How to Identify a Rogue Mover ?

By: Vidya Garapati (GV)

Moving or relocating from one place to another can be quite an exhausting experience. Apart from the fact that you have to uproot your home and start over elsewhere, there is also the added fact that you will be leaving behind your friends as well as many memories. A well organized move can make the relocation process a bit easy going, but organizing the entire thing can be quite taxing. To make your relocation as smooth as possible it is necessary to choose a competent mover. Many moving companies claim to provide trouble free services, but at the last moment, they charge more than their stated estimate. In most of the registered complaints against movers, the customers have complained that the moving companies either withhold goods for more money or make extra charges at the last moment, when it is too late. Beware of such movers! They are out to scam you.

Recognizing a Scammer

Even though most moving companies are legitimate, there are a few rogue movers who are out to trick you into paying more. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has come up with a few tips to recognize a rogue mover:

Ã?â‚?? A rogue mover will not agree to an on-site inspection of household goods.

Ã?â‚?? An estimate is made over the phone or internet, not in person. In most cases, the estimates are much lower than usual rates.

Ã?â‚?? The only form of payment accepted by the company is cash or a large deposit before the move.

Ã?â‚?? If the company has a website, it does not have a local address or information about Licensing or Insurance.

Ã?â‚?? The company Insurance claims to cover all goods.

Ã?â‚?? The mover refuses to give you a copy of 'Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,' in spite of insisting for it.

Ã?â‚?? The company offices are shabby and in poor condition.

Ã?â‚?? The truck provided by the company is a rental truck, not a marked fleet truck.

Ã?â‚?? The cost of moving is based on cubic feet.

The booklet, 'Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,' should be provided by all registered moving companies. It contains all the information you need to know about moving and also about all the documents that the mover will ask you to sign. The best way to protect yourself against moving fraud is to have thorough knowledge of your options while choosing a moving company. You should always make a background check of the movers you are hiring. The safest bet is to hire movers registered with FMCSA and having a USDOT number.

A legitimate mover will provide you with the following documents:

Estimates: All service charges should be clearly documented and the estimate should be signed by the owner. Oral estimates should never be accepted.

Order for Service: the order for service is a list of all the services that the mover will perform. It also shows the dates on which your household goods will be picked up and delivered.

Bill of Lading: the Bill of Lading is a contract drawn up between you and the mover. It is a receipt of all your belongings. The mover should give you a partially completed copy of the Bill of Lading before leaving your residence.

Inventory List: It is a list which tabulates each item that has been shipped and its condition. Make sure that the inventory is a written copy and it is made out after all the items are loaded. Make it a point to check the condition of your items before the inventory is made.

Usually, your belongings are transported along with the belongings of other families. This helps in cutting costs. In case your belongings arrive at the destination before you do, they have to be stored. In that case, additional storage charges may be applicable.

Moving is stressful enough and you can do without the added stress of worrying about rogue movers. Make a thorough background check of the moving company you are about to hire to avoid any problems.

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