Moving truck companies have gained a bad reputation among consumers for charging fees that weren’t discussed or expected. Numerous complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau and other companies to reach a resolution, and to warn others of specific companies. You can avoid surprise charges and disputes if you follow these guidelines:
Only Hire Proven Companies
Many of the complaints against moving truck companies involve new or unknown businesses. Try to find truck rental companies that have a good history of treating customers right, for at least 5 years. Otherwise, you’ll be at risk for hidden charges at the end of your move. You can ask the company how long they’ve been in business, as well as search their license numbers on www.safersys.org. You can look at www.bbb.org to see the types of complaints against the company and how they were resolved. If many of the complaints revolve around surprise charges, rent a truck somewhere else. If you hire one of these companies, you could find yourself filing a complaint which may or may not ever get resolved.
Get Written Estimates
When you narrow down your choices for moving truck companies, it’s important to get all quotes or estimates in writing. This gives you one more piece of paperwork to protect you against hidden fees. They’ll have to write down all of the costs for renting the truck. You can even write “No additional costs outside of this estimate applies” on the quote, and ask a manager to sign it. If they’re not comfortable with that, ask them to further itemize any additional costs, or to write down their own sentence stating that there are no additional fees for the truck rental.
Avoid Very Low Estimates
If you get a written estimate that is considerably low compared to at least two other written estimates, then more likely than not there’s a problem. These companies make their money from additional fees that catch customers off guard, and are made known after the move. You don’t want to get stuck paying for charges you weren’t anticipating. If a written estimate looks to good to be true, it most likely is.
You’ll want to go beyond the written estimate to a written contract. This is where you can you get the most protection against surprise charges from your moving truck rental. The key is understanding what you’re reading before you sign on the dotted line. Many consumers fail to read (or understand) what’s in the fine print. Sometimes, they’re so pressed for time that they don’t bother reading it at all. You won’t be surprised by charges hidden in the contract, if you take the time to read and understand it. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to do this by planning your move well in advance, or find someone who is able to read contracts and ask them for help. This may mean hiring an attorney for an hour if you fear a large amount of hidden charges.
There are websites dedicated to exposing moving companies that are notorious for scamming customers, such as www.movingscam.com. If you have any doubts about the company you’re dealing with, make sure you research them on these sites before you make a final decision.