Working in Windsor real estate, we unfortunately hear about moving scams. Nothing is more alarming that when a moving company, with a shady reputation, demands more money while holding your belongings hostage. Despite the fact that you agreed on a fixed price, movers have been known to change the price based on “extras” that they claim they didn’t see coming.
So how can you protect yourself against those who prey on unsuspecting customers who feel they have done everything correctly, but are still facing huge financial losses? The key is to be proactive. Here are some of our suggestions:
1. Ask your Windsor real estate agent for recommendations. If we have heard of a company who has questionable practices, we will let you know.
2. Don’t hire over the phone. Whatever you do, make sure the movers visit your home and physically go over what has to be moved. Companies will spend at least half an hour answering any questions you may have. Be cautious if you hire a company over the Internet.
3. Get three estimates. Like buying a car, or getting a repair quote, take your time and get three good estimates. If one quote is very low from the other two, the warning signs should start flashing.
4. Insist that a contract cover all. Carefully go over the contract line by line. Make sure everything is included, like all charges, and agreed upon services.
5. Check the claims procedure. Hopefully, this won’t be needed, however, accidents happen. Find out if a company has a claims department within their company. If not, do they hire a third party? Do you go directly to their insurance company? Get the specifics.
6. Examine their transportation: Does it look like the moving trucks are well cared for? If you see a truck in bad condition, just imagine how your furniture may look once it’s delivered.
7. Don’t pay much upfront. Other than a deposit (which varies but should never be much), you should never pay the total bill before the movers show up. And if they ask for cash only, run away.