U.S. News & World Report recently highlighted three warning signs when choosing a moving company:

1. The price is significantly lower than competitors
Don’t just go with the cheapest quote. You may want a deal, but carefully consider what’s behind that lower-priced quote from a moving company, especially if it’s 20 to 30 percent lower than other offers.

“While finding an affordable mover doesn’t mean you’re about to get scammed, if you feel like you’ve landed an unbelievable deal, it probably is unbelievable,” U.S. News & World Report notes. The quote may be lower at first, but some consumers complain that prices mysteriously triple on moving day, items are stolen or missing, or they find lots of damage.

2. The required deposit is high
Movers may ask for a deposit fee, but that fee shouldn’t be above 10 percent of the job cost, says T.J. Peterson, social media coordinator for Oz Moving and Storage, based in New York. Oz Moving and Storage, as comparison, charges a flat $50 deposit.

“It’s not unreasonable for a mover to ask for a deposit of $100 or $200 to cover their costs if you change your mind, but if a mover wants more upfront – like 25 percent of the cost of the move – don’t pay it,” warns Nancy Conner in her book, Buying a Home: The Missing Manual.

3. There’s very little information about the company
Finding a moving company in the Yellow Pages may provide some assurance that it’s legit since it’s advertising there, but don’t assume by just an ad. To check if the company is reputable, ask for its Department of Transportation numbers.

“If a company cannot prove [it is] registered with the state and United States Department of Transportation, that’s a warning sign,” Peterson told U.S. News & World Report. Also, consumers should be leery of any company that doesn’t have a Better Business Bureau profile or no reviews.

“A few hiccups for any reputable company is not a warning sign,” Peterson says. “It is an inevitable side effect of being in business.” But nothing about the company should be more of a warning sign.

Source: “3 Signs of a Bad Moving Company,” U.S. News & World Report (Feb. 26, 2016)

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