Scams on the Move… says Carol

Couple Moving Boxes Scams on the Move… says CarolYou are moving! That in itself is stressful. So many tasks to do and changes to make.

Be aware that there are numerous good moving companies — but your BBB does see some problems in the industry. Check out the companies you are considering with the BBB. Once you have narrowed the choices to a few companies, know and understand their contracts. Get everything in writing. Be sure to obtain a copy of the contract.

Recently, we heard from a consumer whose $1,000 sofa was ripped while being moved by a company. A close examination of the contract showed the maximum claim was $100 per item. The consumer did not realize that she could have paid for additional insurance for more expensive items to be covered.

Does the company have the proper permit from the Public Utilities Commission of Colorado (PUC)? If it doesn’t, it will not have insurance, and you will not be able to file claims for damages and get reimbursed. We received a complaint concerning a laborer who advertised he would help with packing. Once on the premises he offered to transport the furniture. He didn’t have a PUC permit so his insurance did not cover damages incurred.

Get estimates from the companies. There are three kinds of estimates that are common in the moving industry. Compare “apples to apples” when looking at the estimates from the different companies. Here they are:

  • Binding Not-to-be Exceeded. This is the most popular one. You cannot be charged more if your actual weight exceeds the original written estimate. However, if the actual weight is less, then you pay less than the original estimate.
  • Fixed Price Agreement. You pay the amount of the estimate regardless of the weight.
  • Non-Binding Agreement. You pay for the amount of the actual weight, based on a set price per pound. That means you could pay more or less than the estimate.

There is a document called Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. Ask your moving company for a copy.

 

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About Carol Odell

Carol J. Odell, is the CEO of the Better Business of Southern Colorado and has been with the BBB for twenty years. Even before her BBB life she was involved in the community as a volunteer and co-owner of a manufacturing business. She is a published author, speaker, wife, mother, and grandmother --- and enjoys all of these roles.