125 Sockanosset Crossroad
Cranston, RI 02920
Phone (401) 943-1230
Fax (401) 942-5272
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Interstate Agent For
Are You Moving?
Protect Yourself From Moving Fraud
More than 40 million Americans move each year for personal reasons and career opportunities. It’s a significant event in anyone’s life. Your money and your memories are at stake. It can also be stressful, even under the best of circumstances. Know how to avoid one of the most stressful situations that can arise; protect yourself from
dishonest, “rogue” movers.
Most moving companies are legitimate businesses that do quality work. But in recent years, a growing number of complaints have been filed against interstate movers and
many of those complaints spring from the fraudulent practices of a small percentage of dishonest movers known as rogue movers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), of the U .S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has initiated a partnership with other Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies, consumer groups, and the moving industry to make sure you have the information you need to “Protect Your Memories, Your Money, Your Move” from fraud.
Q. How do I learn more about choosing a mover?
A. Go to www.protectyourmove.gov for more information and resources on choosing a mover.
Q. What if I think a rogue mover has taken advantage of me?
A. Log on to www.protectyourmove.gov, or call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238)
to file a complaint; your report could become part of a Federal investigation against the company. But remember, you should file a complaint directly with the mover before doing so with FMCSA.
Q. What is the difference between an intrastate move and an interstate move?
A. An intrastate move is one in which goods are transported from one point to another within the same state; (i.e., no state borders are crossed). An interstate move is one in which goods are transported from one state to another. FMCSA has jurisdiction
over interstate moves; state and local authorities have jurisdiction over intrastate and local moves.
Q. How do I insure my property when I hire a mover?
A. There are two options: valuation coverage and insurance. When you sign your bill of lading, the mover automatically provides valuation coverage, which assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per item for interstate moves. Some movers may also offer to sell or procure for you separate liability insurance from a third party
insurance company. If you purchase this insurance from or through your mover, the mover is required to issue a policy or written record of the purchase.
Q. In addition to FMCSA, are there other authorities I should contact to report a mover?
A. Yes. State Attorneys General and Consumer Affairs agencies are responsible for pursuing suspected moving fraud.
Choosing a Reputable Mover
Here’s an important "to do" list to help you select the right mover:
Red Flags For Spotting Rogue Movers
Rogue movers typically work like this: Without ever visiting your home or seeing the goods you want moved, they give a low estimate over the telephone or Internet. Once your goods are on their truck, they demand more money before they will deliver or unload them. They hold your goods hostage and force you to pay more-sometimes much more than you thought you had agreed to — if you want your possessions back.
Your best defense is to recognize a rogue mover before they have your
goods. Here are the “red flags” to look out for:
■ The mover doesn’t offer or agree to an on site inspection of your household goods and gives an estimate over the telephone or Internet — sight unseen. These estimates often sound too good to be true. They usually are.
■ The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move.
■ The mover doesn’t provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet movers are required by Federal regulations to supply to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves.
■ The company’s web site has no local address and no information about their registration or insurance.
■ The mover claims all goods are covered by their insurance.
■ When you call the mover, the telephone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving company,” rather than the company’s name.
■ Offices and warehouse are in poor condition or non-existent.
■ On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company owned or marked fleet truck.
Doing Your Part
The federal government, state and local law enforcement
agencies, and the legitimate moving industry have joined forces
to combat moving fraud, but you have an important role to play
as well. If you’re planning to move, it’s important to learn as
much as you can about your rights and responsibilities.
The best source of information is on the FMCSA Web site at:
You can also use this site to link to other government, law
enforcement and moving industry information sources. This
is very important if you’re looking for more detailed state and
local information, including how to file a complaint.
Know your rights and responsibilities.
Protect Your Memories. Your Money.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1-800-832-5660 • TTY: 1-800-877-8339