What To Do If A Moving Company Charges You More Than Expected

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / veryulissa

It can be hard to find a moving company that you trust. That said, it can be even harder to deal with a moving company if they don’t stick to the initial contract. Understandably, you may struggle with what to do if a moving company charges more than you expected. 

Read the contract carefully and dispute the extra charges if the moving company asks for more money. There’s a chance that it was a mistake, but it could be a case of them adding bogus charges. In that case, you may need to hire a lawyer if there are signs of fraud and the moving company won’t budge. 

That’s why it’s so important to always keep a copy of the contract. Follow along as we explore what to do if a moving company charges you more than expected.


How To Deal With Movers Who Charge More Than The Estimate

1. Review The Contract

It’s important to keep a copy of your contract and cost estimate. This will come in handy if the moving company charges you much more than the estimate. The contract should state the estimate as well as any variables that may affect the final cost. 

Carefully read the contract to see if any of the listed variables occurred during the move. This could be everything from taking longer than expected to additional service requests. For example, they will charge more if you request extra services they offer, such as furniture disposal.

They should tell you it will affect the cost, but they don’t always say it. In that case, there isn’t much you can do about the final price. 

2. Have A Polite Conversation

A simple, polite conversation can solve so many problems. Ask to speak to the manager or supervisor at the moving company if they suddenly increase their prices without explanation. It might be a simple matter of miscommunication and human error.

Otherwise, it could be that you misunderstood the cost estimate. Try to keep a calm tone so the movers don’t feel like they’re being attacked. You may be able to knock some money off of the overall cost if you explain where you’re coming from. Otherwise, you may have to take more drastic measures to dispute the price. 

3. Dispute It

Did the moving company charge you more for things that simply didn’t happen? For example, they may say it took longer than the estimated moving time or that they hauled more than they did. In that case, you should dispute the case with them, as they may be trying to take advantage of you. 

It’s a great idea to take a picture of all your belongings and keep the contract on file. This is also useful in case the movers damage your property. Unfortunately, you may need to involve a lawyer to settle if you suspect fraudulent charges. 

You can largely avoid these problems if you research the moving company ahead of time. Look up their Better Business Bureau page to see if people have reported shady behavior about them. Otherwise, it’s up to you, your lawyer, and the moving company to settle the dispute. 

4. Request More Time

Moving companies don’t always demand you pay them on the spot when the bill is more than the estimate. In that case, you typically only need to pay 60% of the total cost of the move. However, you may need to request a payment extension if they expect the money right away. 

Politely explain that you understandably expected the final cost to be the same as the price estimate. In many states, the company has to give you at least 30 days to pay the balance if it’s 110% more than the quote. They want to get their money, so many moving companies are smart to not rush their customers and burn bridges. 

How Do Moving Companies Charge Customers?

Moving companies charge customers based on distance, labor, services rendered, and how much stuff they must move. Most movers also offer both fixed and flat-rate options that affect the overall cost. Flat-rate moves are great if you want to know how much you will pay upfront. 

Hourly moves are more dynamic in that the cost goes hand in hand with how long it takes to move everything. This is a great option if you don’t have much stuff, but it can also wind up costing more than a flat-rate move in some cases. It depends on how difficult the move is. 

For example, factors such as staircases and tight hallways can make moving take longer than expected. People who get charged more than the estimate typically experience this with hourly moves. It’s up to you to decide which is a better option between hourly and flat-rate moves.  

How To Avoid Being Scammed By A Moving Company 

Read Reviews

Online reviews can tell you a lot about how trustworthy a moving company is. Pay attention to Google reviews and posts on the Better Business Bureau website. It also helps to speak to friends and family members in the area to see what they know about any given moving company. 

Compare Rates

The best way to avoid being scammed by a moving company is to simply compare your options. It’s a great idea to speak to many companies and get an idea of how they differ. Pushy companies that avoid questions are more likely to scam you. 

Compare rates and keep track of how the conversations go to see who is more trustworthy. It’s a simple method, but it can save you trouble down the line. 

Request A Consultation And Contract

Never trust a moving company that provides a quote without a consultation. A reputable moving company will visit your home and inspect your belongings to provide a cost estimate. It’s a red flag if movers simply provide a random estimate without ever looking at your stuff.

They will also provide a contract, and that’s a sign that they are a legitimate company. Consider another moving company if there’s no consultation and they don’t provide a contract. 

Summing It Up

Review the contract and speak to the supervisor or manager at the moving company if they charge more than the quote. They may explain where the charges came from, or you can ask them to lower the price. Otherwise, you may need to hire a lawyer to settle a dispute in or out of court if they scammed you. 

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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