New Research: Many Americans Miss Simple Steps to Avoid Mover Fraud
ST. LOUIS, Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Most Americans know some of the simple steps they should take when choosing a mover, but many fail to take action when they move.
A new survey, commissioned by moving company Mayflower, shows that while 75 percent of Americans recommend getting more than one estimate when selecting a moving company, less than half (48 percent) of those who used a moving company actually got more than one estimate. Sixty-four percent advocate getting a referral, but only 47 percent of those who hired movers got one.
Most Americans (53 percent) also think it is wise to choose an established company with a well-known name, but only 43 percent of those who chose a mover did so. In addition, only 14 percent would recommend choosing a mover based on the lowest price. However, 21 percent of those who have hired movers chose the mover based on the lowest price.
Failing to research a mover creates a risk of falling victim to disreputable movers who make a business out of baiting customers with very low estimates and then adding on unreasonable charges or even holding the customer’s household goods hostage for a much higher payment than the original estimate.
“We were happy to find that many Americans know some of the basics of choosing a reputable mover,” said Carl Walter, vice president of Mayflower. “But there is a disconnect between what people know and what they are actually doing.”
Most Americans aren’t aware of all the red flags signaling that a mover is not reputable. A reputable mover will conduct an in-home estimate, but the survey showed that the vast majority of Americans do not realize this is important. Only eight percent of Americans considered a phone estimate the biggest indicator that a moving company is disreputable, and 31 percent of those who have used a mover did not get an in-home estimate the last time they moved.
“Most Americans also don’t realize that they should not have to pay a deposit before they move,” Walter said. “Only three percent thought it was a red flag for a mover to ask for a deposit.”
He added that the survey showed that almost 20 percent of respondents expect to move in the next 12 months, and 30 percent of those moving plan to move to a bigger house. “Upgrading to a bigger home is an occasion for excitement and joy,” Walter said. “We want those who are moving to know that with some simple planning and research, they can focus on the positives of their move and avoid the added stress and expense rogue movers often create.”
For tips on avoiding moving fraud and finding a reputable mover, visit Mayflower.com.
About the Survey
The survey was commissioned by Mayflower and conducted online with members of Synovate’s consumer panel. Fielded with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents between July 5-7, 2011, the survey examined attitudes, behaviors and trends related to moving. All participants were at least 18 years of age. Margin of error for the overall poll is +/- 2.6 percent at 90 percent confidence.
Mayflower is America’s most recognized and trusted moving company. Together with its sister company Mayflower Containers, Mayflower offers a full range of moving services from full-service to do-it-yourself moving and storage. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, Mayflower maintains a network of 300 affiliated agencies. For more information about Mayflower Transit and its services, visit: Mayflower.com.
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