21 Dec

Hiring Rogue Movers – A bad idea from the start

  • By: Ivan Catudan
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Hiring Rogue Movers – A bad idea from the start

Not all movers are created equal. You need to make sure you use a properly licensed and insured mover preferably one with at least a few years of experience, a viable office location and willing to put everything in writing.

As an established, professional, San Diego moving company, McCarthy Transfer & Storage wants not just the customers we assist with moving but all people looking to move to avoid being scammed.

Rogue movers are unlicensed uninsured frequently inexperienced moving companies that typically advertise on sites like Craigslist but many run ads in your local newspaper or have profiles on reputable review sites such as Yelp and Kudzu. Sometimes an online move broker will also contract moves out to these rogue movers. Protect yourself from the start and research the company that you are going to hire for your move.

In 2009, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received more than 8,400 complaints from consumers who had fallen prey to dishonest and sometimes unlicensed moving companies. The complaints were primarily about damaged or lost goods and final prices in excess of original estimates.

When you call the phone number the phone is answered with a generic “movers” or “moving company” instead of an official company name. Ask them specifically about their company name, location and any licensing information.

Rogue movers will give a low ball estimate over the phone without doing an in-home inspection of the household goods to be moved or even taking an inventory over the phone. This types of movers will often base the move cost on cubic feet versus actual weight of your shipment. Long distance moving should be based on the actual or estimated weight not how much room your belongings will take up in the truck.

Rogue movers will often hold your possessions hostage demanding a much higher payment than agreed upon or add costs for non-tangible items such as credit card processing or a brokers fee. Rogue movers also have no resources available if you need to file a claim on damages.

Be careful of the bait and switch. This may happen even when using a legal mover. This is one of the many reasons to have an in-home estimate preformed prior to your move. The bait and switch occurs on move day. Your mover sends out or recommends too few movers that are needed. The movers arrive and say they need one or two more bodies to do your move. Next thing you know you are paying anywhere from $30 to $50 per hour for your move. Do not choose your move based solely on price or you will be sorely disappointed.

Rogue movers don’t provide you with a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, a booklet they’re required by law to supply to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves. California movers providing local or intrastate moving will provide you with a booklet called, Important Information for Persons Moving Household Goods (within California).

Check out the movers’ website. Do they have a physical location in your area that you can visit? Is there licensing information listed? In California, all licensed movers MUST put there Public Utilities Commission (PUC) number on all advertising and trucks. The license can be verified by visiting the PUC website.

Rogue movers will often ask for a large deposit up front. This is a HUGE red flag. A small deposit for a local move is generally okay. This is an implied contract showing that you and the mover have agreed to do business together. Local moves are paid at the end of the work day and in California are based on an hourly rate. Major van lines that move you cross country will not require a deposit and will let you know your final cost prior to delivery of your household goods. Payment for long distance moving is based on the weight of your possessions shipped, the distance and any accessorial services such as packing. These moves are paid after accessorial services are rendered but prior to final delivery.

Do your homework. Research the moving company you are dealing with. Check out your state business services and verify the address and how many years they have been in business. Verify their standing with the Better Business Bureau and check out any complaints. If moving cross country, Go to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) site for licensing and insurance information. Check out their local Yelp reviews.

Get it in writing. Is the estimate you got over the phone to good to be true. Make sure you get everything in writing.

McCarthy Transfer & Storage is a fully licensed and insured mover with over 92 years of experience in the moving industry. Whether you are moving locally within San Diego, across the country or to the other side of the world, we will work with you to make sure you have a stress free moving experience. Call us today to schedule a FREE in-home estimate 1-800-896-2594.

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