Moving This Summer? Don’t Fall Prey to the Mover Ripoff

Posted by: Anna | 06/10/2015 at 11:40 AM

Don’t Fall Prey to the Mover Ripoff

Moving is already an overwhelming experience. Ambit Energy wants to make you aware it’s also a time when some unethical moving companies try to rip off consumers. Summer is the peak season to move. Approximately 52 percent of home moves are carried out from May through September in a typical year in the U.S., according to the American Moving and Storage Association.

Unfortunately, there are illegal moving businesses seeking to take advantage of consumers or there are companies that are operating in an unethical manner. In 2014, the Better Business Bureau received almost 9,000 complaints nationwide regarding moving companies. The majority of the complaints related to pricing issues, problematic employees, and missing or damaged items.

If you’re planning to move, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to help you avoid a mover ripoff.

  • Check to see if the moving company has a license. Find out if the moving company is legitimate, and check to see if they have a license to operate. Some states have websites where you can check for a business license. For example, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website enables consumers to check for a license.
  • Count the number of boxes and items being transported. You should know how many boxes are being moved from your home. You can take an additional precautionary step by taking pictures of your belongings. If any items turn up missing, then the photos will help you prove any reimbursement requests to the moving company.
  • Request a walk-through before your move. The movers should visit your space so they can get an idea of the number of boxes and furniture pieces that are being moved in order to ensure they have sufficient trucks and other resources. There have been some moving companies that have requested more money to move items because they claim there are too many items to move or they have insufficient space in their trucks.
  • Ask for an estimate in writing. When the movers visit your home before moving day, request that they submit an estimate or information in writing that lists a flat rate or a binding estimate. You should not accept a verbal quote or agreement.
  • Find out if the moving business offers insurance. Contact the moving business to discuss insurance options. Even though you or the movers may carefully pack items, accidents do tend to happen and some of your belongings may break or get damaged in the process. When you talk to the company, find out the extent of their liability coverage.

Resources to Prevent Moving Day Ripoffs

The issue of moving fraud has even compelled the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to recently roll out its Protect Your Move campaign, which empowers consumers with information if they plan to move to another state. The Protect Your Move website covers your rights and responsibilities, helps you detect fraud and provides fraud prevention tips. You can also search for registered movers as well as learn about their complaint histories.

The Protect Your Move website also has a list of state movers associations. Visit the website of your state’s association to learn about the rules and regulations governing the moving industry in your state and to find licensed movers.

We hope this information will help you avoid being a victim of moving fraud. In addition to the tips above for avoiding a ripoff, Ambit Energy has a moving checklist on how to manage your utilities and services that will also be useful as you prepare for your move. Good luck with your move this summer!

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