Do You Pay Moving Companies In Advance?
Is requiring payment upfront for moving services illegal? Am I supposed to movers before or after the move is completed? These are very common questions posed in the moving industry and a topic that should be discussed. Generally speaking, it is perfectly legal for a moving company to ask for a deposit. However, it is incredibly rare.
While requesting a deposit is legal, this should serve as a red flag to you as the customer. Whereas, if a mover asks you for full payment upfront, this is a potential scam that deceitful companies do to unsuspecting victims. When you pay for your move upfront, you relinquish all control over when (of if) you’ll see your belongings again.
Why Do Movers Ask for Deposits?
For starters, it’s important to note that moving deposits are not common in the industry. In fact, when a mover does ask you to supply a deposit, you should ask them why they require upfront funds. If your move occurs in the summer, some moving companies may ask for a deposit as a way to secure your booking. They simply don’t want to miss out on their busiest season, which they will if they have customers canceling on them last minute.
You may also have to pay a deposit if you go through a moving broker. While many assume that hiring movers through a broker is easier, it typically means that you’ll be working with an unknown moving company. This makes it difficult to verify for yourself whether or not your movers are reliable. With that said, it’s recommended to avoid using a moving broker.
It’s not uncommon for rogue movers to ask for down payments or deposits. So, if your moving company is asking for a deposit, make sure that you do your research and verify that they are reputable. Check the company’s history before you give them any money or sign any documents or contracts.
What is a Reasonable Moving Deposit?
If you’ve discovered that the moving company you plan to hire has an excellent record but they ask for a deposit, it’s beneficial to be aware of what is a reasonable amount to pay. Some moving companies will determine the amount based on a percentage of the total cost of your move. Therefore, if you’re moving long-distance, you may pay a slightly higher deposit than if you were moving locally.
Other moving companies may base the deposit amount on the specific day of your move. Moves that occur on weekends will usually require a higher down payment, while weekdays are typically much lower. Overall, reasonable moving deposits can range from as low as $100 to as high as $500. Anything more can be considered excessive and a possible red flag.
Use Your Credit Card!
One of the best things you can do to avoid getting scammed by rogue movers is to use a payment method that cannot be traced. Quick Tip: Be especially wary of any moving company that asks for a deposit in cash!
A reputable, reliable moving company will let you pay for the deposit however you want to. Using a credit card to pay for the deposit will provide you with proof that you paid them and let you cancel the payment if they happen to disappear on you. If you contacting your card provider to despite the charge, they’ll usually issue you a chargeback. Or, if you’d prefer to pay with a check, you can request a stop payment on checks that haven’t been cashed yet or post-date the check for after your move is completed.
What If I Need to Cancel My Move?
If a moving company asks for a reasonable deposit, they should still give you a reasonable window of time to cancel the move and get your deposit back. In most cases, cancellations must be done at a minimum of two weeks before the date of the move. Though, during slow-seasons, some movers may let you cancel a week prior without any penalty. Make sure you know what the penalty is before you sign anything. That way, you don’t risk losing your whole deposit fi you need to cancel your move or shift the date.
At Three Men And A Truck, we are dedicated to providing effortless local and long-distance relocations and reasonable prices. The highly-trained, experienced, and committed movers at Three Men And A Truck are available for all your moving and storage needs. Contact us today to schedule your free, in-home moving estimate and get your next move off on the right foot.