How to avoid moving scams in Florida?
Florida is a hotspot for moving businesses, one of the most active in the U.S. in terms of departures and arrivals. It’s rife with newcomers to the state that know nothing about moving to Florida or people that aren’t informed about moving in general. Unfortunately, this also makes the Sunshine State a hotspot for con artists. So if you’re relocating, it’s vital that you do what you can to avoid moving scams in Florida. So, let’s say you’re looking for moving services. You searched for something like moving companies Sunny Isles Beach, and you have a line of options before you. What can you do to protect yourself from potential moving company ripoffs? Read on to find out.
A lack of online presence is a red flag
Communication has never been easier with the help of the Internet. Nowadays, this ability to reach almost everyone online is a must-use opportunity for businesses. Anyone can look for residential movers Miami, let’s say, and discover a plethora of companies. Therefore, a great way to avoid moving company scams is to see how companies use the Internet – if at all.
Should a moving business lack a website or social media page of any kind, that spells trouble. There’s no easy way for you to learn about how they work or if anything you’ve heard about them is true. And those who know how to avoid moving scams in Florida understand that this is bad news. So if you’re searching for a moving company Miami Gardens hosts, for example, you want to read up on it before arranging anything.
You may come across a business that does operate online but changes its name regularly. This should also raise a red flag for you. Routine name changes are a common way for fraud companies to stay undetected by scam busting organizations.
There are two reasons why a moving company wouldn’t want an online presence. One is that it just opened up shop. The other is that it isn’t a legitimate business. There’s no need for you to risk it being the latter. If you want to avoid moving scams in Florida, this kind of vigilance is a must.
No license? No, thanks
One of the most reliable ways to avoid being scammed in Florida is to see look for a license. A license implies that the company acts professionally and with honest intentions. You should give a second thought to hiring any unlicensed movers.
Interstate movers work under U.S. DOT registrations, but the local ones don’t. Other regulations hand out licenses to local businesses, and they vary from state to state. Research your state’s license requirements before trusting any company. In need of, for instance, moving companies North Miami licenses?
Read and gauge reviews to avoid moving scams in Florida
The next step for you would be to see what kinds of reviews former customers wrote about the business you’re looking into. People’s experiences with a company are crucial in giving you a clear picture of how the said company behaves. Browse through forums, Facebook pages, and other sources to see what kind of reputation the establishment enjoys.
You should be careful when reading these reviews, however. It’s common practice for businesses to “inflate” positive impressions through writing fake reviews. You ought to know how to spot these fakes. If you see too many generic-sounding positive comments, be wary. A lack of middle-of-the-road reviews should also start off alarms in your head.
Unusual estimates mean trouble
Estimates are a terrific tool for those who want to avoid being scammed by moving companies. It’s usually smart to get as many estimates as you can. That way, you’ll have a more precise idea of how much a given company would charge you for their services. You should know this, though: if anyone offers you blind estimates (without visiting your home), forget about them.
Once you receive enough estimates, you can assess whether your chosen movers are worth your time. Any estimate that sounds too good to be true most likely is exactly that. Go for the more realistic ones, to avoid moving scams in Florida.
Interview your chosen candidates to avoid Florida moving company scams
By now, you likely have a well-filtered roster of moving companies. But there’s still more you can do to single out remaining scammers. It’s time for you to conduct some interviews (don’t worry, they don’t need to be done in person).
The point of the interview is to eliminate the more sophisticated scam moving companies. These businesses are probably very subtle with the way they trick you into paying them. In these cases, insistence on transparency should be your weapon of choice.
Interview cues that help you avoid moving scams in Florida
During the interview, feel free to ask anything you want related to your move. This a great opportunity for you to get some answers that maybe you couldn’t before. For instance, you may ask how long they’ve been in business. You can also learn about their equipment, license, liability insurance – whatever slipped by you.
Interview cues for fishy companies
However, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for a number of alarming behaviors. All of these point to potentially predatory businesses. If you notice any of the following, carefully consider further cooperation with the company you’re interviewing:
- Refusal to explain anything you ask about.
- Lack of clarity about the prices they charge for their services.
- Extreme eagerness to “get you on board.”
- Insistence and pushiness.
- Lack of transparency about some parts of your move (watching out for this is perhaps the best way to avoid moving scams in Florida).
- Answers that are too vague
Given its high amount of moving activity, Florida is sadly rife with ripoff artists eager to pull a fast one on you. If you want to avoid moving scams in Florida, it’s vital that you take the right precautions. Luckily, you can follow this handy guide to keep yourself safe from a really bad time.