11 Best Tips to Spot and Avoid the Worst Moving Companies in 2023

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Finding a reliable and trustworthy moving company is critical to the success of the move. However, many bad movers out there engage in fraudulent activities. The worst moving companies leave their customers with damaged or lost belongings, unexpected fees, and other headaches.

According to the Better Business Bureau, consumers filed over 13,000 complaints against bad moving companies in 2022. The complaints included issues ranging from damaged or missing items to late deliveries and overcharging. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported 2,287 complaints against bad movers in 2023, including complaints about fraudulent or deceptive practices.

Worst Moving Company Scams

Moving is an exhausting task, so many people opt for the services of a moving company to help them with the process. While most moving companies are legitimate and operate with integrity, some bad movers engage in fraudulent activities. Safeway Moving Inc. will discuss some of the most common moving company scams and the ways to avoid those scams.

Scam 1: Lowball Estimates

Some bad movers will offer an unusually low estimate to lure unsuspecting customers. Once they have your belongings, they will increase the price, citing additional services or unexpected obstacles. Try getting several estimates from reputable moving companies. If one estimate is significantly lower than the others, it should raise a red flag.

Scam 2: Holding Belongings Hostage

The worst moving companies can hold your belongings hostage, until you pay an extra fee. The movers can claim that the weight of your items is more than what was estimated to charge you some extra money. You should have everything written beforehand to avoid this scam.

Scam 3: Non-Existent or Vague Contracts

You should be careful of moving companies offering vague or non-existent contracts. Without a detailed agreement, it can be challenging to hold the movers accountable if something goes wrong. You should read all the terms of the contract before signing accepting it.

Scam 4: Bait and Switch

The bait-and-switch scam allows the worst moving companies to promise one service but delivers another. For example, they may claim to use high-quality packing materials but use low-quality ones instead. You should ask for references from previous customers to verify the claims of the movers.

Scam 5: Unlicensed Movers

Ensure to check the credentials of the moving company before hiring them. All reputable movers should have a license and insurance to operate. It may be a scam if a company cannot provide proof of these credentials. You can verify a mover’s license by checking with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Scam 6: Phantom Deliveries

The bad moving company can claim to have delivered your items to your new home, but they never arrive. The scam can happen when a fraudulent mover loads your items onto a truck but then disappears with them. Ensure you get a detailed inventory of your items and track them throughout the move.

Scam 7: Unnecessary Services

Some bad movers may try to sell you unnecessary services, such as packing, unpacking, or even cleaning services that you don’t need or want. They may also add extra charges for services not agreed upon in the initial estimate. If a mover tries to sell you additional services, ask for a detailed explanation of why they are necessary.

Scam 8: Identity Theft

Moving companies can also use your personal information, such as name, address, and credit card information, for identity theft or other fraudulent activities. Do your research before sharing your personal information, and ensure the moving company has a secure system for handling it.

Moving company scams are a real threat, but they can be avoided by taking the necessary precautions. You can ensure a smooth move by working with reputable movers and protecting yourself from scams.

Best Tips to Spot the Worst Movers

When it comes to moving, selecting the right company is crucial to ensure a smooth experience. Unfortunately, not all moving companies are honest, and some may engage in dishonest or unethical practices that can leave you with damaged belongings, hidden fees, or even theft. Here are a few tried and tested moving tips to help you spot bad movers:

1. Five-Star Reviews Alone

Regarding moving, you want a company that can be trusted to handle your precious belongings with care. While online reviews can be a great tool for gauging a company’s reputation, they can also be misleading.

Even the best moving companies can receive negative reviews, and with the prevalence of paid review services, look beyond the star ratings. Instead, choose trusted names in the industry with a proven success track record. For a long-distance move, consider using reputable companies like Safeway Moving Inc. We have earned our outstanding reputations through consistently delivering quality services and customer satisfaction.

