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Moving Directory

 
 

Consumer Affairs Directory

 
 

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50 South Military Trail
Suite 201
West Palm Beach, FL 33415
West Palm Beach Area:
(561) 712-6600
Boca/ Delray/ Glades:
Toll Free 1-888-852-7362
FAX:
(561)712-6610

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Red Flags and Warning Signals when moving within Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties

 
Moving Red Flag When you call a moving company the phone is answered "Moving" or "Moving Company" without giving the specific name of the company. This could mean the moving company is a conglomerate of several companies -- and you're never sure who you are dealing with.
Moving Red Flag

I found several moving companies using the Internet. Is this a good way to find a moving company? Increasingly, the Internet is the method many are using to find various kinds of businesses. While the Internet is a good way to start your search, it is important to look beyond the attractive website designs. As you review the Internet information, determine if the company provides their physical address and local phone numbers. If the local address and phone number are not provided, be very cautious. Does the company include their local and state moving license numbers? (Listing local license numbers is required for moving companies located in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Listing the state license number is required for all moving companies located in Florida). In Palm Beach County the license number is preceded with the prefix "PBC". Determine if you are dealing with an actual moving company or a moving broker (see information on brokers below). Don't ever finalize an estimate or contract over the Internet or by phone. It is always best to have face-to-face meetings with the moving company so you can secure an accurate estimate and avoid misunderstandings during the course of the move.

Moving Red Flag The moving company offers an estimate over the phone. Never accept estimates over the phone. The county ordinance requires moving companies to provide a "bottom line" written estimate that must include all charges related to moving your goods. Insist that the company come and look at all your furniture and goods to be moved.
Moving Red Flag The company I am dealing with says they are a moving broker. What is a broker? A broker is someone or a company acting as an agent for one or more moving companies. Brokers normally receive a commission for moves they arrange for a moving company. For moves entirely within Palm Beach County brokers must only utilize moving companies licensed by Palm Beach County and/or the State of Florida. A broker can provide a written estimate, but the contract for service/bill of lading must be issued by the moving company actually performing the move. The broker must disclose the name and information about the company actually performing the move at least 72 hours prior to the move. Brokers are not licensed by Palm Beach County or the State of Florida. The Palm Beach County Moving Ordinance does require brokers to follow certain laws.
Moving Red Flag The moving company claims all your goods are covered by insurance. The reality is that unless you purchase additional "Valuation Coverage", the moving company is only obligated to reimburse or pay you sixty cents ($.60) for every pound of any item that is lost or damaged in transit. For example: If you own a table lamp valued at $300 that weighs 5 pounds and it is damaged, the moving company is only obligated to pay you sixty-cents per pound - for a total of $3! Be sure to carefully read and understand the specific coverage for any additional "Valuation Coverage" you purchase. Check with your homeowners insurance to see if your household goods will be covered while in transit and under the control of a moving company.
Moving Red Flag The moving company requires a large deposit before agreeing to move your goods. Most local moving companies do not require advance deposits. It is legal to request a deposit, but the deposit cannot exceed 20 percent of the estimated cost of the move. If a deposit is required and the move is cancelled by the consumer within 48 hours of the scheduled move (best to cancel with written notification or fax), the moving company is required to return the deposit.
Moving Red Flag On moving day the company arrives in rental trucks. Even legitimate companies rent trucks occasionally, but rental trucks can also be a clue that the company is not financially stable. Look for a magnetic sign on the truck identifying the company and a Palm Beach County "temporary use" decal on that magnetic sign. The decal is a good sign and means the company planned for the possibility of using a rental vehicle.
Moving Red Flag On moving day, you are asked to pay more than the written estimate originally given to you. The total amount you are required to pay should be no more than the written estimate. If you add furniture or goods that were not in the original estimate, it is possible you will be asked to sign an addendum to the contract for more than the estimate. It is important that you reveal to the moving company all that needs to be moved and if there are any special conditions (i.e., 10th floor condominium requires freight elevator to be reserved, a large moving truck cannot get close to your home, etc.). Please contact Consumer Affairs immediately if the final cost is more than the original written estimate and you have made no changes to the original agreement. Our phone numbers are 561-712-6600 or for Boca/Glades residents call toll free 1-888-852-7362.
Moving Red Flag You are asked to sign a service contract or "Bill of Lading" that is blank, incomplete or does not have the total amount you will pay for the move. You are entitled to a contract or "Bill of Lading" that is fully completed with your name, start and end addresses, all relevant information and a complete listing of all charges with the TOTAL/Bottom line amount you are expected to pay. The contract must be signed, dated and timed by you and the moving company representative. Many companies convert their written estimate to this binding contract.
Moving Red Flag

The moving company demands cash on the day of the move. Moving companies are required to accept two of the following forms of payment for services rendered:

  • Cash - which includes a cashier's check, money order or traveler's check
  • Personal Check - which shows your name and address
  • Credit Card - which must include VISA or MasterCard

The moving company cannot demand payment for the move until the shipment has arrived at the destination.

 

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