Red flags in the moving industry

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When you need to start planning for a move, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of movers there are out there. It’s even easier still to get taken advantage of if you’re not careful or you don’t know what to look out for. Luckily for you, we’re here to shed light on some of the red flags in the moving industry and show you how to make the best choice from the moving companies in Mississippi.

Some quick tip-offs you’re dealing with bad movers

Before we get into the specifics, it’s important to underline some basic warning signs that a moving company is bad for you. This helps narrow your choice faster because these examples are usually easy to spot early on.

  • license – the mover’s licensing information should be readily available online (or upon request)
  • insurance – similarly to the licensing information, you need to ask if they’re insured
  • complaints – a number of on-going complaints at the local Chamber of Commerce is a clear red flag in the moving industry
  • info is difficult to find – a blank (or expired) company website, or if they’re dodging your inquiries about them
  • upfront payment – all movers will ask for a deposit upfront but make sure it’s a reasonable amount, legit movers will never ask for upfront payment in full!

With these basic red flags out of the way, we can move on to some more specific cases that will easily help you decide on the best choice among the moving companies Jackson MS has to offer.

Pricing by volume (instead of mass) is one of the most common red flags in the moving industry

Let’s say your mover informs you over the phone that they’re charging based on the volume of your items. At first glance that might seem reasonable. After all, you know exactly how much stuff you want to move and roughly how much space everything would take up. However, agreeing to this would open you up to predatory practices of some movers. They could arrange items in the backs of their trucks in a way that would require more space than you originally thought it would and your moving price would be higher than you’d expect.

A moving box that's scarcely filled with only a few books
Some boxes may not even be filled completely, you shouldn’t get charged extra.

“We won’t do a video survey of your home” is another warning sign

It’s probably safe to assume that when you picture a 30 square-foot room, you would instinctively imagine it decorated in a way that suits your own lifestyle. This is the basis on which another way to exploit customers is built among bad moving companies. Someone who has a minimalist lifestyle, for instance, wouldn’t have as much furniture or other decorations to place in the same amount of space. If a mover company refuses to do a survey of your home before giving you a price, you have cause for concern and you should probably seek out other companies.

Simple, minimally decorated living room. Mover refusing to survey it before giving an estimate cost is a red flag in the moving industry!
Make sure your movers survey your rooms before giving you a price estimate.

Not explaining your liability options is a red light in the moving industry

Let’s be realistic for a moment. Even with the utmost care, sometimes accidents happen. No matter how gently your items are handled, no matter how slow the trucks drive – things shift around in the containers. Boxes might bounce, and unfortunately, things might break. Every professional moving company should offer two types of liability protection at your disposal:

  1. Full replacement value protection
  2. Released value protection

Full replacement value protection offers full coverage of your items, should anything break, and require repairs or replacement. This is by far the best liability protection to secure any of your valuable items. On the other hand, released value protection is minimal coverage and most movers provide it. The downside to this option is that the moving company cannot be held liable for more than 60 cents per pound on any article. Not a good deal if what happens to break is your $700, 20-pound laptop! Make sure to familiarize yourself with your protection options.

Asking you to sign blank or incomplete documents is something you’ll never experience with good movers

A good general rule in life is never to sign something that you don’t fully understand. A good moving company will never ask you to sign an incomplete document. If something like this happens to you, run for the hills (or seek other movers). Signing incomplete documents or agreements can expose you to scam. A bad moving company could fill in the blanks with whatever information is suitable for them. However, you won’t know this until after the fact. They can assume your approval because your signature is on the form. Be vigilant, read everything they ask you to sign. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to. Just make sure you understand what you’re signing. It’ll save you a lot of headaches in the long run!

An agreement being signed by a customer
Make sure you’ve read and fully understood everything before signing!

Don’t be fooled by a “guaranteed” price

Another clear danger sign in the moving industry is this notion of a “guaranteed” price. Moving is a business full of variables, and there’s rarely room for guarantees. But some bad movers will still offer you a flat rate for services rendered. They do this to prey on your willingness to pay a price agreed upon beforehand. However, as we’ve established, there are no constants in the moving industry. The movers will start inflating your “guaranteed” number for dumbest reasons. Does your house have stairs? Tack on a fee. Do they have to park their trucks too far from your house? That’s a little extra! Did you want to add another box at the last minute? Your price increases again. A good moving company will charge you per pound of what you want to move. This puts you in control of what gets loaded. And your final price varies accordingly.

Hopefully, we’ve managed to shed some light on some of the clear red flags in the moving industry. The moving industry is not without its share of bad practices. But with a little care, you can stay one step ahead and protect yourself.