How to avoid bandit movers

discount fee scams

The moving industry is facing an epidemic of discount fee scams by unethical moving contractors. Our license number is MTR191777- any company that does not display their MTR license is in violation and most likely is unlicensed & uninsured. 

Do your homework & verify the licensing of your prospective company


The hook of this scam is set after offering a “Below Market Rate” quote to a client seeking discounted services. Once the fraudulent offer is accepted, the crew arrives as planned, takes possession of your property, & then increases the rates while in transit up to 400% according to an “amended“ weight calculation. Their apology amounts to the effect of “Estimates are not guaranteed and are subject to on site measurements.” They refuse to deliver your property until the extortion terms are satisfied.

This practice usually occurs with contractors that are not locally invested in the community they serve such as internet based companies.

For your own security, we advise that you hire only California State Licensed Household Goods Carriers and that you only recognize estimates that are performed at your property by a locally recognized company.

“You Get What You Pay For”

Shop around & compare the prices charged by movers in your area. Local moves under 100 miles are usually billed at an hourly rate. Longer distances are based on weight & mileage. 

All movers are not created equal. Quoted hourly rates tell you very little about what your eventual cost may be. Movers differ greatly in strength, work ethics, and skill level. What one crew may accomplish in three hours could take another crew six hours. Verify the type of truck that will transport your household. Assure that your movers are skilled, trained and competent to take safe custody of your property and to complete the work efficiently, ethically, and safely.

Base your decisions on the qualifications of your moving company and not solely on the cheapest rate quote. Your property is priceless. Your peace of mind rests in the assured satisfaction that a reputable company brings to your project on moving day. The few extra dollars spent on contracting with a company that guarantees expert professional servicemen, conscientious client care, responsible techniques and modern equipment is well worth the lifetime of enjoyment you deserve in your furniture and personal possessions.


The time proven truth is irrefutable. By hiring a team of industry trained and certified professionals, you will certainly pay a higher hourly rate. However at the end of the day you will have been cared for with more personalized service, fewer headaches, assured damage protection, and quite possibly a lower bottom line.

The Myth of the Hourly Rate

Do not base your decision merely on the cheapest hourly rate quote. There will in all likelihood be a considerable difference in the quality of service that you have received. The extra investment will always prove to your advantage.

The reason for this is simple but not always obvious…

The premium level company retains a staff of career professionals. These tradesmen are well paid and are satisfied with their chosen vocation. Your moving crew will offer a quality of expertise, courtesy, and competence that cannot be expected of casual laborers. Your service experience is of primary importance to these companies.

These companies invest large sums of money and time into training and monitoring the performance of their staff. Their operations are adequately financed and insured to offer the most accountable damage claim procedures.

Discounted quality movers must cut many corners in order to remain profitable. With low rates, these companies cannot afford to pay their employees more than a minimal wage. As a result the staff is usually less qualified and enthusiastic about their work. Such company’s often place less emphasis on the character of their workers which may lead to a degree of discomfort for you and your family.

Their budgets and insurance standing are not prepared to handle significant damage claims. They will in all likelihood attempt to avoid responsibility for their own negligence.

In the end…You get what you pay for.


As a client of a national van line, you will usually receive a lower rate for your long distance relocation project. The transportation involved with your move is the most costly portion of the contract. Whether you move a single cabinet or an entire household, the truck must make the same journey.

Van lines maintain a national database of regionally located projects and combine shipping space to offer their moving services at a discount.

Your discounted rate does come at a price, however.

The disadvantage of “bulk rate” van line servicing is two fold.

Disadvantage #1

There are no guarantees on your delivery date. Delays are common due to logistical complications that inevitably emerge with roadway transport. Your property en route for Dallas, Texas may pass through Boise, Idaho before reaching the final destination. Additionally, shipments are often “unexpectedly” held for extended periods to allow for other clients to share space aboard a van bound for a similar location.


There are no guarantees on service quality at the delivery point. Van lines employ professional drivers. These drivers are often independent contractors who may or may not care for anything more than the quickest means of unloading their truck so that they can make their next appointment. Upon delivery, you will not necessarily receive the same degree of friendly service that your local sales agent has extended to you at your initial meeting.

he driver will arrive in your city and pick up any available workers to complete the unloading phase of your project. Local van line affiliates do not have a consistent qualification procedure for their labor staff. If there are no associated offices in your new home town, these drivers will resort to any means of acquiring the necessary man power. This includes the hiring of unqualified day laborers.

Although the nationally rated van lines are more or less reliable, you can assure yourself of quality by insisting that actual van line employees service your entire project. If you are misled and find an obvious crew of day laborers at your delivery point, you are entitled to a substantial refund from the company for their unprofessional conduct. You are advised to call the national office after the move is complete to file a claim.


Private companies invariably charge a higher premium for your relocation project. These independent companies offer their services to clients who demand a quicker, assured delivery time and a guarantee of professional handling from start to finish. You will be the only client for the journey and will therefore receive the personally tailored service that you desire. Most private companies will send their own staff along for the drive and provide a more courteous and flexible experience.