HHG movers find allies in Senate and Silicon ValleyBy Eric Anders • Sep 26th, 2012 • Category: Consumer Help, Consumer Protection, MovingScams
On Tuesday, September 25, 2012, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) sent letters to three major search engines based in the U.S. – Google, Yahoo, and Bing – alerting them to their how their popular online shopping services are being used by unscrupulous internet brokers and rogue movers to scam unsuspecting customers.
Included in the correspondence were the results of the committee's Staff Report on Internet Moving Brokers
that was used as the basis to the two hour webcast hearing "Taking Consumers for a Ride: Business Practices in the Household Goods Moving Industry" held on September 20, 2012.
The content of all three letters were basically the same.
When reporting the somewhat irregular approach used by Senator Rockefeller in Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief, called the committee's letter's to the three most popular search engines “a refreshing, reasonable approach”.
Sullivan is a widely cited and well respected authority on search engines and search marketing issues. Search Engine Land is one of the most reliable and industry referenced news and information sites covering search engine marketing, searching issues and the search engine industry.
Unlike many other news and technology journalists who reported on the committee's findings, Sullivan took a more in-depth look at how the moving brokers being investigated were using their search marketing strategies to game unsuspecting consumers.
Base on his observations and the comments from two of the three search engines in response to the letters from the Senate committee, it looks like the door may be closing on online scammers in the movin' business.
Something good is FINALLY getting done in Washington. Stay tuned!
Related Senate Committee Files:
Letters to Google, Microsoft and Bing – Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
Chairman Rockefeller's opening statement on consumer abuses by moving companies – Senate Commerce Committee's YouTube Channel
Staff Report Internet Moving Brokers (PDF) – Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
Exhibit I – Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
Congressional Testimony of Anne Ferro, the administrator of the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Congressional Testimony of Timothy Barry, Principal Assistant Inspector General for Investigations for the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General
Congressional Testimony of Reana Kovalcik, a consumer
Congressional Testimony of Linda Bauer Darr, the President and CEO of the American Moving and Storage Association; and,
Congressional Testimony of Jason Romrell, the President and Chief Legal Counsel of Budget Van Lines, a licensed household goods and property move broker.
US Senate Committee Asks Google, Yahoo & Bing To Fight Bait-And-Switch Moving Scams – Search Engine Land
Senate investigates moving brokers; releases report – RELO Roundtable
Congressional Hearing: Are movers scamming consumers? – RELO Roundtable
Senate investigates household goods carriers and move brokers – RELO Roundtable
Senate relies on industry pros to rout out rogue movers – RELO Roundtable
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