Ads for movers charging $100 per hour or less might catch your eye, but you might also notice a little voice in the back of your head saying that’s too cheap. That’s the voice of reason, and you should listen to it, because it’s right! The only way to get away with those rates is to be uninsured (we call them "rogue movers") or have underpaid labor, which means their movers were never trained or background checked. Starting to sound scary? It is! But you don’t have to deal with it if you don’t want to. Here’s how to avoid the headache that comes with hiring cheap movers.
Know the Consequences of Hiring Cheap Movers
We know everyone wants to save money, so we understand the upside of hiring cheap movers. But with that upside, you’ll be stuck with many downsides, some of which have lasting consequences. For example, if the moving company really is that cheap, how can it afford to pay trained movers who have passed a background check? The answer is it can’t; meaning you’re inviting underpaid movers into your home, and you have no idea if they know how to do their job.
The result is that they’re less likely to show up on time — or at all — on moving day. And even if they do, you’re at risk of ending up with movers who are either untrained, careless or both, resulting in damaged belongings. Texas only requires movers to pay $0.60 per pound per damaged item, and companies that are not reputable will pay the bare minimum, so don’t expect to get more with cheap movers. Plus, when you hire movers who have not been background checked, you don’t know if they’ve been in trouble for theft before. If you think this is pessimistic, we encourage you to go ahead and Google "rogue movers." You’ll see articles outlining the thefts some Houston families have suffered after hiring cheap moving companies.
Finally, even if the cheap movers you hire show up on time, there’s no guarantee the estimate you were given on the phone will be your total. In fact, it’s not unheard of for shady moving companies to double or triple the total with no explanation. If you refuse to pay it, they could hold your belongings hostage until you do. Suddenly, they’re not so cheap anymore, and definitely not worth the trouble!
Get Familiar With the Red Flags
The most obvious sign of a shady moving company is the price is too good to be true, which is anything around $100 per hour or less. But there are lots of other details (or lack of) to keep your eyes open for:
- Lots of bad online reviews
- If you get a voicemail during business hours, that’s a bad sign. In most of these situations the owner is on a move himself.
- If you do happen to reach someone, and he or she tries to haggle prices with you on the phone, you’re not speaking with a professional moving company.
- If you already scheduled movers, and they show up without the logo on their shirt or truck, feel free to cancel. You should know who you’re letting into your home.
- The same goes if their truck is missing a TX Dot #. To avoid waiting for move day to find out, we suggest searching for the moving company on the Texas DMV website to be sure they’re a legitimate business. Here’s what ours looks like, for reference.
Starting to see how trying to save a few bucks can cost you in the long run? So, what’s a fair amount? Anywhere from $130 per hour and up and you can rest assured you’re working with some type of seasoned professional. Of course, you should still check their reviews and get a quote before scheduling them. At 3 Men Movers, we’d be happy to give you a free moving estimate today!