We all love to move stress-free. And the best way to attain that is to assign a moving company the entire task. However, you need to be highly cautious while hiring a moving company because there are many red flags in the industry. Let me tell you about an incident that happened to me last year. I hired a moving company in Rhode Island to relocate the home and later realized it was not a reliable one but had many grey shades on it. Luckily, I jumped out of the deal before signing the moving company quote. You may not be lucky every time. As I got saved from the mover in Rhode Island before becoming a victim of lowball moving, I think you too should be aware of this common and notorious moving scam. Hope after reading this, you will be extra careful while dealing with a mover.
What is a lowball estimate?
A lowball estimate is an unrealistically low moving company quote that a mover use to allure customers. Most often, you fall prey to this scam and sign a contract. However, on a moving day, you will be shocked to realize that the final bill will be different, an amount much higher than what you were told. This is a trap where the moving company would charge doubled or tripled the amount by the end of the moving.
1. How to spot lowball estimates?
You must realize the scammers before falling prey to them. Here are a few tips to follow.
2. Has the company seen the actual belongings?
A moving representative needs to visit your home to take a stock of the entire belongings before offering you the final moving company quote. Has the mover visited you? Or did they instruct you to access your items via video or photos? If the answer is no, beware, you are dealing with a rogue company and it is a lowball estimate. Before providing the final moving cost estimate, the company needs to consider all factors including stairs, elevators, and parking rules. In your case, this hasn’t happened.
3. Do not accept estimates over call
A genuine moving company gives you a written record of the estimate. If you have not received one, put a halt to the deal. You are not dealing with a reliable mover. In my case, my mover in Rhode Island did not offer me one. And that’s how I realized that I am getting trapped.
4. Is the quote unbelievably low?
Do not fall into the trap of unbelievably low cost. When you receive a moving company quote, read thoroughly to understand what is included and what is not. You need to confirm that the moving company has considered the factors such as gas, labor fees, or other things you assume are required. If you feel something is left out then you need to cross-check with the mover, why it is missing.
5. Is the Estimate Non-binding?
Is the moving quote a non-binding one? Walk out of it without thinking twice. It’s a trap waiting for you. A non-binding moving cost estimate is notorious as it would not be the final but may change depending upon the actual weight of your belongings.
What to do if you receive a lowball estimate?
When you doubt that you are dealing with a rogue mover and what you’ve received is a low ball estimate, you need to
- Take quotes from other movers
- Research on the moving company
- Raise questions till you are satisfied
Low ball estimates are notoriously common. But that does not mean that all moving companies are unreliable. Research a little about the moving companies and it is sure that you will eschew such scams unscathed.