Trouble With Your Movers? Call The Department Of Weights And Measures!

You might not immediately think of the Department of Weights and Measures when a scammy moving company is holding your goods hostage. Thankfully, Steve who is a Public Information Officer for the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures reads Consumerist. Steve writes:

Here in AZ we get involved with interstate moving complaints quite a bit. Basically if there’s a dispute we’ll show up and give a moving company three options:

1. Deliver for the original price, not the inflated one.
2. We take the truck to a certified commercial scale to be weighed. Then the truck returns to the consumer’s address and unloads. We then take the truck back to the scale a second time to be weighed. The difference between the two tells us how much the furniture weighed. Based on the price per pound, we then know the true cost.
3. The driver can try to leave, but that could lead to arrest on charges of theft. We always call out the local police for assistance. Two drivers have gone to jail.

We save an average of $1,400 for consumers. In the past year we’ve saved them more than $100,000. A few weeks ago we saved one consumer $11,000.

Who knew the Department of Weights and Measures was so heroic? For more info, Steve provided a link full of good information for consumers.—MEGHANN MARCO

Avoid “Rogue” Moving Companies [Arizona Department of Weights And Measures]
(Photo: cmorran123)

Comments

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  1. B says:

    Hooray for Steve. I’m glad to know there is at least one government agency on the customer’s side.

  2. Tallanvor says:

    I so wish for the following:

    1) The federal government had (and used) this kind of authority and barring that, that
    2) NC did (or at least advertised that they did) this when I moved.

    Damned movers with their “Yes, it’s based on weight, we’ll weigh it when we pick it up, and then charge you accordingly” and then saying “screw the contract, you have to pay this much to get your stuff”.

  3. magdelane says:

    My father is a Sealer of Weights and Measures for my home county in PA. Something to note, is that your local County may have an office. Try them first (The Sealer lives nearby!) And if you find that the County doesn’t have their own office, then that area is under the governance of the state, and you’ll want to look there.

    Make my dad’s day. He likes pushing businesses into doing the right thing. :)

  4. kenposan says:

    This should be national Steve rocks day!! I have never used movers but have read plenty about their practices. This is great info for people to have.

  5. mantari says:

    So how about those PODS things? Those cargo containers that you load yourself, and then transport the container itself to wherever. Any comments good or bad on those?

  6. joeblevins says:

    You will get zero complaints about this post. This is one of those 100% consumerist posts that make this website so great. A reader of this site actively protecting the consumer!!! And he is in a government office to boot!!

  7. kerry says:

    This is AWESOME to know. Thanks so much for sending the tip, Steve!

  8. crayonshinobi says:

    Wow…thanks for the tip and thanks to Steve for sharing it! This is what makes the Consumerist so powerful.

    My family will be contacting the Illinois and Colorado departments to try to resolve our current mover issue as well.

  9. mantari says:

    I just checked. I had no idea that they had these on a city level. They’ve got an Inspector of Weights and Measures, and Deputy Inspectors of Weights and Measures. Sure enough, he seems to have the powers described above, and more. Their area of scope is also Intrastate commerce, even though they are appointed by the mayor, and report to the City Council.

    Which, BTW, if someone appeals a ruling by the inspector, it claims that they much appear before the City Council to argue their appeal.

    Also interesting… it is an offense for lie to the inspector, impersonate the inspector, or directly or indirectly bribe the inspector. :)

    Teeth = $300 fine and/or 90 days in the city jail, for each offense. And each day of a violation is considered a separate offense.

    Holy smokes, they do have some teeth after all!

  10. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Awesome tip!

    Some other things you should do:

    Make sure movers put mattresses in sealed boxes (bugs and stuff).

    Actually put washer packs in… if not, the drum could get shaken break.

    Follow them as the do inventory of your furniture. My mover tried to mark every defect possible on his inventory sheet for some relatively new stuff. I asked him to show me what he was talking about because it was clear that he wasn’t inspecting the furniture, and he got pissed and got a new inventory sheet from the truck.

    “PBO,” or “Packed By Owner,” removes them from all liability if they break your shit. Try not to do this unless you are going to tote your stuff personally.

  11. homerjay says:

    And in a related story, Michael Baroody reads consumerist article. Decides to abolish all departments of weights and measures. Laughs in a sinister voice while wringing hands.

  12. ChiefDanGeorge says:

    Here in South Carolina, the Dept. of Agriculture is responsible for the weights and measurements. So anyone checking for a Weights and Measurements group may want to check with the DoA.

  13. MommaShenobi says:

    I called Colorado Dept.of Weights and Measures and had a very pleasant conversation about my ordeal (see post reference scammy movers/ASAP Van Lines). They put me on speaker phone and I spoke with 3 (supervisors and a manager).

    THANK YOU Consumerist and Steve, you are awesome!!

  14. GameMasterZer0 says:

    Hopefully we can save everyone from the likes of Tiffany and ASAP Vanlines