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Angie's List: How to avoid a mover ripoff

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted at 6:31 PM, Apr 17, 2015
and last updated 2016-06-10 13:38:45-04

Last year at this time, Sonja Cook of Northern Kentucky says she fell victim to a mover rip-off.

"Someone calls me from the moving company and says, 'We don't have enough space on your truck."

She said the company then demanded even more money than they had agreed upon. "They said, 'We can get you another truck, but its going to cost you more money,'" she said.

Cook was stunned.

She had already paid a $600 deposit toward her $1,800 move, and it was too late to find a new mover.

She had become a victim of a shady mover ploy:  tell you you need to pay more after you send in a deposit, or after your goods are on their truck.

How to Protect Yourself

It doesn’t matter if you’re going across town or across the country, moving your home and family can be stressful.

If you hire a professional, our partners at the consumer guide Angie's List say make sure you have an iron-clad agreement on the duties to be performed and what the final cost will be.

“Require an in-home estimate so the movers can actually see what they are going to be moving because, let’s be honest, we all probably underestimate what’s packed in our homes. And then ask for a binding estimate if possible, that way you’re not surprised in the end. A flat rate estimate is a great way to go as well,” Founder Angie Hicks said.

Insurance is also an important issue when you hire a pro. All companies will offer some coverage at no additional cost, but that may not be enough should something go wrong.

“All movers need to be insure, but that basic insurance is only at the rate of 60 cents per pound per item, so that is not going to get you very far.” professional mover Jason Sherman said.

You’ll also want to double-check on who specifically is transporting your stuff. It’s not always the company you’ve hired.

“Be sure you know who’s actually going to be doing the moving. In some scenarios, you might be talking to a mover who then subcontracts it. You want to know who is actually going to be doing your moving,” Hicks said.

Angie recommends taking a thorough inventory of all items you’re moving.

Know the exact number of boxes that are being transported and take photos of as many items as you can. If anything comes up missing, those photos will go a long way in getting you reimbursed by the movers.

And have a signed piece of paper with the fee they will charge, so you are not surprised by a bill for hundreds more.  That way you don't waste your money.

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