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Hiring a Moving Company? Avoid Common Pitfalls With Attorney Al On Your Side

Hiring a Professional Mover in Illinois

Pitfalls Associated with Professional Chicago Movers

Choosing to hire professional movers can save you a lot of time and energy. With the right movers handling your possessions, you can rest assured that your belongings are in good hands. Not all movers are the same, though; some moving companies will not carefully handle your belongings, and others could be scams.

Steps to Take When Hiring a Mover

  • Get recommendations
  • Consider experience and length in business
  • Have at least three to four companies to call for an in-home estimate
  • Ask the moving company lots of questions
  • Try and pick a mover that offers both fixed rate and hourly rates so you can compare what is best for you
  • Ask about estimates (get a written one) and the claims process and find out about extra fees
  • Make sure you understand what you're covered for if something breaks or goes missing
  • Demand a contract that covers everything
  • Check out mover complaint registries and find out about the mover's track record
  • Read the mover's FAQ
  • Make sure the mover has an operating license (you can call your local DOT to verify license) and insurance
  • You should be able to meet to or talk to the owner

Recognizing Red Flags

Low estimates, estimates based on cubic feet (not weight), and large deposits are all signs of a moving company scam.

Other warning signs include:

  • The moving company never visits your house for an on-site inspection
  • The moving company doesn't give you a copy of "Your Rights and Responsibilities When Your Move"
  • The moving company website does not have contact information for licensing and insurance
  • The moving company tells you that your possessions are covered by their insurance
  • The moving company answers the phone with a generic name
  • The moving company does not have an office or the office is in poor conditions
  • The moving company uses a rental truck instead of a marked moving truck

Research potential moving companies online to avoid scams. These reviews can help you find companies have a good reputation and avoid ones that do not. You can also do a background check of all moving service companies through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Better Business Bureau, or the American Moving and Storage Association.

Common Moving Company Scams

MoveRescue, an organization created by moving companies, says it receives 4,000 moving complaints a year.

There are three very common moving scams:

  • Bait and switch- a mover offers you a great estimate and ups the price when it is too late to back out
  • The hostage situation- your belongings are held hostage and the only way to get them back is to pay more money
  • Phantom delivery- a mover will promise to deliver your belongings by a certain date but you never see your items again

If you want to learn more about moving scams, check out this article by USA Today or Movingscam.com.

How a Chicago Real Estate Lawyer Can Help

Ultimately, if you are looking to hire a professional mover to assist you in transporting your furniture and other possessions it is a good idea to speak with a skilled Chicago real estate lawyer. A legal professional can discuss any legal contracts involved in hiring a mover and help you make an educated decision.

For example, you should make sure that the mover gives you a written "Order for Service" before anything is moved. This document outlines the probable cost of the move and how much you will have to pay for your property to be unloaded. An attorney will also carefully review the bill of lading, which is a formal contract given by your mover. You should never sign a form that has a blank section that the mover will fill in later, and our legal professionals will ensure that you are protected from potential pitfalls. We handle cases in Cook County, Will County, & DuPage County. Call today for a free consultation.

Contact the Law Office of Al Beaudreau, Ltd. for more information!