How to Recognize Miami Moving Scams
Every year there are more than 40 million moves happening all over the country, according to the U. S. Department of Transportation. It’s no wonder that some of them sometimes go awry. Even though the majority of moves goes smoothly, the number of complaints against the moving companies has increased in the recent years. This is why you need to protect yourself against Miami moving scams. The first step in this process is getting to know the red flags that often occur when dealing with scammers. In this article, we outline major things to watch out for when moving to or from Miami.
Companies give weird information in Miami moving scams
The first red flag when dealing with Miami moving scams is that something in the information the moving company gives you just seems off. Whether it is their name, the attitude towards their clients or they not giving you sufficient information when asking questions. In these cases, it’s probably wise to switch to a more reliable Miami movers. It’s always a great idea to check them out on the Better Business Bureau website.
Constantly changing the name
However, some Miami scammers often try to avoid the Better Business Bureau and similar scam-busters by constantly changing their name. When picking a moving company, make sure they have a local address as well as licensing and insurance. Make sure you get the DBA (“does business as”) names of the company and check those out online. Your realtor should also know about professional, respectable companies.
Ask for at least three recent references
When talking with a company representative, ask for at least three references. Make sure these are moves that have happened recently (in the past 3-6 months) and make sure you call them. Be very specific when asking references questions about their move. A good question to ask would be “What is the major thing you were unsatisfied with during the move?”
Always ask for an on-site estimation
The company needs to give you a cost estimation before signing the contract. Offering to give you an estimation over the phone should raise a red flag for you. Be careful – some scammers even come to an on-site estimation. However, thorough estimations don’t happen in Miami moving scams. They will just walk through your house, not opening cupboards or boxes. A reliable moving company estimator will look into everything you have and will ask you questions about what you plan to move and what you plan to sell. This also means you need to give the estimator as much information about your things as you can.
If the prices are weird, it could be one of Miami moving scams
The majority of Miami moving scams revolves around money. The scammers can ask for more money than estimated, will raise their price through the moving process, or some can even “kidnap” your things until you pay them a staggering amount of money. This is why you need to be careful when dealing with money and contracts.
Avoid extra fees
Always ask if there will be any other fees that are not mentioned in the package offered. Try to think about unexpected “obstacles” and difficulties the movers will have to face. If you’re living on the tenth floor – tell them. If your street is too thin for a moving truck – tell them. Talk to the company representative about these so that the check doesn’t surprise you when it arrives.
If they ask for a deposit it could be one of Miami moving scams
The reliable companies will usually ask you to pay within thirty days of delivering your things. If a company asks for you to give them a money deposit prior to doing the work – you should get suspicious. The company is also required by federal law to give you the booklet called “Your Right and Responsibilities When You Move” while in the planning stages, so this can also raise a red flag.
Ask about how they pack items
You will have to pay a little extra if the movers are packing your things. Here, scammers can charge extra for a job they do badly. They can be careless about your things or use overprized materials and boxes when packing. Ask about the ways they do the packing when contacting the moving company. You can find ways to get free moving boxes in Miami easily, so consider this option.
Different insurance and valuation protections
All moving companies are required to assume liability for the things they are packing and transporting. However, there are two types of value protections which you can read about in the booklet. There is a full (or replacement) value protection, which costs significantly more than the other one. Nevertheless, the company here has to either repair or replace the items they damage during the move or pay you to do this yourself.
On the other hand, there is the alternate level of liability, with the released value of 60 cents per pound per item. This costs less than the full value protection, but it’s not worth it. Let’s say there’s damage to your 10 pounds $1000 TV. You will only get $6.00 reimbursement for the damages, which is basically nothing.
This is why you always need to be careful when signing documents with the moving company.
Reading carefully what you sign helps when dealing with Miami moving scams
Never sign a blank contract
If they offer you a blank contract, then know you are dealing with Miami moving scammers. A reliable mover doesn’t do business with a handshake. The company needs to give you a contract that details everything they are moving. Don’t settle for “office supplies” when moving a valuable laptop or computer equipment with you. You can’t ask for your items if they are not on the inventory list. Think about what you can’t lose, and make sure it’s in the contract. Also, make sure what kind of value protection is in the contract.
Read the fine print
Be sure to read the contract top to bottom. Yes, that includes the fine print. Sometimes you may think that you are getting the legal, binding estimate (where the company can’t charge you more than the estimated) when in the fine print it is stated this only applies if your items don’t surpass the weight estimate. Make sure you understand everything clearly and agree with it before signing.
Hopefully, this guide was informative enough to ensure a stress-free Florida move. Good luck!