Protect Yourself From Moving Scams
At Lifetime Moving & Storage, we believe that an educated customer is a good customer, so please read this list and always check with consumer review sites before shopping your move.
Objective Consumer Reviews Sites
Home Advisor, Google Reviews,the BBB and the Yellow Pages offer a glimpse into quality of service a moving company provides and how they conduct themselves. If you find a company offering a substantially lower rate it’s best to look up their reputation to see if they’re actually your best value.
No License and/or FMCSA Unauthorized Mover
Federal law requires that companies must predominantly display their DOT# and FMC # on their website and all advertising!
With the popularity of Craigslist and Yelp, many upstart moving companies are advertising for transportation services without licensing. There are almost too many scenarios to go over with this, but the worst is the movers never arrive to the delivery with your shipment. Another is, they are pulled over by a Department of Transportation agent and the truck is impounded with your goods.
As a consumer, making sure your movers have a valid DOT # and FMC# assures you they are not only completely traceable, but they must also comply with all of the billing and safety regulations of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.
Speak with one of our AMSA Certified Moving Consultants® for more guidelines.
Because consumer review sites have made information on undesirable movers accessible, companies are now quickly changing their name to escape the reputations they’ve created for themselves.
There are currently more than one Arizona Moving companies doing this, but they are easy to identify and avoid. Simply look them up on consumer review sites as most movers have many reviews. Ask for their DOT# and FMC# and see if it matches the company on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
Hidden Fees and Hostage Shipments
A moving company quotes you a flat or hourly rate that seems to be competitive. When the crew arrives, the customer signs the paperwork without noticing the conditions in the small print on the back of the forms. As the crew begins the move they will load your most expensive items first. Everything is typically very friendly until they are ¾ unloaded and begin to tell you about the extra fees you’ve incurred.
These charges are generally for stairs, shrink wrap, long carries, fuel, blankets, tape, or large items. They’re called “up sells” and the foreman sometimes makes a cut of anything he can add on to your bill.
They will point out that you signed and agreed to these conditions at the beginning of the move. If you refuse to pay, they simply close the truck and drive away with the items they loaded first.
You’re now left to argue with their customer service department and may incur additional storage fees while your items are held at their warehouse. Not getting quick results or having much flexibility, most customers just end up paying.
At Lifetime Moving & Storage we do not have any hidden fees, and offer Binding rates and Binding Estimates.
Non-Binding Long Distance Moves Estimates and Per Cube Estimates
Don’t jump at the lowest rate, especially if it is a per cubic feet estimate and when the volume/weight is lower than other companies are quoting. Also make sure to see the full inventory list on your estimate and make sure it is accurate.
From crews and office staff to trucks and equipment, there are so many generic moving photos being used. Other companies post no personnel photos at all, but cartoon figures and superimposed logos on clean trucks. While some stock photography can be ok, if you had friendly and professional employees driving clean trucks and equipment, why wouldn’t you publish a few photos?
Containers can be a less expensive approach for consumers with storage and moving needs, but there are some scenarios that make them hard to price. For instance; if a customer has an averagely furnished 1500 square foot home and must store everything, a single 16’ container will usually not be large enough. It can be very difficult for sales reps to determine the amount or size of containers you’ll actually need, especially if they have not actually loaded these containers themselves.
Make sure your dealing with someone who has firsthand knowledge of loading and gives you pricing that includes furniture quilted pads (An absolute essential in the moving industry for furniture protection).
Moving brokers are middlemen between the household who is moving and moving companies. The brokers are not the actual movers and typically do not own trucks or moving equipment or have a professional moving staff. They provide the convenience of finding a moving company and are sales people who "sell" the move.
Typically, moving brokers give estimates for a move either over the phone or on the Internet and collect a fee from the person who is moving. The brokers then bid out the job to moving companies based on the estimate. The benefit of using a moving broker is that the move could be accomplished cheaper than hiring a moving company directly.
However, there are some risks involved with using a broker. There is the possibility that the job might not be accepted by a moving company, usually because of a low estimate, availability or resources, and the customer would be left without a mover on moving day. In addition, unlicensed or uninsured movers might be hired for the job or the moving company might charge extra fees once they see the totality of the job. Interestingly, the brokers do not accept any liability for the acts or omissions of the moving company hired.
For more tips and educational information, our AMSA Certified Moving Consultants® will be happy to answer any questions or help you plan your local or long distance move. Call Lifetime today at (602)344-9988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lifetime Moving & Storage
2440 West Lincoln Street 145 I Phoenix, AZ 85009