How to avoid moving scams

Unhappy MoverThe last time we moved, our stuff was held hostage.

The mover had a variety of entirely bogus reasons for hanging onto our stuff while trying to exceed the written, “not to exceed” estimate. Among the excuses: We didn’t tell him there were steps at the new house (there were two) or it was at the fringes of Los Angeles (we’re actually quite close to the geographic center of the city).

At the time, I didn’t know that reputable movers were being bought up by bad guys who pulled these stunts, or that moving in many areas is so lightly regulated that they can get away with this crap.

If you’ve got a move planned this summer, take the time to check out Consumer Report’s tips for avoiding scams.

One of the best tips I know isn’t included: Ask your employer, or another major company in the area, which companies they use to move their executives. These movers won’t be the cheapest, but since they rely on repeat business, they’re far less likely to be scamsters.

In the end, I paid a couple hundred dollars more than we agreed to ransom our stuff–much less than the $1,000 or so the mover demanded, but still too much. If we ever have to move again, I’ll be a lot more diligent in choosing a mover.

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  1. Jean Marie says

    LOVE this website, and wanted to point out, two remarks on the website itself, not the financial author here.

    #1) If if IF there is anyway to “subscribe” to this blog, i can NOT locate any ‘subscribe’ button, anywhere. Possibly, there is no way to receive email notifications that you have posted a new blog post,
    but, wow, that’d be a great feature to add to the site.

    #2) and this one, is not important, but, the button to click to add a comment, is not as obvious as you’d expect. Not terribly difficult either, but, where to click to ‘add comment’ could be made more obvious.

    TO LIZ WESTON— THANKS FOR THIS WEBSITE, now i am SOoooo running out to buy your books. How have i never heard of you before? You are a national treasure, keep up the great work.

    • lizweston says

      Thanks, Jean! I don’t yet have an email newsletter, but if you have a newsreader you can use the RSS button (the one next to the “F” Facebook button) to subscribe. And I agree with you about the commenting feature; we’ll try to make that more obvious in our next redesign.