ST. LOUIS, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As peak moving season begins and people look to hire movers, Mayflower is reminding consumers to be wary of moving scams. Of the approximately 1.6 million Americans that will move to a new state this year, nearly 3,000 consumers will be defrauded by internet-based companies that offer low initial estimates, but then hold a victim’s possessions hostage until they receive thousands of dollars in additional payments.
May through August is the busiest time of year for moving companies. Millions of boxes containing consumers' most valuable possessions will be transported over the next few months. Fraudsters prey on consumers seeking an inexpensive move, and what sounds like a great deal can soon turn into a nightmare.
"Consumers are often tempted to go with the cheapest mover instead of with a reputable company that offers the best service for a fair price," said Melissa Sullivan, marketing communications manager, Mayflower Transit. "Just because someone has a website doesn't mean they are a legitimate mover. At Mayflower, we are committed to helping people choose a reputable mover from the start to save time, money and stress."
As America's most trusted and recognized moving company, Mayflower has pledged its support to help customers when scam artists violate the federal consumer protection regulations. Move Rescue is a program endorsed and sponsored by Mayflower Transit. It provides free assistance to consumers who have fallen victim to disreputable moving companies. Since its inception in 2003, MoveRescue has helped more than 2,000 victims.
"We started MoveRescue when we noticed an increasing volume of moving scams. We're donating our expertise to help families retrieve their possessions," added Sullivan. "We saw a need to stand up for consumers as well as the reputation of trustworthy movers across the country."
Mayflower offers these tips to help consumers avoid being a victim of a rogue move:
- Ask for an in-home estimate. Since transportation charges are based on move distance and weight, the company should physically look at your belongings.
- Don't be hooked by the lowest price. Get three estimates. If one quote is much lower than the other two, it could be a red flag that the company is not legitimate.
- Verify company affiliations. Some disreputable movers lure customers by using names similar to reputable companies, so check the reputable company's website to see if the mover is affiliated.
- Don't pay up front. Generally, reputable moving companies will not require a deposit.
- Get pickup and delivery dates in writing.
If consumers believe they are the victim of a moving scam, the Move Rescue program can help at no cost to the customer by calling the 800 number (800-832-1773) or on the website at www.moverescue.com.
Mayflower is America's most recognized and trusted moving company. Together with its sister company Mayflower Containers, Mayflower offers a full range of moving services from full-service to do-it-yourself moving and storage. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, Mayflower maintains a network of 300 affiliated agencies. For more information about Mayflower Transit and its services, visit Mayflower.com or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MayflowerMoving.