Task Force Acts Against Three Chicago-Area Moving Companies
FMCSA investigation leads to shut-downs, civil penalties for safety and commercial violations
This year alone, more than 35 million Americans will move. It can be an exciting time; it can also be a stressful time--the items so familiar to your everyday life are closed into boxes, packed onto a truck, and shipped to a promising but unfamiliar new location.
To help ease your mind, protect your money, and preserve your memories, we want to ensure that everyone who moves is treated fairly by their moving company.
Too often, we hear from people who were tricked by moving companies who disappeared with their goods or held their goods hostage for more money. That's why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working so hard to protect consumers from unscrupulous carriers. And today, we announced that we are revoking or suspending the interstate operating authority of three Chicago-area household goods moving companies because of serious violations of safety and commercial regulations.
As U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Moving is stressful enough without families having to worry whether or not their possessions will arrive safely. The Department of Transportation is cracking down on dishonest movers.”
In 2012, FMCSA launched a Moving Fraud Task Force. Our first task force investigation focused on Chicago-area moving companies identified in a report from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation because of numerous consumer complaints.
Said Committee Chairman U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller: “The practices we uncovered of Internet moving brokers and some moving companies were appalling – particularly in the way they exploited vulnerable consumers, who often had no way of fighting back once they got caught in a predatory scheme."
Today, the Task Force delivered with enforcement actions against three of those companies. As Senator Rockefeller noted, "FMCSA is proving once again that they’re willing to do what it takes to kick the worst actors out of the marketplace."
We're proud to take this action to protect American consumers. But while investigation and enforcement are effective, there is no substitute for good preparation. Consumers can also take action to protect themselves by going to www.protectyourmove.gov, learning how to spot the warning signs of a bad carrier, and using our tips to select a safe and reliable one.
Want to get your move started on the right foot? protectyourmove.gov is your best first step.
Anne Ferro is Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.