Rogue movers typically work like this: Without ever visiting your home or seeing the goods you want moved, they give a low-ball estimate over the phone or Internet. Once your goods are on their truck, they demand more money before they'll deliver or unload them. They hold your goods hostage and force you to pay more—sometimes much more than you thought you had agreed to—if you want your possessions back.
Your best defense is to recognize a rogue mover before they have your goods. Here are the "red flags" to look out for:
- The mover doesn't offer or agree to an on-site inspection of your household goods and gives an estimate over the phone or Internet—sight-unseen. These estimates often sound too good-to-be-true. They usually are.
- The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move.
- The mover doesn't provide you with a copy of "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move," a booklet movers are required by Federal regulations to supply to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves.
- The company's Web site has no local address and no information about licensing or insurance.
- The mover claims all goods are covered by their insurance.
- When you call the mover, the telephone is answered with a generic "Movers" or "Moving company," rather than the company's name.
- Offices and warehouse are in poor condition or nonexistent.
- On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned and marked fleet truck.
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