2. Lack of Licensing and Insurance

A reputable moving company will have proper licensing and insurance to operate in your state or region. Before hiring a moving company, verify their credentials by checking with your state’s Department of Transportation FMCSA to ensure they have the necessary licensing and insurance.

3. No Physical Address

You should be wary of movers who only provide a P.O. Box or a temporary address. A legitimate moving company will have a physical address that you can visit and confirm.

4. No In-Home Inspection

A reliable moving company will inspect your belongings in-home to estimate the moving costs accurately. If a moving company refuses to perform an in-home inspection or only provides an estimate over the phone or via email, this is a clear indication of the worst movers.

5. Unrealistic Pricing

Customers should be cautious of movers who provide unusually low estimates or refuse to provide a written estimate. Dishonest movers often use such lowball estimates to get you to sign a contract and then add extra fees later.

6. Lack of Reviews

A good moving company will have a positive reputation, which can be verified by checking online reviews and testimonials. If a company has no reviews, this is a warning sign that it may not be trustworthy.

7. No Clear Contract

Before starting your move, ensure the moving company provides a clear, written contract that outlines all the moving details. The contract should include the services, moving schedule, and total cost. If a bad moving company hesitates to provide a written contract or includes unclear or vague terms, this is a red flag.

8. Demanding Large Deposits

You should be wary of the worst movers who demand a large deposit upfront before the move. A reputable moving company will only require a deposit of up to 20% of the estimated move cost.

9. No Physical Moving Truck

A legitimate moving company will have a branded and well-maintained moving truck with its logo and contact information. If a bad moving company arrives with an unmarked or rental truck, this could be a warning sign.

10. Refusal to Provide References

A reliable moving company will have no problem providing you with references from previous customers who can vouch for their services. If companies refuse to provide references, they are a bad mover.

11. Unresponsive Customer Service

A reputable moving company will have professional and responsive customer service representatives willing to answer any questions you may have. If you encounter unprofessional or unresponsive customer service, this could be a sign of a bad mover.

By following these tips and doing your due diligence, you can protect yourself from bad movers and avoid falling victim to unethical practices.

Hacks to Finding the Best Movers

Finding the best movers is tough with all the scam movers in the market, but with these hacks, you can make the process easier and more efficient:

  • Do your research: Take the time to research several moving companies in your area. Look for companies with good reputations, positive customer reviews, and a track record of successful moves.
  • Ask for recommendations: Ask friends, family, and colleagues if they can recommend a reliable moving company. Word-of-mouth recommendations can often be the best way to find trustworthy movers.
  • Check credentials: Look for movers with proper licensing and insurance to operate in your state or region. You can check with the Better Business Bureau, the American Moving & Storage Association, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to verify a moving company’s credentials.
  • Get multiple estimates: Request is written estimates from several moving companies and compare them. Make sure that each estimate includes all the moving details, such as the services provided, the moving schedule, and the total cost.
  • Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions when talking to potential movers. Ask about their experience, moving process, and policies regarding packing, loading, and unloading.
  • Read the contract: Make sure to read and understand the contract before signing it. Ensure that all the moving details, including the services provided, the moving schedule, and the total cost, are clearly stated in the contract.
  • Check for hidden fees: Be cautious of movers who add hidden fees or surcharges to your bill. A reputable moving company will provide a clear and transparent estimate and not surprise you with extra charges. Safeway Moving Inc. provides you with cost-effective options with no hidden charges.
  • Look for specialty services: If you have specialty items like antiques or pianos, look for movers that offer specialty moving services. These companies will have the expertise and equipment to handle your valuable items safely and securely.

Hire Safeway Moving Inc. for Smooth Move

identifying the worst moving company is a demanding task, but taking the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim of a scam is essential. Following the tips and hacks, you can protect yourself and your belongings during your move.

If you require a trustworthy and reliable moving company, consider Safeway Moving Inc. With years of experience and a commitment to excellent customer service, we can ensure your move is successful without hiccups. Contact Safeway Moving Inc. today to hire a trustworthy moving companion.


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