I can’t believe May is here already. Historically, May is the start of the traditional “moving season” in the U.S.
During this busy time, approximately 35 million Americans begin making plans to pack their stuff and move. And with increased moving both locally and across the county, comes moving scams and companies that simply don’t have the best interest of customers.
While the reputation of movers has improved over the past couple decades, there are still companies out there looking to take advantage of people during a vulnerable period – moving time.
Several years ago my dad found an article in a 1972 issue of Mad Magazine. In a handwritten note to me, accompanied by a photo copy of the article, he writes, “Dawn, enclosed article copied from 1972 Mad Magazine – most articles in the issue were dated by current events of the time – Vietnam, hippies, dropping out of society etc. et, some 33 years later, enclosed article is as timely today as ever. Enjoy, BWB.”
Throughout the four-page, hand drawn cartoon scene, movers and moving companies are depicted as slimy, conniving cheaters. Take the following exchange for example … “That’s right lady! It’s just like we say in our ads! We move you for ten bucks an hour! Of course there may be a few little extras! Lady says, “What kind of extras …?” Mover replies, “Like a TRUCK! It’ll cost you more, but you’ll save money in the end! And you’ll need a driver! Uh – you got any furniture?” Lady replies, “Of course I do!”
And how about this … angry lady points at manager as she displays a damaged piece of artwork … “What do you mean you’re not responsible?! Your ad said you’re insured against any damage!” Manager replies, “That’s right, lady! All our moving men have insurance policies covering themselves against any personal injury or damage while working. A guy can get hurt pretty bad lugging heavy stuff around!”
I could go on … and on. But you get the point. Unfortunately, just as in 1972, there are movers who will take advantage of unsuspecting customers. Be educated. Do your homework. If you find “two movers for $50 an hour” on Craigslist and it seems too good to be true … it is.
Consider these questions as you begin researching moving companies:
- Have I heard of this moving company before?
- Have any of my friends or family used this moving company?
- Have I seen this moving company’s advertisements in reputable places like radio, television or print? Or out in the community donating moving services?
- Does this moving company have a physical location locally?
- Does this moving company employ their movers or hire temporary day laborers?
- Will this company replace or repair any damaged item?
There are many useful tools out there as you begin the quest to hire a reputable mover. Check out these great questions to ask all the moving companies as you seek to line up your mover. The U.S. Department of Transportation has some helpful resources to protect against moving fraud, as well.
Additionally, in an effort to educate consumers in selecting the best mover, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has teamed up with the American Moving and Storage Association to be part of this year’s Move Month campaign. AMSA’s ProMover campaign seeks to showcase professional, trained and reputable movers. Check out details of the campaign here.
Take time during national move month to do your homework and select the best mover for you. And avoid the unfortunate scenarios laid out in Mad Magazine all those years ago.