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Avoid Moving Scams

Moving, in and of itself, is stressful enough. Add in the (very real) possibility of being taken for a ride, both literally and figuratively, by a rogue mover and it’s enough to drive even the sanest person to pull their hair out. But never fear! The OneMove pros have some expert tips to help you avoid moving scams. Read on to save yourself from the headache of most moving scams.

First, be sure to check out this website and do your research. The site is run by the US Department of Transportation and is the go-to resource for making sure everything about who is performing your move is above board.

Second, here are a few things to look out for and keep in mind to avoid getting tangled up with the wrong kind of movers:

Pay nothing at the time of booking.

If you’re ever asked for a deposit in order to book, even if it’s small, be wary. A common scam that unscrupulous brokers use is to take a deposit at booking, which they keep, then broker your move to an actual mover, who you will likely end up “renegotiating” the price with you once they have your things. You can think of booking a move like reserving a hotel room: it’s standard if they take your credit card number and hold it. Charging anything before you actually show up to the hotel (or, in this case, any earlier than a day or two before moving day), though, doesn’t pass the sniff test.

An inventory is essential.

If anyone gives you a quote without seeing your stuff, or at least doing a phone or online checklist inventory, being able to realistically price your move is next to impossible. There are a ton of quirks to pricing which depend completely on the total cubic feet or weight for your specific items, especially when it comes to a long-distance move. Some companies mayThey might even usethrow the word “guaranteed,” as in in such as a “guaranteed per-mile or per-pound rate”, but when you read the fine print, you’ll find that the actual price you need to pay is guaranteed to change once they have your stuff.If a company offers to give you a flat rate based on something like the size or type of place you live in, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a scam.

Get the numbers.

Every moving company is required to be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Every company should either have a Department of Transportation (USDOT), Motor Carrier (MC), or Freight Forwarder (FF) authority number. If a mover ever says the don’t have one of these numbers (and especially if you check them out and they actually don’t), then they are not registered with the US government. If you do get a number, check it out here. Look at the Entity Type and Operating Status fields to make sure they’re listed as a carrier. If the company says they can handle your interstate move but they aren’t marked as an interstate mover, for example, it means your move will definitely be contracted out to another company.

Be sure to do your homework on which companies you are considering to do your move. Always remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re ever unsure, just give us a call. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and we’ll never charge for a consultation.

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