Protecting Your House Move: Ways to Avoid Moving Scams

Researching trustworthy and reliable movers should be taken seriously. In this industry, shopping for the cheapest deal can often land you in hot water.

Not only are you looking for a removalist who can pack, load and unload your furniture efficiently and damage-free, you need to have confidence that the crew working for you on the day aren’t tempted to steal your $2000.00 camera or anything else that’s easy to conceal.

A good removalist is not cheap, you’ve heard the saying “you get what you pay for”. We asked the owner from one of Brisbane’s long-established removalist companies, Matt from Brisbane Removalists, to provide his expert tips to avoid getting scammed when moving-house.


Moving- house, an exciting new chapter!

Hire the wrong moving company, it may be a chapter you would rather forget. The moving industry appears to be far more scam-ridden than almost any other industry. Many consumers do not realise this.

Some moving companies undertake questionable procedures, one common procedure is to hold your furniture hostage until you pay up – often demanding additional fees you weren’t aware of, forcing you to pay up before releasing your goods. To help avoid falling into this trap, make sure you have a clear understanding of the contract you are entering- into and always read the fine print. Ensure the contract is signed by both parties and retain your copy.

The moving industry became deregulated in the 1980’s, essentially opening the door for rogue operators to write their own rules allowing them to essentially hijack personal property. If you are serious about taking measures to protect your personal property from moving companies, or you are unclear about the contract fine print, contact the Australian Removalists Authority.

There are numerous stories of heartache concerning moving companies ripping off hard-working and honest citizens. One U.K couple lost the lot to a Facebook moving scam – not much to tell here, other than that the 2 men who loaded the unsuspecting couples furniture into their removal truck drove off with their furniture never to be seen again.

Sam Landon. The Hills Agents. Book your removalists in advance

Other types of moving scams

Fake credentials and fake reviews. Moving companies know the value consumers place in third party reviews. Dishonest moving companies tend to have their employees, friends and families post fake reviews. The idea here, for dishonest movers, is to deceive people into thinking they are looking at a reputable company, when in fact they are looking at a dishonest company who is willing to go to any lengths to get your business. The advice here, you can’t beat a good referral from someone you know and trust so ask around.

Cheapest quote. Don’t say we didn’t warn youbut please, don’t trust your precious belongings to the cheapest bidder. Removalists who offer dirt cheap hourly rates generally have inexperienced staff, they may take twice as long to load and unload, and the risk of property damage is extreme . Cheap-budget removalists often show up with tiny trucks requiring multiple loads hence escalating the cost in the process, their trucks may be under equipped lacking the equipment needed to move large or fragile items without damage.   If you hire a dirt-cheap removalist, chances are you’ll get a couple of backpackers turning up in a hire truck.

Blank or incomplete documents. Moving house tends to get a bit chaotic. Typical moving scams are when the company representative hands the customer a partially completed contract and asks for a signature. This allows the company to add in extra costs and conditions later on, and with your signature already inked on the document means you could be in a for a nasty surprise. Don’t fall victim to document fraud.

  • As mentioned, never sign an incomplete document.
  • The contract should be completed in its entirety, with estimated costs and inventory list signed by both parties.
  • Request your moving contract in advance, not on the day you move so you can thoroughly read the fine print before signing, never sign the document until you fully understand every aspect.
  • Do a thorough check on your inventory list. You will not be able to claim for any lost or missing items if your inventory list is incomplete.

The most common complaints we see and hear about usually come down to pricing, property damages and reliability.

A genuine and ethical removals company will always be upfront and transparent. If you feel there are too many unanswered questions and there is a lack of communication trust your gut feeling and keep shopping around.


Thinking about trading in your current property and making a move?

Contact Sam to get started. Whether you need an appraisal or you’re ready to get moving now, Sam is so well connected you’ll be glad you had a chat.