What to do if you have been the victim of a moving scam
Moving Scams – What to do if you’ve been the victim of a moving Scam
Unfortunately not all moving companies are honest and reliable and 1000’s of people fall victim to moving scams each year. There are many types of moving scams but the most common type of moving scam is known as a bait and switch and is described by the Better Business Bureau as “Consumers and the moving company agree on a price to move personal belongings. At the end of the move, the movers demand extra fees and hold the belongings hostage unless the fees are paid.”
If you have been a victim of a moving scam there is hope. Whatever type of moving scam you have been a victim of we have put together a list of people and places that you can contact that will help to resolve your moving scam and help to make sure you can get it resolved and that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. Whatever one of our options you decide to pursue we strongly advise to always keep a record of any communications or complaints that you have made as these will help your case going forward. There are a number of options available to you to help you file a complaint against the moving company and help you get the issue resolved. Before choosing a mover however we always recommend reading our post on How to choose the right moving company to help you avoid scams and bad moving companies.
How to report a moving scam
Resolve the issue by communicating with the moving company
This is the solution that we always recommend trying first. Simply give the moving company a call and calmly try and resolve the issue. A lot of times it may have just been due to a miss communication between you and the moving company. If they are a honest company they will be happy to work with you to resolve the situation. If a solution cannot be reached this way it may be time to take further action.
Report them to the Better Business Bureau
You can file a complaint against a moving company with the Better Business Bureau through their Online Complaint System, or you can also visit their nearest office. It will really help if your moving company is BBB Accredited as it will set the claim process in motion much quicker. Within two days, BBB will contact your moving company about your pending claim, at which time the company will have 14 days to reply. If there is no response within this 14-day period, a second request is sent to the company from the BBB. You will be informed of the status of your claim as the information becomes available – most of the time, moving complaints close these disputes within 30 days.
Check out MoveRescue
Move Rescue is a consumer assistance service aimed at stopping disreputable and unscrupulous interstate movers. It’s backed by a network of U.S. law firms. Their service offers legal advice and general guidance to people who’ve been victims of hostage scams and other moving frauds. They provide consumer advocates and legal services at no cost to callers. Visit them at MovingRescue.com or give them a call on 800-832-1773
Report them to your local moving authority
All states have a organization that are responsible for regulating household movers that operate within that State. Contacting them may result in an investigation being launched which may result in the local authorities getting involved.
Submit a complaint to the AMSA
The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is the non-profit trade association representing members of the professional moving industry. It will help your complaint if your mover is part of the AMSA. You can find out if they are by calling 703-683-7410 or by sending them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org There is no cost to you for processing a complaint through this AMSA program. They act as a clearinghouse for matters relating to consumer complaints, information and arbitration. AMSA is not a governmental agency and they do not have the authority to order your mover to provide refunds or reimbursements, force a settlement or to demand any type of compensatory payment from your mover, however, they do routinely remove movers from their membership that show a repeated pattern of consumer abuse.
Review them on Yelp
Our advice before writing a review is to first of all let the company know that you plan to do so. If they are a reputable company they will not want a bad review and should work with you to resolve the matter. If however they still show no intention of doing the right thing then a review on Yelp will at least help to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Submit a complaint to the FMCSA
You can file your complaint to the FMCSA by visiting the FMCSA Consumer Website. Although they do have limited resources, it is still a good idea to file your complaint with them. If enough people file a complaint there will be more chance of them taking action against a specific carrier.