When doing research about other moving companies and the industry in general, I sometimes stumble upon online journals, blogs and chats dedicated to a horrible moving experience.  Moving scams are so common there is even a website devoted to outing these rogue movers (http://www.movingscams.com).  What is surprising is that there are several really obvious – large neon sign – warnings that customers choose to look over when shopping around.  Here are the top 5 signs you have hired a rogue mover:

  1. You found your mover on craigslist – Hiring a mover off of craigslist is dangerous.  In all the years I have browsed moving ads on craigslist, I have never seen a “reputable” moving company.  What do I mean by reputable?  Well lets just say, none of them have good ratings with BBB, none of them are members of CAM(Canadian Association of Movers) and few of them actually have physical locations were they operate their business.  The other red flag about movers on craigslist is that they operate under different names.  Just take the phone number in the ad and search it on google.
  2. You didn’t get a written estimate – An email is not a professional way to deliver an estimate for a move.  Make sure you get something in writing that outlines all of the charges.
  3. If you buy now, you get it for the low price of $55/hr – I know everyone wants to believe this is possible but its not.  Good movers cost money and running a proper moving operation is expensive.  Anyone that has the proper insurance (both liability and wsib), has decent quality and a sufficient amount of equipment and has legal employees can’t operate a moving business on $55/hr.  That is why you will find yourself on the back end paying extra fees and charges.
  4. They haven’t done an in-home or retrieved a list of your inventory – I don’t know how a move can be estimated based on size of home.  Being a moving company, we know this is impossible.  It is time consuming and sometimes inconvenient to have someone at your home for an estimate or to complete lengthy forms to give your moving company a fighting chance to accurately estimate your move but it is impossible to do so without either.  The equation for successful moving is simple; the more time you invest before your move to prepare and plan, the less time you spend after your move unpacking and moving on.
  5. Your mover is hard to get a hold of leading up to the move – Being accessible is an absolute must as a mover.  Planning and executing a move is difficult because of all the “moving” parts (get it…moving).  This is why it is critical to be able to get in touch with your moving consultant/coordinator or the operations team during office hours without any delays.

If you want to have a smooth move, don’t ignore these 5 things.  Hail Mary’s with a $55/hr moving company often don’t end too well.  There are tones of horror stories online from people that chose their movers without doing enough research.  Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality mover.  Don’t find yourself on tomorrow’s front page of movingscams.com!

Happy Moving!