From Florida to California

A couple of weeks ago, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced court actions against 14 moving companies, along with several affiliated entities and individuals. This week, California started looking into several moving companies as well. Allegations against the companies include deceptive marketing and sales of household moving services while holding consumers’ goods hostage for ransom.

According to Florida’s attorney general’s office “Our complaints allege these moving companies deliberately loaded people’s belongings onto a truck, hiked up prices and then forced customers to pay before releasing the items,” said Attorney General Bondi. “We are working closely with the U.S. Department of Transportation to stop these scams and hold the companies responsible for using these deceptive tactics.”

Keep in mind these 3 steps

While there are many different reasons that increases can and do happen, we cannot urge you enough to train your movers to take every precaution possible to avoid your company being added as another on the list.

  1. Do your own Estimates. Do them using an updated and accurate Table of Measurements Sheet. Add 10% for Dead Air Space.  
  2. Do a Quality Assurance call before the move.  Verify (again) during the call advising the customer of the loading of the truck for the delivery route that the customers understand the collection of payments and methods of payments accepted at the delivery.  
  3. Upon arrival to the origin tell your crews DO NOT load any items until you have identified the items on the inventory list from the Original Estimate and verify that they are indeed close to the estimated size.  If the sizes are very different, you must issue a Revised Estimate. If they have additional items or request additional services, then issue a Revised Estimate. Check out our post about Binding vs Non-Binding vs Revised Estimate

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Increasing an estimate after the moving truck is loaded is illegal under federal law
  • When using a non-binding estimate, you may only increase up to 10% over estimate based on the actual weight
  • Revising an estimate without listing the additional items and services

Why a breakdown of service charges is required?

Essentially, to stay in compliance, you must be able to explain the charges. This means that it was put in place to avoid claims of discrimination and fraud. The goal is to protect you the carrier, and also your customer from less reputable carriers.

To learn more about claims services, household goods compliance, training and to learn about required legal documents, send us a note or call us.