Moving to a different house needs a lot of planning and arrangements. It can be such a tiring job that we would agree to whatever the removal company says and carry on with our works. “What’s the worst that can happen?”- you may ask. Think twice cause many things which you’ve only dreamt of are bound to happen. Most of the removal companies are legit, but there are some you need to beware of. Let us see in detail the usual scams which are likely to be carried out by any removal company in N18
- Escape with goods
It is always wise to check for the company’s reputation before handing your goods to them. Several con-artists are out there who are ready to escape with your goods, and that’s the last you’ll ever hear about them.
- Gone with deposit
If the company asks you to deposit huge money, it means a big red caution sign. After you deposit your money, they’re sure to run away with it and disappear from existence.
- Demanding extra money than estimated
This is a very usual scam. Some movers appear as though they offer legit services. But once your possessions come into their hands, they show their true faces. They hold your goods and demand for more money in order to transport them. In some cases, they even threaten the customer and force them to pay whatever they ask for.
- Insurance for a low amount
The most basic insurance type is Standard Repair Coverage Insurance which pays very less for damaged items. The scammers try to convince you that all insurances are the same and deprive you of the Full-Value Replacement Coverage.
- Doubling the price saying it’s cheap
Sometimes, you may find that the amount they quote for their service is double that of the actual cost. In such scenarios, you need to ask around and find the truth for yourself instead of blindly paying whatever they as for.
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- Having no proof of the existence
Some companies exist only in paper, and there will be no physical identification for their existence. These virtual companies mostly turn out to be fraudulent. It is better to research thoroughly about the company and ask your friends and families for suggestions instead of believing their word of mouth.
- Messing with paperwork
Some companies will never give you the exact quotation. They say they have the paperwork ready but will never let you have it and will make ridiculous excuses. If you believe these kinds of companies, then you won’t even be left with a proof to claim your belongings.
- Delaying the transportation
This won’t exactly fall under the category of scam, but it is not to be taken lightly too. Delay in transportation will cause you frustrations and unnecessary follow-ups which professional companies never do.
- Miscalculating the weights
This is a popular kind of scam usually carried out when the customers are not present to supervise them. They show increased weights or an increased number of items in order to extract more money. It’s best if you can prepare a rough estimation of your belongings beforehand to prevent these scams from happening.
- Faking the price of packing materials
Removal companies fake the price of packing materials and try to get more money from you. In some cases, they reuse the packages which might turn out to be a big mistake. Reusing packings may be cheaper, but it might lead to damage to your valuable belongings.
- Cutting down costs maximizing chances of damage
This usually happens during transportation. They cram all your belongings into a single truck which usually results in your belongings getting crumpled or broken. Always be present in the field and monitor their work unless you have total confidence in them.
- Not giving a clear picture
The scamming removal companies will never provide you with the exact scenario of what is happening. They try to make you believe that all is well till they can get safely out of your reach. They won’t provide proper intimation and will you give you contradicting reports and fake scenarios like their truck losing its way or held up midway due to weather conditions. It is your duty to be cautious always and notify the local police immediately if you think something is going off your hands.
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How to prevent these scams?
You need to watch out for scammers before leaving your belongings in their authority. Once you lose your valuables to these scammers re-tracking or relocating them becomes a serious headache. Hence, it is always safe to be prepared and watch out before handing your keys to any removal company in N18. The common signs to look out for are:
- Check their existence, whether they have a proper office and authorised papers.
- See whether they are using rented trucks or their own transportation services
- Look for customer reviews and feedbacks in search forums and social media.
- Check the company’s licence and always get a written contract
- Analyse the professionalism of the company and ask around in your neighbourhood if they’ve heard about them.
- Check the company’s website and beware if they ask for full payment in advance.
- It is always safe to have a detailed account of your belongings as valid proof.
- If they say they believe you and never actually estimate your belongings, you can be certain that there’s a scam going on.
- If you smell something fishy, ask them your questions and see how they answer. You can mostly find the truth from the way they answer.
If you find most of the above signs true, then search the company’s USDOT number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. You’ll know whether they’re registered or not on this site. After that check for Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation and other certifications which moving companies usually have in your country.
If you are sure of the company’s scam, then contact the local law enforcement and alert the media with sufficient proofs. Then register the scam on both BBB and FMCSA websites in order to prevent them from further exploiting the innocents. Don’t fall into deep pits believing cheap deals and sugar-coated promises. Always think twice before leaving your belongings to removal companies because the things you lose are hard to regain.