Scams are the order of the day, thanks to the wonderful anonymity afforded by the Internet! Since they can remain unseen, plenty of con artists have utilized the World Web to create multiple identities, cook up fake addresses and contact information, and display phony details of non-existent companies and personnel employed therein. Why, even testimonials concerning customer satisfaction cannot be depended upon at times!
The latest to join the bandwagon are moving services. And mind you, they have perfected their art over time. Take note of the following three profiles of scam that are in vogue today, and protect your belongings!
(1) It is possible that with a hectic schedule, you do not find time to make personal visits to moving companies or even have detailed personal conversations with them. So you decide to engage a BROKER. This middleman’s main job is to take over on your behalf, thus saving you time and money.
So far, so good—for there are plenty of trustworthy moving brokers around. The problem arises when you unfortunately connect to that one rotten apple among the good apples in the basket! This type of “greedy” broker will have a network of affiliate moving companies on the side; and they may not be very genuine in their services. Of course, they are grateful to get customers and do pay a hefty commission for all the leads that the broker supplies. But somewhere on the way, your household goods can suffer damages or be lost, or there could even be unnatural delay in delivery. It hurts because you have paid for the broker’s services as well as the services of the moving company. Can you even remotely imagine recovering your losses?
And don’t worry about the broker—he is laughing all the way to the bank!
(2) Are you impressed by a particular moving company’s website? Look at the professional layout, the detailed information and links provided, and the testimonials from satisfied customers! But are you sure you are dealing with a genuine moving company, or are you being fooled by a broker who has set up the whole thing for his own nefarious purposes? It could be a case of MISTAKEN IDENTITY!
So, how does this person work? There will be plenty of “sweet talk” online (you have no clue as to who you are talking to) from this supposed customer service representative—collection of an advance fee—and referrals to an affiliate moving company that offers reduced rates. Who is the ultimate beneficiary? The owner of the website, for he/she walks away with a large percentage of the transaction!
(3) Who does not want low-priced quotes in these times of recession? While making a comparison of the estimates provided by different moving companies, have you chanced upon this particular one which offers attractive discounts? Naturally, you end up signing on the dotted line (probably without even perusing the written matter thoroughly and not understanding the messages hidden between the lines), for you feel that you are getting a good bargain! Who will provide moving and storage at such reasonable rates?
But the truth of the matter will hit you when the company sends over its van for transporting your household belongings. Your stuff will be loaded, but you will have to pay some extra charges. If you argue and refuse to pay up, they will take away your loaded goods and lock them up. Unless the stated amount is handed over, you will never see your things again. Thus, your stuff is being held HOSTAGE!