Government Launches Campaign To Protect Consumers from Shady Moving Companies

The "Protect Your Move" campaign aims to teach customers about the signs they've hired a con artist.

Studies have found that moving is the third most stressful life events people experience behind death and divorce. Think about that. Moving your stuff from one house to another is almost as stressful as dying.

The government is trying to take some of the edge off of a big move with an education campaign, “Protect Your Move,” that will teach consumers about how to keep their belongings from becoming part of a “hostage load.”

Of the 36 million moves that take place each year, one in 10 ends up reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration because items are being held until customers pay more money. The FMCSA receives about 16 complaints per day. The agency suggests that customers do their homework before hiring a company that can end up adding headaches to your move.

The campaign includes the ominous video above with nightmare tales of customers being asked for thousands of dollars additional in order to get their things back, which are often damaged or destroyed in the process. There’s also a guidebook and website with information on protecting yourself against fraud.

We first heard about the campaign on CBS News, but really what this campaign needs is a good PR campaign to get the word out. Arming people with the knowledge about what to look for in a shady moving company and letting them know that they have recourse will empower them to stand up to these awful companies. Moreover, putting these movers on high alert about government oversight is a good way to deter wrongdoing.