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Tips to Avoid Getting Ripped-off by Moving Companies

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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
With the increasing foreclosure homes, many are moving out and are unfortunately getting scammed by moving companies. In fact, there were 3,000 consumer complaints filed against interstate movers last year. Read on to help protect your self against these scammers.

Know the scam. A classic scam involves hostage-taking. The company gives an initially low estimate to secure a client, and would later hike up the moving quote when items have already been loaded. The shipment is held hostage until clients pay.

Know your rights. When additional weights or services increase the price of moving, interstate moving services are required by federal law to release belongings once 100 percent of the charges in a binding estimate or 110 percent of a non-binding estimate has been paid. Also, clients should never be asked to pay for upfront deposits. Read the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet which should be provided by the company.

Visit personally. Tim Walker, once-victim of dishonest movers, and who now maintains his own site to guide clients against scammers says that home owners should not hire from the internet. The virtual superhighway is good for research, but face-to-face communication is better in securing a deal.

Ask for referrals. Local real estate agents, friends, and family are the best people to ask for referrals.

Look around. Get a written moving quote from at least three companies. This should be done personally and not over the phone. One may opt for a non-binding estimate which approximates expenses based on the shipment’s weight and other services. Another option is a binding estimate which ensures that the final bill cannot exceed the quoted estimate.

Be open. Discuss essential details about the move with the company representative. Clarify valuation protection and company’s policies on settling claims.

All in all, it pays to be cautious when making a deal with moving companies. Once satisfied with a service however, spread the word and help other home buyers ensure themselves of a stress-free move.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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