You may have heard about a recent incident where a person who used moving services to transport a bike fell victim to a moving scam. The person hired moving services impersonating themselves as a reputable moving service. Later, when the movers started charging him extra money to carry his bike, he launched a lawsuit against them and attracted the attention of numerous publications and media.
These kinds of incidents make customers lose faith in moving businesses. Most of the time, these scams target ignorant, uneducated individuals. However, 5–6 million migrants, relocate to or from India each year. In order to prevent moving scams, it is necessary to educate the public on how to choose reliable relocation services.
Avoid moving scams by following these tips
1. Document Verification
Every reputable and trustworthy provider of house-shifting services will be licensed and registered. They would have legal documents papers like a GST certificate, business PAN card, license, etc. Before scheduling a relocation, you should inquire about these specifics and check their documentation.
2. Visit their Office
Scammers won’t even have the necessary tools or labor to finish the relocation process because they won’t have a valid address. Visit the moving company’s office once in order for you to confirm their reliability. Ask them questions and observe how professionally they behave when you meet them in person.
3. IBA-approved Moving services
IBA-approved or Indian Bank association-certified packers and movers are more trustworthy. The legitimacy of the movers’ services is determined by the codes that IBA provides. Most of the businesses that have received IBA approval are registered and licensed. IBA-approved movers also have staff that have extensive training, and these businesses have a network spanning the entire nation.
4. Get free quotation
Verified packers and movers available online offer free moving quotes. Getting a free estimate is better because then, you can see what services they offer and their charges. Low moving costs and unrealistic promises will give you red flags. It is because cheap rates are bait set up by fraudster companies.
5. Moving quote in written form
Getting a moving quote on a mobile is not very convenient. Therefore, it is crucial to ask the moving services to give you quotations in writing. This way, you can get a detailed quotation and, you can check it thoroughly to save yourself from hidden charges later. Another benefit of having a written moving quote is that you and the company will bind in a deal. And if anything goes against the deal then you can claim a complaint against it.
6. Avoid making full payment in advance
It’s risky to pay the full payment before the complete relocation. The reason is if the moving services by any chance is a fraud or involved in malpractice will run away with money and belongings. To prevent yourself from scams by packers and movers, always consider paying some amount before the move. Give the full payment only after your stuff reaches the new house.
7. Avoid cash payment
It is not secure to make a cash payment to packers and movers. These days digital mode of payment is not only secure but also beneficial in case you fell victim to a moving scam. When you make the online payment then the amount goes into the mover’s bank account directly. Hence, it becomes easy to trace the bank details of the scammers and take necessary action against them.
8. Hidden charges
To prevent yourself from paying more, you must ask the packers and movers directly about the hidden charges. Or you ask the packers and movers to share the proper invoice and a contract where you can read and check the terms and conditions, as well as about hidden charges if present.
9. Ask necessary questions
Don’t be confused! Even if you have a simple question or about the house shifting services then ask the service provider.
On the basis of answers you get to your questions, you can judge the moving services. If their team is gentle and answers your every question patiently then it’s a good sign. You should inquire about the following with the moving service providers:
- Do you offer transit insurance?
- How did you arrive at this cost?
- What if you delay the delivery?
10. Pre-moving survey
A genuine packer and movers will come to your house and survey it before preparing a quotation. This process is necessary as then you can express all your relocation requirements in detail and make a list of inventory in detail for the move. Hence, Avoid hiring movers who do not survey the house before preparing the moving quote.
Professional packers and movers know the value of your belongings and to give better relocation services, they also offer insurance coverage. Insurance is to ensure your items won’t be damaged during transport and an assurance that if items are damaged then you get compensation for the same.
12. Company-Owned Vehicles
Expert movers have their own vehicles. Therefore, unmarked vehicles are an indication of fraudulent moving services. Having rental trucks for transportation is also very dangerous as there is a risk of theft. Hence, choose packers and movers who have their vehicle with their company’s name on it.
13. Keep the conversation short on the phone
The telephonic conversation is not always suitable for hiring relocation companies. If possible, try to keep the conversation short on the phone and fix the time and date to visit the moving services. During the face-to-face conversation, you can tell all relocation requirements, the type of packing you prefer, etc.
14. End-to-End relocation services
A reliable relocation service provider will offer end-to-end relocation services. That means they will take care of all the steps- packing, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking, and rearranging items.
15. Check brand name
Many packers and movers impersonate the branded companies. These companies will have websites somewhat similar to real brands, with a little difference in name. E.g. Brand Agarwal is copied by other movers who have their name Agrawal, agarawal, etc. Therefore, you must check the background of the company before the hiring process.
16. Check customer ratings and reviews
The feedback and ratings by customers are another important way to differentiate reliable packers and movers from unreliable ones. Apart from google ratings check social media reviews, or check reviews on authentic websites such as UrbanClap, mouth shut, etc.
17. Check social media presence
There will hardly be any company that doesn’t have a page on social media like Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. It is easy to know about packers and movers and their services after checking their social media pages. Check if the customers have posted some reviews on the page and if these reviews are genuine. If the company doesn’t have any social media presence then don’t hire them and look for better options.
18. Ask references
It is better to request a reference from a reliable source if you want to be on the safe side and avoid relocation fraud. Ask your family members who have recently moved into their home if they can recommend the company and share further details about their experience.
So now moving scams are no longer a concern as you now know how to hire a reliable relocation service. Just keep in mind that spending some time on research can save you from scams. Hence, take your time and do your homework properly before hiring any packers and movers.