company. They use unlawful tactics to get more money from their customers in a cunning way. It’s all about the money, of course. The better you understand the different types of moving scams, the more protected you will stay from moving company frauds. And those scams could really hurt your moving budget.
Avoid being scammed
Detect a scoundrel moving company
When you search for a moving company, you need to be aware of rogue movers. Fraudulent movers are companies that do not work with usual decent procedures. Since they are uncontrolled, unlicensed and uninsured, they have no reason to comply with any standards. They may hold your things hostage, demand higher charges or operate in illegal conditions. Unfortunately, many people are victims of rogue movers. Many people are affected by these illegal moving companies. If you know the warning signs and are aware of the red flags, you can avoid moving scams.
How to identify a fraudulent mover so you can avoid moving scams?
Unprofessional phone behavior
When you call a moving company, the person answering the phone should be professional and polite. Be cautious if he uses a generic greeting, such as “Movers” or “Moving Company” rather than mentioning the company name. Another sign to look out for is if you cannot get in touch with anyone. If you are transferred to an answering machine each time you call them and the message on the machine is just as vague, this might be a rogue mover. Any reliable moving company would provide its name, phone number, and a professional greeting on their answering machine.
False moving reviews and fake certifications
Dishonest moving companies know how important the initial research is when people are looking for a moving company. Because of that, they want to make their own employees leave positive comments about the company itself. The point is to fool more customers that they are a top-notch moving company. But, in reality, they are anything but that. In such case you should do the following:
- Access several different online moving review websites you can trust. Read what former customers had to say about the mover you are considering. Take excessively positive reviews with a grain of salt.
- Ask friends, family members and neighbors if they can recommend a mover they have used in the past. Such word-of-mouth advice is the most trustworthy form of references you can get.
They demand large deposits?
Reputable moving companies will not demand cash or large deposits in advance. In most cases, you pay the mover the agreed amount after the delivery of your goods. So, be extremely cautious if a mover wants your money before they have delivered your items to your home. That demand may be a sign of fraudulent activity. During the moving season, some respectable movers may demand a deposit to reserve the moving date for your move. Once you know you can trust the move, there is no need to panic. The company has no right to inquire that you pay that deposit cash. If you pay a fraudulent mover before the move, what is going to stop them from running away with the money? No legitimate moving company would require huge amounts of money before any service is provided.
Advice: Do not give any money to moving company in advance!
Your items held as a hostage
The worst case scenario when you deal with dishonest movers is to have your goods held hostage. The mover will force you to pay to have your belongings back. Things could get even worse if some of your goods are expensive or valuable items. Then, the fake movers could just disappear without a trace. Those moving company frauds are illegal and there are specific steps you should take if you become a victim of a moving scams:
- Do your homework and research your LA movers well
- If you are a victim of a serious fraud and you have your goods held hostage, notify the police.
Another good way to identify a rogue mover is to check for negative comments. Look the company up on the Better Business Bureau to see if other people have had negative experiences. Also, you could search online for other reviews about the company. No company can ever please all of their customers. So, if there are many negative reviews, it may be best to avoid the company.
Be aware of any mover that gives a particularly low estimate. It may be easy to give in and hire a rogue mover offering a attracting low estimate. Even though they say the price will be low, there is nothing stopping them from raising the price later on. Since moving scams are unregulated, they have no obligation to you or any other authority.
Unmarked moving vehicles
Spot a rogue mover by driving to their office and looking at their fleet. If they use rental or blank trucks, they are probably a rogue moving company. Why wouldn’t a mover put its logo on its own trucks? Most companies would want their trucks to be seen by many people on the roads. If the company doesn’t want to be seen, then it is probably a fraudulent mover.
If you are moving to Los Angeles that is great and probably one of the best decisions in your life, but moving to LA and knowing how to avoid moving scams is even better. You must be well informed and prepared. That is why in this article we offered you some useful advice for your relocation to LA. By knowing these red flags beforehand you can avoid the possibility of dealing with a rogue mover altogether. We hope we could help you at least just a bit.