It’s no secret the moving industry is riddled with criminal activity. Due to all of the criminal activity within the moving industry, we are passionate about educating consumers on how to avoid these unscrupulous characters as well as reporting these thieves to the authorities. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently shut down five moving companies for fraud which included holding consumer’s belongings hostage unless the rogue operator was paid extra fees sometimes totaling thousands of dollars. Three of the moving companies are located in South Florida: Allegiant Van Lines, of Davie; Northern Van Lines of Cooper City; and Northeastern Vanlines of Pembroke Pines, and another moving company in South Carolina. Reportedly, they are all owned by Christopher Michalski of South Carolina. Allegiant was fined $88,000, and the other three were fined a total of $31,000.
No surprise, three of those companies are in Florida. Unfortunately, Florida is leading the country in criminal activity within the moving industry. Although, we are ecstatic the FEDS have “temporarily” shut down these rogue moving companies and fined them, the penalties are still not enough. The FEDS are shutting these rogue movers down for a year which means after a year they can assume operations. Moreover, what is to stop these thieves from opening another moving company under a different alias? It is our opinion the federal and state governments need to toughen the laws and penalties including incarceration and stiffening the fines. Too often, the fines imposed on these rogue operators are minimal in comparison to the money they have scammed from consumers. In fact, the fines are just the cost of doing business for many of these rogue operators. We encourage you to read the following articles so you do not become a victim of moving fraud. There are many reputable moving companies including AMWAT whose intent is to provide an excellent service. We thrive on the success of your move! Similar to many businesses, we want loyal clients who will repeatedly utilize our services and refer our company. Also, look for a moving company certified as a ProMover by the American Moving and Storage Association. AMWAT is a ProMover as are many of our colleagues.
Should you find yourself in a situation where you do not understand the contract or estimate from any of my competitors, call me @ 850-877-7131. I will be happy to review the document and explain it to you in terms you can understand. If for some reason I cannot assist you, I will point you in the right direction.
FYI – Moving companies operating in the State of Florida must be licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Just because a moving company is licensed to operate in Florida does not mean they have authority to cross state lines. When moving to another state, verify the moving company you are hiring has interstate authority via the United States Department of Transportation.
Well enough said, this is the article as reported in the Miami Herald: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/27/3781820/feds-shut-down-3-south-florida.html#storylink=cpy