This year alone, more than 35 million Americans will move, and Spring is the season when many of those families and individuals begin thinking about what moving company to hire.
If you're planning a move, it's also the time to protect yourself from unlawful carriers.
Moving is an exciting, but hectic time – the last thing you and your family should have to worry about is whether or not your personal belongings will arrive at your new home. That's why our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has launched a campaign warning consumers about the red flags that may be signs of an unscrupulous interstate carrier and advising you to "Protect your memories; protect your move."
Among the most common complaints are shipments being held hostage; loss, damage or delay of shipments; unauthorized movers; and deceptive practices, such as overcharges.
Of course, the majority of interstate movers are reputable, and tens of millions of Americans move each year without any problems. But, as FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said, "Consumers need to know how to spot the bad movers and feel confident they are selecting a reliable, safe, and responsible moving company.”
At protectyourmove.gov, you can find tools and information to help before, during and after an interstate move. Resources include a moving fraud prevention checklist, a moving broker checklist, and a handy list of tips for a successful move. Consumers can also search a company's complaint history and compare the safety records of companies nationally.
This year's Protect Your Move campaign focuses on the red flags that should make you pause:
- When a mover refuses to make a house call for an estimate.
- When a mover asks for a deposit.
- When a mover offers a much lower estimate than other companies.
- When a mover picks up your possessions and then escalates the price or tries to make you sign a blank or incomplete document before they will deliver the shipment.
Knowing these red flags is a terrific way to arm yourself and your family against fraud. But protectyourmove.gov has even more great tips and tools to protect your money and your memories by protecting your move.
If you're planning to relocate, Administrator Ferro and I hope you'll remember that protectyourmove.gov is a good way to ensure that your new adventure starts with a confident first step.