Avoiding Moving Scams In NYC: What To Watch Out For

Avoiding Moving Scams In NYC: What To Watch Out For

Avoiding Moving Scams In NYC: What To Watch Out For

Moving is already hectic enough in New York City, but the sad reality is that there are unscrupulous companies out there whose predatory practices make the situation worse. There are plenty of fraudsters whose moving scams cheat honest New Yorkers out of valuable time and money. When you hire so-called “professional movers,” you should get what you expect: honest work that reduces the stress of going from one address to the other. 

So, what are the main moving company scams you need to watch out for, and how can you safeguard your bank account (and your sanity) from them? Let’s take a look. 

The Top 5 Most Common NYC Moving Scams

  1. Low-Ball Estimates: One of the most prevalent moving scams involves receiving a low-ball estimate from a moving company, only to be hit with significantly higher charges later. This foot-in-the-door tactic can leave customers cheated and financially burdened – certainly, the last thing you want to deal with on moving day.
  1. Cash-Only Services: The movers doing the heavy lifting might appreciate a well-deserved cash tip. But if their company only accepts cash for the whole job, something shady might be going on. Maybe they aren’t outright committing moving fraud, but not accepting credit cards or electronic payments in an era when that’s increasingly the norm could signal that something disreputable is going on.
  1. Incomplete or Suspicious/Confusing Paperwork: Do not sign any contract or paperwork that you don’t understand or that the moving company will fill out later. Your signature is binding. Make sure you’re clear on what’s in the contract. And never sign paperwork that’s incomplete, or you may be handing the company a blank check for a moving scam. 
  1. Unlicensed or Uninsured Movers: Rogue moving companies may operate without the necessary licenses or insurance, putting your belongings at risk of damage or loss. It’s vital to verify a company’s credentials before hiring them. Don’t expose yourself to moving fraud and potentially hefty financial liability! 
  1. Business Name Changes: This one is harder to detect, and on the surface, a company that changes its name isn’t doing anything inherently wrong. However, there are cases where companies will change their name regularly so that they can continue to get away with poor services that amount to moving scams without having to worry about negative reviews or swindled customers having an easy way to track them down. Just use your best judgment on this one. 
  1. Hidden Fees: Some movers may tack on additional charges for services that were not disclosed upfront, such as stair fees or fees for bulky items. Always read the moving contract carefully and ask for clarification on any unclear terms or fees.
  1. Bait-and-Switch Tactics: Dishonest movers may promise certain services or conditions during the booking process but fail to deliver on those promises on moving day. Unfortunately, these moving company scams leave too many New Yorkers in the lurch when they realize they didn’t get what they paid for. 
  1. Holding Belongings Hostage: Perhaps one of the most egregious moving scams involves movers refusing to unload your belongings until you pay additional fees that were not part of the original agreement. Refuse to sign any documents or pay additional fees until your belongings have been delivered and inspected.

How to Avoid Moving Scams

  • Research Thoroughly: Before hiring a moving company, do your research. Read online reviews, check references, and verify the company’s credentials. Consult resources like the Better Business Bureau. Choose a company with a track record of professionalism and customer satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to ask around for recommendations – sometimes, word-of-mouth referrals are the best endorsement a company can receive. 
  • Get Everything in Writing: Never rely on verbal agreements. Get all agreements, promises, and estimates in writing, including services provided, delivery timelines, and payment terms. Honest moving companies will have no problem with clearly stating the terms of your agreement in writing. 

Again, never sign any contract or paperwork unless the forms are completely filled out and the terms are completely clear to you

  • Avoid Paying Large Deposits: Be cautious of a mover who demands large deposits (over 25% of the total estimated cost). One of the tell-tale signs of any scam is an unreasonable deposit or a request for upfront payment in full. Instead, agree to a fair deposit, or ask if the moving company offers payment upon delivery or after services have been completed satisfactorily. 

Staying Safe from Moving Company Scams with Bennett Movers

At Bennett Movers, we understand the concerns and challenges of moving in New York City. With over 25 years of experience in residential moving and eviction moves, we pride ourselves on providing honest and reliable service to our customers. Our team is fully licensed and insured, and we believe in transparency every step of the way. From accurate estimates to professional handling of your belongings, you can trust Bennett Movers to make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Choose us when you’re looking for honest moving companies you can count on. 

Ready to Schedule Your Next Move in New York or Northern New Jersey?
Protect yourself from moving scams – go with Bennett Movers when you’re getting ready to relocate. When you call the pros at Bennett Movers, you can rest assured that you’re getting a straightforward team that’s dedicated to your complete satisfaction. Honest service that safely gets your possessions from Point A to Point B is the hallmark of our company. Contact us today to schedule your next move and experience the difference that our commitment to excellent customer service makes.

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