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Moving Scams: Guaranteed Delivery Dates & Fake Discounts

Guaranteed Delivery Dates

Table of Contents

Guaranteed Delivery Dates

Guaranteed delivery dates are often a conditional requirement of most customers to make a decision before reserving. This assurance can be a deciding factor for those needing to move within a tight timeframe, whether due to job relocations, lease agreements, or other time-sensitive commitments. However, the reality of interstate transportation of household goods often makes this promise difficult, if not impossible, to fulfill. (Unless the entire truck is dedicated to your move)

“I really feel like Ive been deceived, and lied to…”

 

The audio recording of this customer service call is nothing new. Hundreds of these calls are received each day in the moving industry, with little sign of hope or recourse. Items are picked up, loaded on the truck, and a guaranteed delivery date that was promised by a seller is not honored. 

Interstate moves typically involve the consolidation of shipments from multiple customers. This means that a single moving truck will make several stops along its route to pick up and drop off goods. Unless a customer elects for a private truck, which is usually economically unjustifiable for 1-3 bedroom interstate moves, shipment typically takes much longer than expected. The logistics of coordinating these multiple stops, coupled with variables like traffic, weather, and regulatory requirements, can lead to significant delays. Despite these complexities, this doesn’t stop unethical salespeople from going after their commission checks. Some companies continue to make delivery guarantees they cannot realistically meet, purely as a sales tactic to secure irreversible reservation deposits.

Unethical salespeople, driven by the desire to earn their commission checks, often exploit customers’ need for a specific delivery date. They may assure potential clients that their belongings will arrive exactly when needed, despite knowing the logistical challenges that could prevent this from happening. Once the customer has paid a deposit and signed a contract, they find themselves at the mercy of the moving company’s schedule. Often times shipments can be stored in warehouses for several months awaiting delivery. 

The consequences for customers can be severe. Delayed deliveries can disrupt plans, lead to additional expenses for lodging, temporary housing or storage, and cause considerable stress. Unfortunately, by the time customers realize the guarantee was empty, they have often already invested significant money and time into the move.

Fake Discounts To Apply Pressure

“He said…in order to take advantage of the discount, you need to make this decision today”.

Incentivized with a fake discount, giving the customer little time to do their due diligence, unsuspecting customers fall victim to a common trap of paying a large reservation deposit up-front. Once the items are picked up, they are left at the mercy of the movers delivery schedule. The movers will hold off on the delivery to a certain location until they have enough shipments headed to a specific destination to make the route profitable. Essentially they’re selling the route before its economically feasible, and waiting until its profitable, or convenient, for them to deliver. Depending on the size of the company, or the season, this process can take months.

As seen from the image of the sales script, these fake discount are sales tricks baked into their sales process… The most common one being, “I have great news! We actually have an available truck headed to your destination around your pickup dates..” The customer, having never moved before, is obviously thinking this is an incredible coincidence that they shouldn’t miss out on and follows along.

Then, to lock in the customers reservation deposit… the sales rep is instructed to give a slew of discounts arbitrary savings and finally “BOOK-IT-NOW” discount, fooling the customer into thinking that this offer is only available at the current moment. 

Book it now discount

The sales script pictured above is the one used in the video. The image intends to highlight how a “convenient route discount” is used to deceptively pressure customers into making a decision on every call.

How to Protect Yourself from False Delivery Promises:

  • Request Detailed Terms:

    If a moving company promises a guaranteed delivery date, ask for this promise to be included in the contract with specific terms about what happens if the date is missed.

  • Understand the Logistics:

    Be aware that consolidated shipments inherently involve multiple variables. Ask the moving company to explain how they plan to meet the delivery date despite these challenges.

  • Check Reviews and References:

    Research the moving company’s track record. Look for reviews and testimonials that mention delivery times and how the company handles delays.

  • Ask for a Contingency Plan:

    Reputable companies should have a contingency plan in place for delays. Ask what their protocol is if they cannot meet the promised delivery date.

  • Avoid Pressure Tactics:

    Be wary of salespeople who pressure you into making a quick decision. A legitimate moving company will give you time to consider your options and make an informed choice.

  • Consider the Moving Season:

    Understand that moving during peak seasons (like summer) can increase the likelihood of delays. Plan accordingly and discuss this with your moving company.

Recognizing Ethical Movers:

Ethical moving companies are transparent about their delivery capabilities and the potential for delays. They prioritize clear communication and realistic expectations over making a quick sale. These companies will provide a range of delivery windows instead of a specific date, explaining the logistical challenges involved. They also offer robust customer service to assist clients if delays occur. To avoid falling victim to deceptive movers, you can look up your mover’s company profile here, or find a verified mover near you

By staying informed and vigilant, customers can better navigate the complexities of interstate moves and protect themselves from unethical practices. Always choose a moving company that values honesty and customer satisfaction over short-term gains, ensuring a smoother and more reliable moving experience.

If you have been a victim of moving fraud, you can file an official complaint on the FMCSA’s website. 

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