Please help me not get scammed by a *discount* moving company. What do I do?


First of all it’s been a while since hanging out here, life seems to have sped up quite quickly with working for a University again, and moving from New England to Colorado. I do not want to digress too much, but suffice to say, singlehood and the rocky mountains are treating me quite well :smiley:
[sup]…and it looks like I get my charter membership back soon…cool. [/sup]

So I have been searching for a home for the last several months, I had all of my gear in storage on the east coast and have been renting a place long enough to find a good home to move into. Now I have the home and I need my thingsa out of storage. I was hoping to use two PODS to get them back but thaty was going to run me close to $4500. So I opted to go with a discount moving company who would get my things out of storage and move them out to me in CO. I got a quote of $1500 everything included for a certain cubic feet of room on a larger truck. My friend was present when the movers showed up, he began loading them and they said it was going to be more than the quote…Said friend called me and relayed the news. I asked to speak with the person in charge and was given the phone. The Russian who was talking to me told me the cubic footage and subsequent amount quoted over the phone was just an estimated quote…now they were going to double it and charge me $3400! :eek:

I then told my friend to take some of the larger things off so they could drop the cubic footage rate and lower the price.

When all was said and told they made my friend sign an agreement and he did, so he could get my things moving across country.

Now I find out that I am to be charged double from what I was originally charged. So I phoned the company and played dumb…I asked what I should make the check out for when the movers arrive in Colorado…they told me a much lower price [the original quoted price] from what my friend just told me.

So I said to the person on the phone that I do not want any surprises when the movers get here, and that if I hand them a cashiers check for the amount told to me over the phone, would the people arriving with the truck have a different number in mind? They said no that I only owe them the remainder of the quote.

So, what ought I do in this situation? I don’t want to put it out there that I am being scammed, but I also don’t want to be completely naive thinking that the movers are not going to ask me for the remainder of the money, not the original lower quoted amount.

Does anyone think I can haggle with them? Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?

Thanks in advance -


Are you getting anything in writing throughout all of this? People can tell you anything over the phone and then deny it when you try to act on it - “Oh, I don’t know why he would have said that, but the price is $4300, and you’ll just have to pay that to get your stuff.”

Yes, I have the original quote from the company. It states the original amount they quoted me. I am doing all of this from 2000 miles away, but that is why I had a trusted friend there to supervise, AND why I took some things off the list.

What I want to avoid is if I call the parent company I do not want them calling the guys in the van alerting them that I may give them a hard time. I don’t mind paying a little extra for any tape or whatever they needed to use, but certainly not double what I was quoted.

Have you checked them out with your local consumer agency?

Yes, and they are quite new and do not have any complaints. They are licensed and all that, and no accidents. BUt from what I hear moving companies can pop up and change names quickly. Again, I don’t want to jinx it, I just don’t want to pay double.

What exactly does your contract say? Are there any vague clauses involving 2nd parties being subcontracted to do the moving?

How can they screw you? Let me count the ways.

What will happen is that the movers outside your door will say that the contract is for the other guys back in your starting town but that they are independent of them and because of (blah blah blah) it will cost you more and that if you do not shell over more money they will take your stuff back and put it in storage which will then cost you more.

Whether you want to fight it out is your decision. I managed to get around it by writing a check from an account I had closed - they looked at it suspiciously and asked if it would cash. SURE! After it didn’t they threatened me…even sending a couple of big dudes to pound on my door. They threatened to sue but I was thinking…go ahead! I have a contract.

Don’t use discount movers…especially if the name starts with an ALL and ends with an IED

Ohhh…heartburn. I’d pay the extra just to avoid the scam. :frowning:

Uhh. I don’t want to do any of that. Also, my things have not even arrived yet, I’m trying to do something preemptively. Should I just have the original quote and then pay them what I owe them off of that then see what happens?

The thing is, your quote probably says estimate somewhere on it. They are not bound by that amount. When you talked to the person at the head office, you needed to get them to send you something in writing saying that the price they quoted you was final and inclusive.

You need a written binding price, not an estimate, if you want to ensure a fixed price with no surprises.

There’s nothing wrong with being given an estimated price and nothing more, so long as the estimate document/contract specifies that the total charge cannot vary by more than X% from the estimate.

That would be my next step.


So what happened?