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How to Avoid Being Scammed by a Mover – Part 2

If you are planning on moving this summer, you are likely feeling the pressure. For many people, moving is amongst life’s greatest stressors. Between sorting through and packing your belongings and surviving moving day, moving can feel like an overwhelming undertaking. One of the most important decisions you will make about your upcoming move is which moving company to hire (unless you are contemplating a DIY move – a topic for another article!).

The summer is the peak moving season of the year and finding a trustworthy moving company with availability on your desired moving date can be tricky. Experienced, licensed, and reputable movers are in high demand. Unfortunately, there are also rogue, inexperienced, and dishonest movers ready to scam unsuspecting professionals, families, seniors and students on their residential moves.

In Part 1 of “How to Avoid Being Scammed by a Mover”, we shared tips to help prevent you from falling victim to a moving scam or unlicensed, inexperienced movers.

In Part 2 of the series, we will provide tips for identifying a reputable, experienced, and trustworthy moving company to execute your summer or fall move.

Tips for Hiring the Right Moving Company

Which moving company you use can be the difference between a smooth-sailing, efficient move and a costly, stressful moving nightmare. It goes without saying that in order to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings, it is critical that you do your homework before committing to a moving company. If you’re planning a summer or fall move, here are a few steps you should absolutely take to make sure you are hiring a reputable, trustworthy local moving company:

  • Ensure that the moving company has a valid business license. This means that they can be legally held accountable for anything that may happen during your move, such as damages or losses. You can check to see if a company has a business license by visiting the Division of Consumer Affairs website and searching the company in question in its database.
  • Check out the moving company’s reviews and awards. These are real-life accounts of residential moves that have taken place with customers just like you. Reviews give you a glimpse into what your future may hold if you choose to use a moving company – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Check out All Jersey Moving and Storage’s client testimonials and the awards we’ve won over the years for our moving services. We work hard to ensure each and every customer is satisfied and has a seamless moving experience. At All Jersey, we also do our very best to accommodate last-minute moves and weekend moves whenever possible, as well as offer convenient containerized storage solutions.

  • Get all moving quotes and estimates in writing for your records. Quotes are typically derived by assessing factors such as hourly rate, the weight of belongings, miles traveled, or by cubic measurement. Don’t trust that the quote will be honored until both parties (you and the moving company) have signed a contract. Beware of moving estimates sound too good to be true – as they usually are.
  • Keep high-value items in your possession. It is very important to keep in mind that movers are not responsible for items considered to be of extraordinary value. It is, therefore, in your best interest to keep jewelry, money, and important documents (such as passports, birth certificates, etc.) with you during the move in a lockbox or safe. However, All Jersey Moving and Storage offers the specialized service of transporting fine art and antiques. It is also a good idea to keep irreplaceable sentimental items, such as personal photo albums and the like, in your own vehicle during the move.
  • Review your belongings once they have been unpacked in your new home. Checking your belongings upon delivery is important so you can gauge if anything was lost or damaged during the move. It is understandable to be tired after your move but make the time to do so in a timely fashion. If you notice an issue, notify your movers immediately. You are legally allowed up to 90 days from your move-in date to report any damages to your items. Remember that checking reviews and client testimonials prior to hiring a moving company helps minimize the likelihood that your belongings or home will sustain damage during the moving process.
  • Consider obtaining additional coverage. If damages are sustained to your furniture or belongings during your move, moving companies are only required to compensate $1 per pound per item that was damaged. If necessary, purchase additional coverage for items of high value. Unfortunately, you cannot always place a dollar amount on items of sentimental value, such as family heirlooms or unique keepsakes from your travels. Therefore, while it may be worthwhile purchasing additional coverage, the most important move you can make is investing time into researching trustworthy, experienced moving experience that others have successfully entrusted with their valuable belongings.

At All Jersey Moving & Storage, we have built our reputation on our dedication to caring for your items just as we would our own. In addition to typical furniture and belongings, we also specialize in moving antiques, fine art, and pianos.

Ask These Questions to Minimize Your Moving Risks

Moving companies generally fall into two main categories. There are reputable co companies that follow a strict code of ethics; handle your belongings with care; treat you with respect and consideration; and stand behind their work. Unfortunately, there are also fly-by-night operators who may seem friendly but cuts corners by hiring untrained workers without performing a background check, not packing your belongings the right way, or not being properly insured.

There are a few questions you should ask every moving company you are considering hiring for your upcoming summer or fall move:

Is your company licensed and insured?

There are many movers in New Jersey and beyond that operate illegally without a license. Often, they can be found advertising on Craigslist, Yelp, and other internet sites. The best way to avoid a moving nightmare is to only use a licensed moving company (even if the prices quoted by unlicensed movers seem difficult to pass up).

Here is why using a licensed mover is so important. To be licensed, a mover must comply with the regulations that protect you, the consumer, against unnecessary risks. If you use an unlicensed mover and there’s a problem, it is very difficult to find help to resolve your matter.

Licensed movers are required to carry insurance that protects you. Imagine for a moment if a mover carrying a heavy piece of furniture down the stairs for you slips and sustains an injury. Without Workers Compensation Insurance, you could be responsible for the mover’s medical expenses. As another example, if a mover dropped your heavy oak dressers down the stairs and caused serious damage to your residence, you would be on the hook for those costly repairs. Finally, if your uninsured mover lost or damaged valuable personal belongings, you would sadly have no recourse.

Licensed movers are required to provide you with certain information, like a written estimate, and certain paperwork and literature. Reputable movers want you to be informed. Unscrupulous movers prefer that you be uninformed, so they can take advantage of you.

Do you have trained employees who have been screened?

Unlicensed movers use day laborers without the proper training and with a-who-knows-what kind of background. A sting operation in New Jersey targeting unlicensed movers identified individuals that had outstanding warrants which included an individual with child molestation charges and others which had ties to gangs. Don’t risk your safety or that of your family by hiring a mover that doesn’t perform background checks on their employees.

Are you a member of your industry association and the Better Business Bureau?

Membership in an industry trade association demonstrates that a company is licensed and committed to continuous improvement to better serve their customers. In New Jersey, the local association is the New Jersey Warehouseman’s and Movers Association. The National Association is called AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association).

Membership in the Better Business Bureau shows a company’s commitment to ethical business practices. The BBB exists so that consumers have an unbiased source to guide them on matters of trust.

Do you have 10 or more references that I can call?

Reputable moving company will have plenty of references that you can call. If a moving company only gives you three or four, or is reluctant to provide references at all, be careful. It’s not uncommon for businesses to use their friends and relatives as references.

Do you require a large deposit?

Be very careful if you are told you must provide a large deposit to secure a moving company’s services. Reputable movers will not ask you for a large deposit. Do not under any circumstances give a large deposit. There is a very good chance that you will never see them – or your money – ever again.


Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Moving Company

There are many, many unlicensed moving companies out there vying for your business. They take advantage of the fact that a lot of people are so overwhelmed during the moving process that they do not do adequate research and consequently don’t know any better. Unlicensed movers often lure customers with their low-ball moving estimates. Ultimately, these companies cut corners to save a buck by hiring unauthorized employees, skipping out on insurance and licensing costs, or trying to swindle unsuspecting professionals and families into paying them astronomical fees through corrupt practices.

When hiring a moving company, it can be easy to be attracted to the company offering the cheapest quote. But remember, you get what you pay for. When choosing a professional, licensed, and experienced moving company, remember that you’re investing in:

  • A trustworthy moving process that ensures that all your needs are met to the best of the moving company’s abilities.
  • A specific, firm, and legally protected contract that protects your financial transaction with the moving company.
  • The safety of your belongings and peace of mind for you and your family, both of which are priceless. Remember, the employees of the moving company you hire will know your new address and where your belongings will likely be kept in your new home.
  • A competent, well-trained and trustworthy team of movers.

Skilled Labor Is Not Cheap and Cheap Labor is Not Skilled

The old adage “you get what you pay for” is absolutely true when it comes to moving companies. Unlicensed and lower caliber movers might offer to move you for a little (or a lot) less money than a reputable mover, but ask yourself – where are they cutting corners? To give you a cheaper price they might hire untrained day laborers, not carry insurance, utilize rental trucks without the proper blankets and equipment and handle your belongings with a minimum of care.

What’s more, they might demand more money after your possessions are on their truck, and you may end up paying as much or more than if you had used an honest mover with the proper labor and equipment. No amount of money is worth this misery.

Choosing a Moving Company You Can Trust

Your peace of mind during the moving process is priceless...and so are some of your possessions! Even when things go smoothly, the moving process can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming. Rather than paying a low-cost, unlicensed moving company and exposing yourself to a laundry list of unnecessary risks, invest your trust in a moving company that will safely, effectively, and legally carry out your move.

At All Jersey Moving & Storage, we do everything in our power to make the moving process stress-free. In addition to being professionally licensed and insured, our movers are experienced and we have the necessary tools to conduct moves safely and securely. We also offer affordable, competitive moving quotes.

If you are searching for a professional moving company you can really trust, contact All Jersey Moving and Storage for a free moving quote today.

Residential Moving