Can You Spot Phoenix Moving Scammers?
In an ideal world, you can trust that any affordable Phoenix moving company you call will provide the service promised at a fair price and will give you great service. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. Instead, we live in a world where some people claim to be legitimate business people but really only have one agenda in mind: Taking as much of your money as they can.
Here are a few moving scams you might encounter:
Providing False References
It’s easy enough for any business to give you false references. All they have to do is make up some “testimonials” and post them to their website. If you ask for names and numbers, all they have to do is give you a fake name and the number of one of their employees or friends, who have been asked to provide a false reference.
The only way to trust the things that someone has to say about a business is to ask your own family and friends for their experiences or to look at third-party reviews online. Look at places like Google, Yelp and Angie’s List for moving company reviews, and check out sites like the Better Business Bureau to see if any negative reports have been filed.
Giving a Deceptive Estimate
When you shop for a trusted North Phoenix moving company, you should get at least three estimates. This will give you an idea of what kind of price range is available for your type of move. However, you shouldn’t just hire the company that offers you the lowest estimate. Often, that low estimate is deceptive, and you will end up being served a bill that is MUCH higher.
Others may give you a really low estimate just so you will make a deposit, and then they will never show up to do the move.
Always vet a company thoroughly to ensure that they have a good reputation in the community, and be sure to get your estimates in writing. Ask for an in-home estimate so that there are no excuses about why the final bill is much higher. With an in-home estimate, there shouldn’t be any surprises later.
Charging Extra Fees
One way that scammers get around looking like they are changing their pricing is that they simply charge you for extra things. For example, they may say that the estimate they provided only includes basic loading and transportation, but that the use of dollies might be extra, as could the unloading of the truck, for example. You need to be sure that you know exactly what is included in your estimate before you book the company.
This is another reason why getting a written estimate is a good idea. The written estimate will show exactly what’s included in the price so that there can be no question later. Otherwise, the mover may say, “I told you that was included!”
Asking for a High Deposit
It’s never a good idea to give a high deposit for any type of service you use. There really isn’t much incentive for unscrupulous companies to actually deliver the services they’ve promised when they already have so much of your money.
A general rule of thumb is not to pay more than 20 percent of the cost of service for your deposit. Even then, it is important that you vet the company first to know that you’re dealing with a reputable Phoenix moving company.
Operating without a License or with Unprofessional Labor
Not just anybody can perform a move. Sure, anyone can pick up a box and move it from point A to point B. But not everyone has the experience or training to understand how to package and handle all types of goods to ensure they get from point A to point B safely and without a lot of damage, including scratching.
Some moving companies might look legit, but then they show up with unskilled laborers who throw your items around or stack them haphazardly. Your goods arrive at their new location all banged up, and they are likely to be late. You’ll also get pretty poor interpersonal service from these companies.
Always check references and reviews before you hire a company, and always check to be sure their license and insurance are up-to-date. Ask the Paradise Valley moving company if it will use subcontractors for your move, and avoid those that do.
Holding Goods Hostage
One of the most outlandish moving scams is that a company will actually hold your belongings hostage until you pay more money to get them back. Sometimes, the “demand” may be a little less egregious, such as saying that your move is simply scheduled behind someone else’s but that if you want to get your things back faster, you can pay a fee to expedite the process.
Sometimes you may never even get the option to get your things back. The mover may just disappear with your things and stop taking your calls. Some may offer an explanation, like that their warehouse supposedly caught on fire, but most will just vanish without a trace.
Again, the best way to avoid this scenario is to vet a company carefully by looking up customer complaints and ensuring that the company has a long and well-known reputation in the community.
A to Z Valleywide Movers has been offering exceptional service to home and business owners throughout Phoenix for many years now. We have a well-earned reputation as one of the best moving companies in the area, and we are ready to help make your move an easier one. Our movers in Paradise Valley handle both residential and commercial moves in the 85253 area, and they have the experience and equipment to get all types of goods from one place to the next safely. Call us today to schedule an on-site estimate and find out why our service makes the difference!