MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Don't move!
At least don't hire a moving company until you brush up on the most common moving company scams, according to the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South:
* NO-SHOWS. The BBB said this is the most common one: you get a good quote, you pay a deposit, then the mover never shows. "In another variation, the moving company quotes a price based on weight. After loading, they inform you that your belongings went over the weight estimate, and the additional weight will be a lot more per pound, sometimes double," said the BBB's press alert on these scams.
* STUFF HELD HOSTAGE. Everything seems fine -- good quote, movers are professional, belongings safely loaded, truck's off to your destination. Except the movers never make it. Instead, they call to tell you they need more money, and they're holding your stuff hostage until you pay up.
* Look for the signs of a fly-by-night company. Notice if the mover's website offers no physical address or registration/insurance information. If the company answers calls with the generic "movers" instead of a company name, that's a sign. Another sign: the movers use rented trucks. If the company insists on estimates over the phone instead of an on-site inspection, dump it.
* Get everything in writing. Check an interstate mover's licensing here and its BBB history. Confirm insurance coverage, get a written estimate, then when you're ready to pull the trigger, get a written contract. Read the terms and conditions, disclaimers and any liability limits. Understand how they came up with the rate and make sure pick-up and delivery dates are clear. Don't pay cash and never pre-pay. You might also check to see if your insurance will cover any losses caused by the move and consider purchasing full-value protection.