FMCSA Protects Consumers from Moving Fraud; Shuts Down Five Companies in One Week
Partnerships, investigations leading to worry-free moves
This year alone, more than 35 million Americans will move. At the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we're working to ensure that families and their household possessions are protected during every one of those moves.
The majority of moving companies are, of course, upstanding. They play by the rules and treat their customers fairly.
But too often, families on the move are preyed upon by unscrupulous carriers. Too often, they are overcharged when shipping their possessions to a new home. Too often, their treasured memories are held hostage until a high ransom is paid.
Of the complaints we hear, these are among the most damaging to consumers –not just financially, but also emotionally. Imagine the stress that comes along with any move – only to find out that, on top of that, you’re suddenly the victim of a crime, too.
That’s why, at FMCSA, we’re cracking down against deceitful companies.
This week alone, investigators shut down five moving companies for holding shipments hostage and failing to turn over records related to the investigations.
FMCSA’s Moving Fraud Task Force began investigating Allegiant Van Lines, of Davie, Florida, when consumers complained that the company illegally held their possessions hostage. The company failed to respond to federal orders charging it with improperly holding goods hostage and has been suspended from operating for at least one year and fined. In addition, we have also fined and shut down three affiliates of Allegiant operating in Florida and South Carolina. A separate carrier in Maryland was also shut down.
Shutting down Allegiant and its web of carriers shows what a difference a consumer complaint can make. If your moving company has treated you unfairly, you can file a complaint here.
Visit www.protectyourmove.gov to help plan a move and avoid becoming a victim of moving fraud.
This past summer, the task force revoked or suspended the operating authority for three Chicago-area household goods moving companies for serious violations of our regulations, and assessed civil penalties against all three carriers. Two remain out of service.
And last week, FMCSA held a Moving Fraud Conference with our partners in the moving industry, which focused on raising the bar for consumer protection.
We're working with four states – Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, and New Jersey – to train state officials to conduct investigations of rogue companies, and we hope more states will join us.
The American people are relying on us so that they can have a safe and worry-free move, and with the help of our valuable partners, we can ensure that everyone who moves is treated fairly by their moving company.
Through strong enforcement and teamwork, we can protect consumers from moving fraud.
Anne Ferro is Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Planning a move? Learn how to protect yourself from fraud; visit www.protectyourmove.gov today.