How to recognize scam movers

There are a lot of Cincinnati movers that are actually cheap, illegal movers. We were having a discussion in our office about this and we came up with a few ways for a normal person to know if they are talking to a scam mover.

  1. Their price is less than half of a real movers – Pricing between moving companies should not vary that much. If a cheap mover gives you price that is too good to be true, it really is to good to be true. Cheap movers quote prices a lot lower than everyone else. Then when they have your belongings they insist on more money. Often their final price is double or triple from what they quoted!
  2. They won’t put anything in writing – You have the right to a written quote. If they don’t give you a guaranteed price, call another mover.
  3. They say they don’t need to see your home for a long distance move – Then on the day of pick up you are told that your move is larger than you told them on the phone and they are raising your price.
  4. They demand a large deposit in advance – Real movers require a small deposit. This is typically a fixed amount ($50) or a percentage of your quote (10%)
  5. They only take cash – Legitimate movers realize that most people are not comfortable handing out thousands of dollars in cash. As an alternative they accept checks or credit cards
  6. They will not give a specific load and unload time – Things like traffic, weather and other unforeseen circumstances can slow down a move. Still, reputable movers have other work and want to keep a schedule. Most give a window for their arrival “We will be there Friday between 8am and noon.”

Every customer has rights! Legal movers follow the rules and will help you learn about your rights. If you suspect you have found a cheap, scam mover here is what you can do

  1. Check their local licensing. Most states have a licensing system (in Ohio real movers have a license number from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio)
  2. Check out their Federal FMCSA Safety and Fitness Electronic Records. There you can search by  company name or license #.  It lists their registered information and safety information. This tells you that they have a valid licens and insurance.

    Division of Office of Enforcement & Compliance
    Phone: (202) 366-4553
    400 7th St. S.W.
    Washington, DC 20590

  3. Dept. of Transportation Hot Line: (888) 368-7238
    This is a number to call the Department of Transportation with complaints about unethical and illegal movers.
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