How to Spot Moving Company “Rogue” Operators

Jim Benson Real Estate Leave a Comment

Back in February, the housing market’s watchdog housingwire.com observed that a good way to judge the strength of the housing industry is to “Look at how often people move.” That makes perfect sense. Logic would seem to dictate that a strong housing market would mean good times for movers.

If industry analysts at IBISWorld’s publicly available “Moving Services” page are to be relied upon, the best estimates expect there to be “strong growth in the housing market.” If you’d expect that to mean a prediction of boom times for movers, though, you’d be wrong. Disruptions due to the pandemic are expected to force consumers to dial down the amount they will be willing to pay professional movers.

For local buyers and sellers seeking reliable Carmel movers, there could be a relevant side-effect: a reported increase in the activity of moving industry black hats—the rogue operators who prey on buyers and sellers facing moving deadlines. According to the Better Business Bureau, an average of 13,000 complaints and negative reviews are lodged with them every year—and more than 1,300 moving companies have earned their “F” rating.

Consumers’ Checkbook.com points to “an organized group of crooked movers.” They frequently have “nice websites” and courteous phone presentations. They quote a lower price than any competitors, but once they’ve loaded a customer’s household goods into their (frequently rented) trucks, that price changes. They won’t deliver until a doubled or tripled price is paid because “the size of the move” is more than was quoted. Frequently, the situation leaves consumers little choice other than to pay.

The BBB warns that anyone doing web research is likely to encounter one or more of the scamsters. They advertise heavily on the internet, so they frequently have prime placement on search pages. The solution for anyone looking for Carmel movers is to thoroughly vet them well in advance. When you’re under the gun because of moving deadlines, that pressure is exactly what the rogues play on. A great source for planning tips—including a database showing properly registered movers—is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. It details ways to “spot the red flags” of moving fraud.

Making sure our clients anticipate all the advance steps that will smooth the way for a successful transaction is just part of the service we provide. Call us!

About the Author

Jim Benson