Beginning in October, the US DOT will have more control of illegal activity that has plagued the industry. Moving companies that are wrongfully holding customers property will now have to return the goods. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be able to hand out fines of up to $10,000 a day. The money can also be used to reimburse victims of fraudulent moves.
The law is designed to prevent moving companies from adding additional fees to the move and then holding items hostage if a customer refuses to pay. Like most customers, they hire a mover based on an estimate provided but are unaware of additional fees not mentioned. There was a 17% increase in complaints from 2011 over 2010 where it involved similar complaints.
FMCSA will be taking it a step further October 2014 by requiring new movers to pass tests regarding consumer protection and estimating.
Chief of FMCSA Anne S. Ferro says:
“It’s concerning to us that rogue companies continue to take advantage of consumers who are not fully informed”
“Our top priority is making sure consumers are made whole.”
With thousands of complaints and over 2 million interstate moves a year, Ferro and the FMCSA can only handle a handful of claims with only six active investigators. The new law will give a helping hand to consumers and the FMCSA.