The Importance of In-Home Moving Estimates to Avoid Scams

Article posted by on March 22, 2024

Moving can be a significant life event, filled with anticipation and, at times, stress. This is especially true if you run into fraudulent movers. Unfortunately, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) witnessed a significant increase in moving scam complaints, with numbers soaring from 3,030 in 2015 to 7,647 by 2022. That’s precisely why choosing the right moving company is of utmost importance. A key step in this selection process is the in-home moving estimate. In this article, MovingScam will explore the importance of in-home moving estimates to avoid scams. We’ll also give you tips on what to watch out for when making this agreement with your movers.

Accuracy in quoting

Getting an accurate quote from your moving company is key when planning a move. Unlike inaccurate estimates given over the phone or online, in-home estimates allow movers to see exactly what you’re planning on moving. They can measure the size and weight of your furniture, boxes, and other items. This hands-on approach leads to more precise quoting.

person writing on a clipboard

Get an in-home estimate in order to avoid spending more than you have to.

With a more accurate quote, the chances of facing unexpected charges or price hikes drop significantly. Scammers in the moving industry often provide an unrealistically low estimate to hook you in. Then, once your belongings are loaded onto their truck, they hit you with a much higher price. It’s a common scam that catches many off guard.

Therefore, insisting on an in-home estimate puts you in a much better position to negotiate or cancel the whole ordeal entirely. This way, you get a quote based on a real assessment of your belongings, so you have a clearer idea of what you’re expected to pay. Plus, seeing movers take the time to assess your items and talking to them face-to-face can give you peace of mind.

Verification of legitimacy

Choosing a moving company means trusting a team to handle your belongings with care. It lets you see if they are as professional and legitimate as they claim to be. During an in-home estimate, notice how the movers conduct themselves and whether they’re thorough in their assessment. This matters because scammers often avoid such direct contact as it exposes them more easily. They prefer hiding behind vague emails or phone calls, which makes it harder for you to gauge their true intentions.

A legitimate moving company will value your trust

A reputable company knows the value of your trust. They will gladly visit your home, assess your needs, and provide a clear and detailed estimate. This openness is a sign of professionalism. It shows they are accountable and ready to stand by their service.

So, when a moving company agrees to an in-home estimate, see it as an opportunity. It’s your chance to judge their professionalism and legitimacy. A genuine company won’t hesitate to meet you, answer your questions, and put your mind at ease. This face-to-face interaction is a critical defense against falling for common moving scams and being caught off guard.

Opportunity for questions and clarifications

An in-home estimate is the perfect time to ask the most important questions, including:

  • How the moving process works;
  • What fees you might face;
  • How your items will be protected.

This will allow you to measure the moving company’s transparency and how quickly they respond to your concerns. Scammers often don’t want to give you too much information. They avoid answering questions directly because details can trap them later on. On the other hand, a legitimate company with nothing to hide will welcome your questions. They know that providing clear, comprehensive answers builds trust.

people signing a form and understanding the importance of in-home moving estimates to avoid scams

Clear communication and planning with your movers are important in in-home moving estimates to avoid scams.

Check whether they answer your questions clearly and confidently. Pay close attention to how they handle your questions about insurance coverage. This topic is especially important because it’ll address the safety of your belongings. A trustworthy company will explain your options and how they protect your items during the move. They’ll be clear about what’s included and what might require an additional fee.

If they’re willing to take the time to answer thoroughly and patiently, that’s a good sign. It shows they value customer service and are likely a reputable choice for your move.

Prevents low-ball estimates

Many people make the common mistake of falling for a low-ball estimate when hiring a mover. While these estimates are initially appealing due to their low cost, they often lead to a rude awakening. The price mysteriously skyrockets once your belongings are securely loaded onto the truck. This tactic is a favorite among scammers, and it leaves you in a bind at a very stressful time. In fact, out of all the moving scam complaints over the past 5 years, overcharging is the most common.

However, you can avoid this trap through an in-home estimate. This step allows the moving company to provide you with a binding estimate. It guarantees that the price they quote is the price you’ll pay unless you decide to add more items or request additional services after the estimate. This is your safeguard against price inflation.

A reputable moving company will have no problem providing a binding estimate following an in-home review, proving they’re in the business of fair and honest service. Scammers avoid this straightforward approach, banking on ambiguity and hidden charges.

Personalized service and planning

Personalized planning is exactly why you need an in-home estimate. For example, you might have items that might need extra care, like a family heirloom or a bulky piece of furniture.

guy carrying a sofa

Identifying special requirements early enables movers to provide a more accurate estimate.

An in-home estimate will allow the movers to prepare for everything upfront, from gathering the right packing materials to allocating enough time on the moving day. This thorough preparation also prevents any last-minute scrambling or unexpected issues that could delay your move or add to the cost. Less reputable companies often use this tactic to get more money out of customers. They come at you with these surprise charges at times when you feel like you have no choice but to pay.

Understanding the importance of in-home moving estimates to avoid scams

When choosing a mover, remember the importance of in-home moving estimates to avoid scams. They lead to accurate pricing, allow you to verify the company’s legitimacy, offer opportunities for questions, prevent low-ball estimates, and enable personalized service. If you decide on an in-home estimate, you protect yourself against potential scams. A reputable moving company will always be willing to conduct an in-home estimate, seeing it as an opportunity to demonstrate its value and earn your trust.

Resource:
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-boosts-efforts-crack-down-moving-fraud
https://www.newsweek.com/us-officials-announce-nationwide-crackdown-moving-company-scams-1792833