Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sneakiest Consumer Scams, Beware! - Part 5

Scam # 8: "We Move U 4 Less."

The trick: A mover provides you a low estimate, then take your household belongings, then holds them until you pay exorbitant and unexpected extra fees. Some schemes involve a moving broker, who takes an initial payment upfront from the consumer, then doesn't arrange shipping by a legitimate licensed trucking company that doesn't expect payment until it delivers the goods; in the end, the legitimate trucker wants payment on delivery to release the goods, but the customer already paid the broker - who's now missing in action!

What to do: Use only an insured mover registered with the Federal Department of Transportation and licensed to transport goods interstate. Check their credentials by calling 202-366-9805 or at Never hire a mover who gives an estimate without visiting your home, and who demands cash before the move, or who shows up on moving day with a rental truck instead of a company-owned and market fleet truck. Check with the company that issued your homeowner's insurance policy to see whether your goods are covered while in transit. If not, don't rely on the mover's minimal insurance coverage.
Buy full-value protection insurance from the moving company or shop for moving insurance through your regular agent.