In keeping with her goal of making Reader’s Digest a more useful media channel to help “average people getting by”, Mary Berner, the magazines new CEO, is changing the look, feel and content of the “stodgiest of media companies”.
Recently the popular family magazine took aim at the moving industry with a piece entitled How to Avoid a Scam
about the “the latest scams, shams, and devious flimflams to avoid”. The consumer oriented article, appearing in the January, 2009 issue, advises the growing number of budget conscious and desperate job seekers to avoid hostage load situations by avoiding scam moving companies and unscrupulous transportation brokers when planning their relocations. Although there is no explanation of how to identify a “scam” mover, three very popular and useful, “free”, resources are recommended.
Protect Your Move
is the online consumer protection site sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The information packed portal includes the latest consumer protection regulations, tips for ensuring professional service through an legitimate company, and 24/7 access to the Carrier Complaint Database
and a toll-free help hotline (1-888-368-7238).
is a privately owned consumer protection site that opened in 2001 to alert the public about the problems that frequently occur when price sensitive consumers hire move brokers or smaller, unlicensed, or unknown rogue moving companies to arrange their relocation simply based on their very attractive (and usually predatory) pricing.
The site’s extremely popular and very active moving forum message board is moderated entirely by unpaid volunteers who were each scammed by their mover. They’re supported by a group of relocation professionals representing a wide range of service options who pitch in to share their industry experience. Typically 14K to 36K visitors per month drop by to check out the wealth of information contained inside. