Moving Red Flags: 5 Signs You’re Working With Bad Movers

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When you decide to relocate to a new home, what’s the first thing you do? That’s right – start thinking about hiring a moving company. And this is definitely the right thing to do. Moving can get pretty complicated and frustrating, so having professionals by you side helps. When your relocation is handled by people who know what they’re doing, that definitely reduces stress during the move. On the other hand, though – you need to know how to avoid bad and fraudulent moving companies. Which is why we’ve decided to give you a few tips on recognizing the signs you’re working with bad movers!

Negative online reviews are among the signs you’re working with bad movers

Okay, so you decide to hire a moving company to help you out with your relocation. How do you go about doing that and finding the right company? Obviously, in this day and age – you utilize the power of the Internet! These days, you can use platforms like Yelp to find reviews on every service provider you can think of, so why not moving companies? And obviously, what you’re looking for here is positive customer feedback. Sure, some people leave bad online reviews for no reason, or for petty things, but if a company has consistently bad reviews across the board, that’s one of the signs you’re working with bad movers.

Still, make sure not to rush to any conclusions. And, in this case, we primarily mean not reaching a conclusion solely based on a numbered grade, or a low star review. Make sure to actually read the experiences people have had with any particular company. That way, not only will you know if their experiences are useful for your situation, but you’ll also know what to avoid in the future.

a laptop on a table, where you can recognize signs you're working with band movers
Make sure to read online reviews before choosing a moving company!

A lack of transparency

Of course, simply looking at online reviews is not enough, in most cases. If you want to check out any trace of signs you’re working with bad movers, you have to go a bit deeper. And bear in mind, this is true regardless of what kind of moving service you’re looking for. Even if you are looking for storage solutions, for example, and not a full-fledged relocation, you should still be careful. And one of the biggest red flags when it comes to moving companies is a lack of transparency of information on them.

So, first and foremost, check to see if the company that you’ll potentially hire is registered at all. Trust us, this is crucial; the first thing any reputable movers would do is register their company. And this is important for you as well because that’s your only guarantee that your items will be relocated safely to your desired destination.

Their demeanor is sketchy

Let’s face it, when it comes to hiring someone to do a job for you, there’s one thing that’s absolutely crucial – first-hand contact. Sure, you can do plenty of research online, and you can ask around all you want, but at the end of the day, there’s really nothing that’s more important than your own personal impression. That’s one of the main ways you’ll spot signs you’re working with bad movers.

So, to surmise – don’t forget to interview your potential movers thoroughly. Ask them as many questions about their jobs and their methods as you can think of. Reputable, registered movers will have no problems answering all of them – that’s their livelihood, after all. On the other hand, uneasy, unsure answers and sketchy behavior are definite red flags, so stay away from moving teams that exhibit them. If you pass on them, chances are high that you’re avoiding fraudulent movers.

People having a business meeting while drinking ice tea.
Don’t forget to interview your movers thoroughly!

Unrealistic estimates

So, if you’ve talked to a few different moving companies, what’s the next step? Generally, you should examine the moving estimates they’ve given you. Remember – if you want to pick the right moving company, storage unit or furniture movers, it’s important to have plenty of choices available. Which is why we recommend asking for written moving estimates from no less than four or three different movers. This is a move that grants you the opportunity to think long and hard, proceeding to make an informed choice in the end.

But how does a moving estimate help you spot shady movers? Well, once you take a look at all the different services they all offer and their prices, you may notice a large discrepancy somewhere. In comparison with legitimate, reputable movers, ridiculously cheap estimates are one of the signs you’re working for bad movers. Which is why it pays to have a few other estimates to compare them to, in order to know what the market average is.

Suspicious details

While there are many signs you’re working with bad movers that we’ve listed above, these are mostly bigger, major things you should be wary of in general. But just as often, people may run into a fraudulent moving company that’s less obvious in its misgivings. In this case, the devil is in the details, literally. So, be wary of small things like:

  • Lack of a logo – In most cases, reputable movers like to advertise their company with every opportunity, which is only natural because they’ve got nothing to hide. But if you see that a company has unmarked vans and trucks with no clear insignia, that’s something to be wary of.
  • Bad estimate – In most cases, the cost of your relocation will depend on the weight of the shipment. So, before giving an estimate, reputable movers come to your home and do a visual estimate. If they fail to do this, you’re bound to receive an inaccurate estimate.
  • A large deposit – If the moving company asks you to pay a huge deposit upfront, you should know that this isn’t standard practice, and avoiding that company is probably a good idea.
A pile of one-dollar bills.
If movers are asking for a very large deposit – avoid that company!
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