How To Avoid Moving Scams

newVideoPlayer(“moving_scams_gawker.flv”, 475, 376);The Today Show has a tale of Goofus and Gallant, one lady who had a great move and one who had a horrible one.

Gallant got recommendations from friends, and made the company agree on a “not to exceed” price for the move.

Goofus entered the moving company’s name wrong in the Better Business Bureau site and so she didn’t see the complaints racked up against the company she went with. She also signed a blank bill. Don’t be Goofus.

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  1. Skyoodpov says:

    Yeesh. How can signing a blank bill ever seem like a reasonable thing to do?

    Not to kick her when she is down, but I hope she has a friend who reads Consumerist, and is forever burdened with the nickname “Goofus.”

  2. alpha says:

    @Skyoodpov:

    Seriously. Signing stuff all willy nilly is a big no-no.

    I’m in Tennessee for the summer and the local Utilities Board has this antiquated paper system for signing up for electric service…Anyway, as I filled it out the lady is like “oh just sign there.” To which I say “Wait a minute…what’s this dollar amount here all about?” She says “Oh don’t worry about that, I’ll explain that after you sign.”

    Ha. Yeah right lady. You’ll explain it to me now BEFORE I sign. I told her as much too and she seemed less than pleased. Well f you too lady, I’m not going to sign something saying I’m going to give you money before you explain wtf it’s for.

    /rant

  3. bobhope2112 says:

    I do have some compassion for “Goofus,” but perhaps she needed the bite of an extra $650 charge to wake her up. Not being able to find a company on the Better Business Bureau site is not the same as determining that business has no outstanding complaints. Additionally, signing a blank contract gets you approximately what you deserve.

  4. Xerloq says:

    Didn’t Dateline do something on this a few years ago? I think they recommended going with the national moving chains because they all followed best practices (even though there is no regulation). They included the standard visual inspection, written estimate, inventory of goods, insurance, scheduled delivery, etc.

    Just be careful that they don’t pack your full waste baskets. True story.

  5. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @Xerloq: Yes, I remember that. People would be moved into their houses and have no idea where their stuff was. I would imagine moving across country or at least a few states over would be a harrowing ordeal.

  6. dbeahn says:

    So the moral of the story is “If you’re stupid, bad things happen to you!” ?

  7. nachas101 says:

    I once saw a news crew stage a fake company.
    The mark signed a document that said in one of the clauses something to the effect of “we have the right to sell your stuff and not give you a penny”.
    The guy signed.
    The “movers” showed up in a white truck, took the stuff and left. Then the news crew pulled up and made fun of them. Yes, they got their stuff back.
    People are stupid when it comes to contracts.
    NEVER sign anything until you’ve read it.
    If you don’t understand something, ask. If it still feels fishy, walk away or ask someone else to help you understand what’s up.

  8. OnceWasCool says:

    Better Business Bureau is a JOKE.

  9. Yes, the BBB is crap.

    If you’re moving in Connecticut, I can recommend BeavEx Moving & Storage in North Haven. They were awesome.

  10. …and I like the advice about the “Not To Exceed” price, too. That’s a helpful tidbit for those folks planning a move…

  11. doodbugboodles says:

    Tip of the Day: When a contractor working for you begins yelling at you, it’s time for him to leave.

  12. The “Goofus” woman seems to have a problem standing up to people. She knew signing the blank bill was a bad idea but did it anyway because this guy decided to have a hissy fit.

    “We don’t move furniture.” The hell?
    What’s the point of hiring movers if they won’t move heavy stuff?