Next to losing your job and divorce, moving is one of the more stressful things you can do in life. In addition to all the logistics and the emotional turmoil of changing where it is you will live your life, moving scams add fuel to an already raging fire. That’s why new moving scams involving “guaranteed” quotes, packing materials and moving size measurements have created a raging inferno.
How big? The Better Business Bureau reported more than 8400 complaints against moving companies in 2009. According to Boston Pack and Ship, a small load shipping company based in Braintree, Massachusetts, even if you know nothing about the moving industry, you can avoid moving scams—even the latest ones—by doing a just a little homework and applying common sense.
For starters, you can avoid most of the scams—new or old—by only working with companies who are referred to you by people you know, getting a minimum of three bids and making sure the moving company is local and has a physical address at one end of the move or the other.
Besides common sense, you can also do a little research on sites like movingscam.com so you aware of the dangers out there, especially some of the newer ones.
These newer scams include:
- Guaranteed quote, wrong estimate – This is when the mover gives you a binding quote or flat rate. If that quote is based on faulty information—they forgot to add in that small bedroom downstairs—then the ‘guaranteed’ quote changes. The fix? Never sign off on a quote unless the mover does an onsite, visual inspection of everything that is to be moved—then get it in writing as a guaranteed quote.
- Packing material charges – Ideally, you pack everything yourself. But if you run out of time and/or boxes, having the moving company pack your remaining items can be quite costly—especially if it’s not an ethical firm. Wrapping boxes with yards of tape per box, packing boxes with one item and paper filling for the rest of are just a few of the ways movers can jack up the price of materials. Do yourself a favor and leave plenty of time for packing.
- Know what you are buying – Many reputable moving companies provide estimates in cubic feet, which is a term not many people are familiar with. It refers to the amount of space your stuff takes up. If you are not familiar with cubic feet, do not be afraid to ask questions until you have a thorough understanding. As a side note, remember that cubic feet can be converted into pounds (much like feet can be converted into meters). If you’re having trouble understanding your estimate, ask for it in a measure you can understand.
Moving scams have been around since the cavemen. While there is no one way to protect yourself 100 percent, the best course if you’re unsure or uneasy is to opt for the mover who was referred to you by trusted family or friends.
Small load specialists
Boston Pack and Ship has been a trusted strategic partner of many movers in eastern Massachusetts for more than two decades. Based in Braintree, Massachusetts, Boston Pack and Ship employs custom crates and packaging and foam-in-place solutions to pack and ship everything from artwork to heirlooms, computers to antiques to both out-of-state and international destinations. Known for its fast and efficient customer service, one call is usually all it takes to schedule a pickup for a door-to-door or door-to-port shipment. For more information, visit www.bostonpackandship.com or call (800) 400-7204 for a free quote.