Can A Moving Company Keep My Deposit?
Unfortunately, If you are here, it is likely because you were excited to go forward with a moving company so that you can go to the next chapter of your life. In doing so, you have contacted several moving companies and have selected the one you were most comfortable with. However, frequently the consumer proceeds with a moving company without doing due diligence enough; shopping around for a mover is very different from just comparing pricing at a local market and going with the best price for your budget; here's why.
Ever heard of the term bait and switch? This term is used frequently in the moving industry; for those who do not know, "bait and switch" indicates that a mover will bait you into going with their moving company by baiting you with a very attractive price. Especially in 2023, we are all searching for the best possible deals due to inflation; it does make sense why a consumer would go with a low advertised cost. This is the worst thing a consumer can do when shopping around for a moving company in NYC or any state, for that matter. Why would a moving company falsely advertise costs when you can cancel when you find out you were misled? Wrong; this is how Movers make their money. It is a method complicated for the state to regulate because about 80 percent of all moves being performed are estimated over the phone. A dishonest mover will take advantage of the "estimate process" and quote you a very attractive price for a long-distance move. Let's fast forward to move day; everything was enjoyable when discussing your upcoming move over the phone with your salesperson; now, the foreman arrived to pack up your three-bedroom home for the advertised cost of $3,000.00; to a consumer. That price mentioned is reasonable; after all, $3,000.00 is a lot of money. Wrong; when you are traveling long distances, you need to be prepared to spend a lot more money than that; there are things that must be accounted for, such as fuel, labor, packing materials, insurance, the crew members, the owner profits, the sales person, etc. simply put so that I don't overcomplicate the message here; after fuel paying the foreman and helpers, how much money is left from that $3,000.00 pot none. The foreman has no intentions of performing that move for you for that cost because he knows that there is not enough money in the advertised price; he is hoping that he can charge you an additional $6,000.00 so that he makes money and everyone in the company is happy except for you of course.
Okay, now what's next? Remain calm and weigh out your options; if your lease is up, then your back may be against the wall; if you are selling your house, your back may also be against the wall; if you are reading this blog because you don't know what to do, I would strongly recommend canceling, even if you do have the funds to pay the additional costs. You are desperate to proceed; it is not a good idea to do so because this moving company is unethical. I have seen consumers agreeing to pay several times and still experiencing extreme delays at delivery, excessive damages, and just a total disaster of a moving experience. I have been in the moving industry for almost a decade. I know this information because I used to solicit moving companies, and unfortunately, I made agreements with shady moving companies; sometimes, the mover even lied to their marketing agency. Ultimately, their end goal is to get the job and pray they can extort you at the expense of the consumer and their marketing agency. Moving companies that practice method never stick around and are constantly re-opening a new market once their online reputation has been tarnished. Another red flag to look out for is the moving companies' startup date.
Finally, what about the deposit? You may have paid upwards of $1,000.00 to reserve your move, sometimes even more, so what now? This all depends on who is at fault here; it is important that when you receive quotes from moving companies, you have a sharp inventory list and everything down in writing. This will make it much easier for you to support your claim when you file a dispute with your bank; if you have evidence to prove that you have been misleading, you will get your deposit back. The only way to do so is by keeping records of the agreed inventory and all conversations between you and that moving company in writing. Even if you risk losing that deposit, you are much better off counting at a loss and operating with a more ethical mover. If you have been scammed out of your deposit and need help, contact a representative at americanationalmovers.com, and we will be glad to assist you.
In summary, the lowest price is not always the best price, especially in the moving industry; if a mover threatens to keep your deposit, why even move forward with them? Instead, just let it go, fight for the deposit back, or try to negotiate if at all possible if everything fails, then start reviewing online; this is a good hard ball method that usually works in your favor.