Federal agency warns against fraudulent moving companies

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The government is launching a new campaign warning against fraud by moving companies, which can include unexpected fees and lost or damaged property.

Call 12 for Action gets numerous complaints regarding unscrupulous movers around this time every year, so it’s crucial to know exactly what you’re paying for, and more importantly – your rights.

Clarissa O’Donnell said her move from California quickly turned into a nightmare. She said she received an estimate, but when moving day came, the company raised the price by more than $4,600. Not to mention her family’s belongings were delivered weeks late, and many items were damaged or missing.

She filed a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, who received nearly 6,000 complaints about moving companies in the last two years alone.

“It’s critical for consumers to do their homework. They need to make sure they’ve got the best information, understand their rights, and also the responsibilities of the movers,” said Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson.

To help consumers achieve that, the agency is launching a new campaign called “Protect Your Move.” It’s aimed at educating people before they start packing.

“I didn’t do my homework. and if anybody can hear my story and learn from it, and it doesn’t happen to them, I’m embarrassed but happy to share,” said O’Donnell.

O’Donnell luckily received a refund for those extra charges, but it’s not always that easy.

The best thing you can do before hiring a moving company is checking to make sure they are licensed. Click here to find out »

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