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Tips To Avoid Junk Removal Scams

Posted by on February 12, 2017
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As with anything purchased or commissioned—whether a product or a service—when it comes to choosing a junk removal company, it’s always a case of “buyer beware!” Doing due diligence on the company whose employees will come to your home, walk around your property, collect the junk you’ve entrusted them to dispose of in a legitimate and eco-friendly way, and do all the things they’ve promised to do in your quote, is very important. You don’t want to fall prey to a scam!

There Are Big Scams and There Are Petty Scams

There are, of course, degrees of scams out there, ranging from criminals masquerading as a junk removal company (although this is thankfully rare, and more common with moving companies) to outfits that may scam you on one or more of the services they’ve promised to provide.

For instance, they could deceive you on the weight of your junk, if you’re paying by weight. Their quote may not include an explanation of additional surcharges to make them seem cheaper and more appealing. Or, they could promise a crew of two professionals in uniform, and just one guy with an old worse-for-wear truck arrives on the day of the removal. There are many ways in which a dishonest junk removal company is able to take your money and run, often leaving you without a recourse.

Avoid Scams with Due Diligence

To avoid being swindled by an unscrupulous junk removal company, take the following steps in choosing the one to do your job.

Ask your friends, neighbours, relatives and colleagues for a recommendation. If they were satisfied with a company, chances are you will be too.

  1. Check out the company’s website for the services and prices they offer, and their background. Look for customer service pledges, and customer reviews.
  2. Check out a contractor review website, such as a Homestars.com, for previous customers’ assessments of services provided.
  3. When you call the company, the sales agent you contact should be knowledgeable and professional sounding. The estimate should be free and non-binding.
  4. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there is a history of consumer complaints about the company. That’s always a red flag!

Warning Signs to Look Out For

If you do decide to go with a lesser-known, smaller junk hauling outfit, make sure they are insured. If they are insured, you’re protected. If there is no insurance, and they happen to do damage to your property while doing their job, you have no legal recourse. Worse yet, if one of their crew members should happen to injure himself on your property, he can sue you.

It’s also a good idea to have in writing how the company intends to dispose of your junk. Unfortunately, it does happen sometimes that a junk hauler will charge disposal fees for the proper and eco-friendly way of recycling and disposal, then just take a short cut and dump your junk load in some isolated area outside the city.

Most junk removal companies are upright and law-abiding operations, but as with any trade, there are always some bad apples, so be careful with your choice! Generally speaking, the larger and more established the company, the better the chance you’re dealing with reputable, trustworthy people.