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The Problem of Moving Service Rip-Offs and How to Prevent Them

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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
Following increasing foreclosure stats, moving service scams are also on the rise as more Americans move to new homes. The Better Business Bureau lists 9,405 complaints in 2003. That is 6,537 more complaints from 1995 figures.

The Problem

In 1995, Congress scrapped the Interstate Commerce Commission, causing the moving industry to be deregulated. With the lack of regulation, some moving services have been perfecting sly techniques to scam clients. Scammers offer low-priced quotes then present exorbitant bills on moving day. Those who refuse stand to get their goods hijacked.

Unfortunately, government cannot be counted on for help. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which is responsible for interstate moves only has three employees. Although the FBI was able to catch a number of offenders last year, it cannot do much to return lost possessions.

There are few states like California which are vigilant about interstate moves. A bill was also introduced last year by Rep. Tom Petri seeking to allow the state to take legal actions against interstate movers. However, government has yet to pass this into a law.

With these conditions, it seems that homeowners are on their own and need to practice more caution in hiring moving companies.

What You Can Do?

Get referrals from actual people you know. Con artists thrive on buying referrals from internet moving quote services so avoid hiring companies online.

Make all transactions personal. Do not get a moving quote over the phone. Get an in-house estimate and visit the company’s offices to check if the company has all the necessary equipment. Movers should be aware that their client would not easily allow himself to get scammed.

Check the Company’s Reputation. Check on the company’s complaint history from the Better Business Bureau.

Follow the Agreement. If third-party movers show up on moving day without the company informing you, refuse them and hire another service.

While government largely remains undependable, homeowners should follow these tips and avoid being cheated by moving services.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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