Moving to a new place is overwhelming and expensive at the same time. It’s only natural to look for ways to cut down the moving cost and so, your first instinct is to hire affordable services.
You would, hence, be attracted to movers and packers in Dubai who offer the lowest estimate. But wait, it is these lowball estimates that you have to watch out for! Why? Because once hired, you may end up paying higher than the initial promised estimate. In some cases, the fraudulent moving reps don’t even show up. They simply disappear with your initial deposit.
So, How Do I Make My Move Hassle-Free?
If you want your move to go as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to understand how to identify and prevent moving scams. One of the ways to do so is spotting the lowball estimate movers and steering clear of potential moving frauds. This brief guide will provide you with all of the necessary information so you could make an informed decision.
What Are Lowball Estimates Exactly?
When a moving company quotes an extra extraordinarily low price for the service, consider it a lowball estimate. Those looking to save money may immediately accept the offer. Here is a rule of thumb to keep in mind: if an offer is too good to be true, it usually is!
Being a buyer, if you accept the offer, the moving company will either disappear with the deposit or add the expense for accessorial services and/or other extras to your bill. You will have no choice but to pay the high price because the moving contract has already been signed and it is too late to back out.
There is a good chance the movers from the company are not trained to do the job or the company itself isn’t licensed. This could be disastrous!
How to Recognize Lowball Estimates from Movers
Not to worry. To stay away from scammers, it helps to know the red flags clearly pointing that the company you’re about to consider is shady. Here is what to look out for to spot lowball estimates:
No Questions Asked Quote
If the moving company does not ask for more information about your move, such as the items to be moved, the distance, if stairs or elevators are involved, they can’t possibly provide you with an accurate estimate. They will most likely change their quote once they arrive by saying that the price initially quoted was a base rate only.
Such movers are potentially a waste of time. If they don’t ask any questions or request an on-site visit, stay away from them.
The Estimates Are Non-Binding
When it comes to moving estimates, it’s important to understand that there are several types of estimations. Theirs is a binding and a non-binding estimate.
Binding estimates imply that you will pay exactly the amount mentioned in the quote. Non-binding estimates, on the other hand, give movers the flexibility to impose extra charges after the initial quote.
When you’re getting quotes, make sure they’re binding. Ideally, get the quote in writing to lock the amount. This way, the moving company can’t fraud you.
You Are Only Quoted the Price on the Phone
Another approach to avoid lowball moving estimates is to avoid moving firms that only provide quotes over the phone. Most scammers quote over the phone to score the opportunity to charge customers more afterward.
If you are able to get written estimates, you can be more confident about the price you would be paying for the relocation. Things will definitely go wrong if you sign a contract with a company that only quoted the price over the phone. It will be difficult to file a complaint against them without hard proof.
They Don’t Request for a Visual Survey
To give an accurate quote, the movers have to inspect the items to be moved, talk with the customer about their relocation need, special preferences, and, analyze potential challenges. For a safe and smooth relocation, trustworthy companies always request a visual survey by scheduling a site visit.
If the movers you’re in talks with do not conduct a physical or online survey of your home before providing you with a quote, you could land in trouble later on. They will charge extra once they actually start moving your stuff.
The Demand for an Upfront Payment
Any moving company that demands advance payment is a red flag. When you come across a moving company that wants to be paid in advance, run away. Otherwise, they will run away with your initial deposit.
Carefully inspect the company’s reputation before signing a contract or making advance payment.
Word of Advice
The moment you spot a lowball estimate, walk away from the company. No ifs or buts! Continue your search until you find a trustworthy moving firm to do the job.
Getting referrals from friends and family is a no-fail approach to finding reliable movers. Another option is to leverage the power of social media and local online forums to gather opinions and feedback from people who have recently relocated. Get quotes from 3 to 4 trustworthy movers and request on-site estimates. Make sure the estimates are binding and written. And feel free to ask any question that concerns you. It’s always best to know than to assume.
If a mover gives you an estimate that looks too good to be true, something is not right. So keep looking. To ensure a safe, smooth, and successful move, you must consider not just the price, but also the mover’s quality of service. Also, don’t forget to have everything in writing and sign a contract before the start of the moving process.
In the end, a quote from a licensed and reputable moving company may save you the headache and the money. They will handle everything, pay attention to your special requests and ensure your stuff reaches your new home/office safe and sound.