5 Red Flags to Avoid with Moving Companies

Moving is a difficult task in itself. You want to do everything you can to alleviate the stress and pressure that often accompanies the process. Choosing to undertake the move yourself is definitely an option, but hiring a moving company is well worth it as it handles the heavy lifting and transportation of all of your worldly belongings.

There are many moving companies out there more than willing to assist you on moving day, but being attentive to these red flags will help you in steering clear of ones that would make the process a complete disaster.

1. No assessment

It is imperative for a moving company to attend your home so they are aware of how much stuff needs to be moved, if any additional materials are needed, and the time that should be allotted for the job.

If no assessment is completed, once the company starts the job they may decide that they undercharged you and choose to add on additional fees upon completion. After the assessment, get a quote that includes the total cost and make sure both parties sign a contract agreeing to the cost of the job.

2. Demand high deposit or payment in full

It is not unheard of moving companies requesting a deposit for a moving job, but none should be above 10 percent of the total job cost. Under no circumstances should a company require you to pay the total amount of the job in full so if this happens to you, do not consider hiring them.

You would be disappointed to say the least if you paid the company in full and they do not show on moving day. If you do end up paying a deposit, request a receipt showing the amount you paid and confirm that it is taken off the total amount. That way you have proof if any disagreements arise later on.

3. No proof of insurance

All legitimate moving companies must be insured and be able to provide proof when requested. If this request is denied, it probably means the company is not insured. If you hire a company without valid insurance, there will be no recourse if anything happens to your belongings.

Also, if one of the movers sustains an injury and is not covered by insurance, they may pursue a lawsuit against you seeking damages.

4. Low estimate

Securing an estimate that fits into your budget is always a main objective, but be cautious of the ones that are significantly lower. When searching for a moving company, select at least three to consider. If one of the companies is way lower than the others, you need to entertain the possibility that they are inexperienced and may end up charging you more later in the form of additional or hidden charges.

If you are insistent on hiring the company with the lower rate, get the total cost written into a contract to prevent any misunderstandings when the job is completed.

5. No concrete presence

Any person or group can put up an ad on a classified ad website advertising moving services. You want a company that has an official website complete with contact information. The company that you hire should also have a physical office that you can call with any questions. It is beneficial to go to the office and see how they operate too. A run-down, disorganized office with rude staff portrays an image of a company that may not do the best job for you.

A company with no office at all should not be hired; you want somewhere to go with any questions or concerns before and after the move. Having no official office makes it easier to dodge you.

Kelly Young is a writer born and raised in Toronto. Proud of her simple and cozy life, a perfect evening for Kelly would be to snuggle up in bed with her cat and a well-written historic memoir.