The Many Faces of Moving Companies

Know the hidden aspects of moving companies and save yourself from stress.

Hijackers and Extortionists
Just when all your stuff is ready for unloading, the mover presents a bill 300 percent higher than the agreement. Refuse payment and the goods stay in the moving van.

This is an often successful modus operandi of movers, especially these days when Americans keep moving due to increasing foreclosures. Following an investigation dubbed Operation Stow Biz, feds indicted 74 owners, employees and operators, and 16 companies on charges of fraud, false documentation and inflating moving costs. The bad news is that while FBI may investigate complaints on interstate moves, getting the items back is not a priority.

Amateurs and Dummy Movers
Day-laborers from off the streets or independent moving truck drivers are hired for the moving day. Inexperienced crew members are likely to damage possessions, and fly-by-night operators are difficult to get to court. Some movers may also hire third-party movers who are not adequately informed of the details of the move.

Overbooking is usually done just to keep a customer. Movers would then arrive after business hours to make sure that clients do not find other companies.

Just when a client is ready to press charges, the movers turn out to be non-existent. Their addresses can not be found on any website, and addresses turn out to be a false.

What You Can Do

  • Get referrals from friends and family, and check the Better Business Bureau for the company’s reputation
  • Personally visit the company’s offices and check for adequate equipment.
  • In case third-party movers are unavoidable, ask to be duly informed.
  • Ask for an in-house estimate and a written detailed moving quote.
  • Buy a full replacement valuation for maximum protection of items
  • Ask your agent for the coverage of your homeowners’ insurance.

Follow these tips and you may never have to face these rogue moving companies.

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