The moving industry is unfortunately rife with scams. Many “rogue” moving companies prey on unsuspecting customers looking for a “good deal” on their interstate move.
These scammers will give you a low estimate to get your business but inflate the price once they have your belongings. They may also hold your household goods hostage until you pay them more money.
There are many things you should do to protect yourself from these types of moving scams:
Research the cross-country moving company thoroughly before hiring them
This means reading reviews, checking the Better Business Bureau website, and contacting references. Many long-distance moving companies will tell you that they are locally owned and operated, so it’s also wise to visit the moving company’s facility to make sure it’s legit.
Hire Denver based long distance moving companies
There are many reputable long-distance moving companies in Denver, CO. Hiring the services of one of these established businesses will give you peace of mind knowing that your belongings are in good hands. Most moving brokers are based in Florida, and you’ll be able to see that when they email you a moving estimate.
Request a free in-home walkthrough
By law, all long-distance moving companies must offer a free in-home walkthrough within 50 miles of their facility. This is when a representative from the moving company comes to your house to assess your belongings and give you an estimate. Do not work with any company that refuses to do an in-home walkthrough or gives you an estimate over the phone.
Get everything in writing
This includes the estimate, the list of services being provided, and the company’s policy on things like cancellations and delays. Read over the moving contract carefully before signing it.
Make sure the estimate is binding not to exceed
The US DOT requires that all estimates given by long-distance moving companies are binding not to exceed. This means that the company cannot charge you more than the estimate, even if your move takes longer or if more packing supplies are required if you opt for a full-packing service.
The 110% rule
The 110% rule is also in place to protect customers from being charged more than the estimate. Under this rule, the interstate moving company can only charge 10% more than the binding not to exceed the estimate if the actual weight or cubic feet of your belongings ends up being more than what was estimated.
Never pay the whole amount up front!
Most reputable companies will require a reasonable deposit of $100-$200, but you should never have to pay the total amount upfront. If a company asks for this, it’s probably a scam!
Be wary of low estimates
If a long-distance moving company gives you a significantly lower moving estimate than the competition, be suspicious. It may mean they’re not being completely honest about their services or fees.
Get your own insurance
Even if a moving company says they have insurance, it’s always good to get your own policy to cover your household goods in case of damage or loss. We recommend calling your insurance agent and getting a quote for “replacement value” coverage. You can also call MovingInsurance.com for a free quote.
Ask lots of questions!
Be wary if a cross-country moving company is reluctant to answer your questions or seems evasive. A reputable cross-country moving company should be happy to answer any questions you have. Most moving brokers don’t understand the moving process well, so they will often give you false information to try and sell you their services.
In Conclusion – Local is best than the rest!
Hiring a reputable local company is always the best bet for long-distance moves. They are more accountable to their customers and are required by law to provide certain protections that out-of-state companies are not. So do your research, get everything in writing, and never pay the whole amount up front! Good luck with your long-distance move!