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What Is A Moving Scam

What's in this article?
  1. Moving Scam
  2. The Bait & Switch Unexpected Price Increases
  3. Requesting A Large Up Front Deposit
  4. Moving Companies That Aren’t Registered Or Licensed
  5. Resources To Avoid Moving Scams
Unexpected Price Increases

Moving Scam

The unfortunate reality about moving companies is that there are a handful of them that do not act in good faith (or legally), giving the industry as a whole a bad name. All too often you hear stories of movers that are guilty of moving scams or fraud, costing their customers extended delays and unexpected costs, some of them even going so far as to offer services they know they cannot provide, or don’t intend to. On this page, you’ll learn about the most common moving scams and some steps you can take to avoid falling prey to these deceptive practices.

The Bait & Switch: Unexpected Price Increases

One of the most common moving scams is the bait and switch and it works like this: a moving company agrees to move your household goods for a certain price, but then once they’re in possession of your personal belongings, they raise the cost of your shipment and refuse to deliver until you meet the new higher price. In many cases, they will cite unexpected transport costs, higher than expected fuel prices, or other excuses to delay the process until you meet the new, higher cost. The bait and switch typically starts with an unreasonably low cost estimate for moving services; one that the company know they cannot reasonably meet.

The bait and switch is one reason that’s important to work with established movers with a proven track record. You’re much more likely to be taken by this particular scam if a company has been in business only a short time. It can be helpful to seek multiple quotes from moving companies so that you have a baseline cost expectation and you can easily sniff out any company offering an estimate well below the others. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

A-1 Auto Transport is a nationwide moving company with over 20 years of experience shipping household goods and cars to locations around the U.S. and internationally. Contact us today at 888-509-3213 for a FREE no obligation moving quote! Our expert staff are standing by to answer your questions and provide any support we can!

Moving Professionals

Requesting A Large Up Front Deposit

Another common moving scam is tied to the deposit. While it’s normal for a company to request a small deposit once you have agreed to use their services, the amount should represent only a minimal portion of the entire cost. If you find yourself dealing with a mover that wants half or more of the total cost up front, that is huge red flag that you should seek another option.

Moving Companies That Aren’t Registered Or Licensed

Believe it or not, there are several “moving companies” out there that are not operating legally. Either they do not have the proper licensing and operating authority to provide the services they claim, or worse, they may be nothing more than a website set up to try to take advantage of people. Some of these operations don’t even have any moving equipment, offices, or facilities—it’s just a website trying to win the bid and get some money out of you. One of the best resources to help ward of these type of scams is the FMCSA company lookup feature.

Resources To Avoid Moving Scams

Protect Your Move - The Protect Your Move page on the FMCSA website has more information about how to avoid moving scams, directly from the governing body that oversees the industry.

Moving Company Red Flags - Another article from our website that deals what to look for (and avoid) when you’re searching for a licensed moving company.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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