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One of the world’s most diverse and adaptable cities is New York. The Big Apple, however, sadly, has its fair share of undesirables in addition to all the wonders it has to offer. And the moving business is no different. As a result, if you’re about to move, this modest NYC moving business offers a few dos and don’ts to assist prevent your movers from taking advantage of you.

Moving scams are a major issue in New York City, where a lot of rogue movers engage in dishonest practices like overcharging, holding possessions hostage, and breaking or missing things.

The best method to guard against moving scams is to do your research and pick a reputable, licensed, and insured moving company.

Be sure you collect several written quotations before choosing a moving company. You should also request recommendations and confirmation of insurance.

Typical Moving Scams In NYC

Scams involving NYC moving companies are inclusive. Therefore, it makes little difference if you are moving into some of the most prestigious real estate in the world in Manhattan or if, like over half of all New Yorkers, you are sharing an apartment with roommates in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, or Staten Island. Here are six warning signs that should raise red flags everywhere.

Get Cheap and Quick Moving Quotes

Bait and switch are among the most prevalent moving frauds. This is when movers initially provide unexpectedly low moving estimates, only to abruptly revise these low-ball estimates to a much higher price. They’ll typically do this when you’re in a bind, which may be on the actual moving day, during the actual move, or after it’s already happened.

Even holding your possessions hostage in the moving truck is a practice that occasionally occurs. On the other hand, the majority of trustworthy movers will provide a free estimate for your move that is only an estimate, though, and the real cost of relocating will eventually depend on several things (size, weight, trip distance, etc.). Therefore, it is also a dangerous sign if they provide a final estimate without first gathering some information and/or conducting an in-home (or photo/virtual) inventory.

Doubtful Insurance and Credentials

Your movers require much more than just some bulky shoulders, a driver’s license, and that New York charm to be legitimate. Additionally, they must be covered by insurance, registered with certain government agencies in New York State and across the country, and certified. Because of this, be skeptical of businesses that seem more promising than they do on paper.

Sloppy or Blank Paperwork

Additionally, it is a deal-breaker to be asked for your personal information on documents that are unclear or blank. Your signature is legally binding, therefore it’s important to be sure of what you’re signing.

While you wait, some con artists in New York City will ask you to sign documents that appear official but are too hazy, ambiguous, or even blank. And if you do, you’re probably committing to a lot more than you originally anticipated. Therefore, read the small print and make inquiries.

4 Ways To Prevent Moving Scams In New York City

According to Forbes, the BBB receives 13,000 complaints about moving businesses on average each year, and over 10% of those moving companies have an “F” rating because of unresolved concerns. So, to avoid adding to the aforementioned figures, here are four suggestions on how to safeguard yourself from the rogue actors in the NYC moving business.

1: Become Familiar With the Legal Requirements

The law must be understood before shifting your house. NYC requires moving companies to hold New York State Department of Transportation certification. Additionally, they must be insured and be able to present a Certificate of Insurance (also known as a COI).

A bill of lading, also known as a BL or BoL, must be provided. Additionally, if you’re traveling interstate, the company needs to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (commonly known as the FMCSA) and have a USDOT Number, which is a licensing number.

In other words, a lot of paperwork establishes a corporation as legitimate and reliable. But if you ask them to provide their credentials, they will gladly do so if they have nothing to hide.

2: Research Your Options

Fortunately, there are numerous trustworthy, diligent, licensed, and respectable moving businesses dispersed around NYC. Therefore, take your time and compare various moving quotes, services, qualifications, and other factors.

Check out the BBB, read online reviews, and pay attention to what people are saying. But also get in touch with the businesses directly. Ask for references, compile a list of particular questions, and make sure they are all satisfactorily addressed. Consider all of your possibilities, and be adaptable.

3: Personalize It

A phone call is insufficient to guarantee a legitimate relocation process. Therefore, even if you’re busy and/or outside of New York State, see your movers in person before beginning any negotiations (even if it’s just over a Zoom call). Long before moving day, get to know the staff personally, shake a few hands and build a connection. Before providing you with a price, ensure sure the movers perform an in-home (or online/photo) inventory. And make an effort to spend as much of the actual moving procedure physically present.

4: Get Everything in Writing

Having as much in writing as you can (also known as a paper trail) is another time-tested strategy for defending yourself against fraud.

Verbal agreements that can be contested are always less official than written estimates and contracts that have been signed. Especially on moving days or while your belongings are in transit.

Sometimes, requesting something in writing is enough to deter fraudsters. You have proof, just in case it doesn’t. Additionally, keep in mind to use your credit card wherever possible, pay no more than a 20% deposit, and refrain from signing anything you are unsure of.

The Conclusion from Zenith Moving

Moving scams are unfortunately frequent in NYC. But you can guard yourself against becoming a victim by being knowledgeable and adhering to a few essential guidelines.

Quick and inexpensive moving rates, big upfront deposits, requests for only cash payments, a lack of required certifications and insurance, shifty or blank paperwork, and frequent name changes by moving businesses are some of the most typical red flags.

Contact our professionals at Zenith Moving to avoid all of this, and have a pleasant and easy move.