Take some stress out of using a moving company with theses tips.
Moving might be one of the most stressful experiences in life, and that's only counting finding a new place, packing, and unpacking. Add in predatory moving companies and a move could quickly turn into a nightmare. Watch out for the following moving company games when you're trying to pick the right mover.
Estimates That Aren't Locked In
There are a lot of factors that go into pricing a move, and that's why almost all movers refuse to provide even a rough estimate without visiting your home to see your belongings in person. With that said, there's no reason for movers to not be able to provide a firm quote after their visit. Unless you decide to buy new furniture before your move -- and the quote will say that's not covered -- the movers should be able to use their experience to figure out exactly what will be needed to accomplish the move and what could possibly go wrong. If uncertainty isn't accounted for in the quote, you can be certain that the final bill will be much higher than the initial quote.
Asking for Deposits
Reliable movers should never require a deposit. Customers have to move on moving day, so there's little risk to the mover of a customer not following through with the deal. Movers, on the other hand, have nowhere near as much invested in showing up on time or even showing up at all. If they already have your money, they have even less incentive to show up on moving day, and you may be trying to track them down from another state as you scramble to get your stuff moved before it's thrown out on the street.
Holding Your Stuff Hostage
Disreputable moving companies are well known for taking your stuff from your old home and then refusing to deliver it until you pay additional fees. Sometimes they make up new charges, and other times they demand a "tip" that is at least a certain amount. While tipping is customary for movers who don't steal your stuff, this game is another reason that you should always have a firm quote in writing that specifies payment will be made upon delivery. That way, if a mover tries this, you can immediately call the police and report the theft of your belongings.
Luckily, the majority of moving companies are out to make an honest living and would never try these games. To avoid the bad ones, get everything in writing, check references, and ask questions until you feel comfortable with everything about the company.
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