Finding a good moving company can seem like a scary process, but it is worth the effort. Spending some extra time and effort to find good movers is better than dealing with the aftermath of outrageously high fees and damaged goods. Look out for these warning signs of bad moving companies that you should know before you hire yours.

No address

All reliable companies have an office from where they manage all their operations. If your movers don’t give you a local address or an office, it is a giant red flag. Don’t hire them, or you could easily fall victim to fraud.

No proof of licensing or insurance

The moving company you hire must always provide proof that they are licensed and insured upon request. If they fail to do that, there is a good chance that they are not a legitimate company. Best case scenario, they are working without a license. Worst case scenario, they are here to steal from you. Never hire a moving company without checking their credentials.

Asks for a large deposit

Usually, you have to pay a certain percentage of the moving fees on the day of the move and the rest after your things have been delivered. But, if your moving company asks for a large deposit beforehand, it could all be a scam. They might just take your money and never show up.

Unprofessional Representatives

A good indicator of the level of service you get at any company is the behavior of the employees. If the representatives are unprofessional, you can’t expect professional service from them. One way to test them is by calling their company and asking for customer service. How you get treated should determine whether or not you hire them.

Estimate without inspection

For a moving company to provide you with a reliable estimate, they must first inspect your goods. If they provide you with an estimate over the phone or online, the price you pay will be much higher than the one you’ve been given.

Very low estimate

Similarly, if the estimate provided is very low, it’s time for you to be wary. There might be hidden charges that you are unaware of. Ideally, you should ask for estimates from at least 3 or 4 companies before you settle on one mover. Compare their prices and if the estimate of one company is much lower than that of their competitors, it might be a scam. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it’s not true.

No binding estimate or written agreement

The moving company you hire must be willing to sign a binding written agreement with you that includes the total price of the move and any damages that might occur to your property. If they don’t, they could add hidden charges to your bill and shrug off responsibility for any damages they inflict on your property.

Provide services without asking

If during the move the movers start to provide extra services, they are not doing so out of the goodness of their heart. It is a cheap trick to increase your final bill. Never let the mover do this without consulting with you.

Moving broker

Make sure you hire a moving company and not a moving broker. Moving brokers broker a deal between you and a local third party, instead of doing the work themselves. They are not held liable for any damages or problems you may face. So hire a moving company and not a moving broker.

Poor online ratings

If someone took time out of their day to write about their bad experiences with a certain moving company, you should listen to them. It’s not possible to have only good reviews, but if the bad reviews outnumber the good ones, you should be wary. Make sure the company you hire has good ratings and good reviews.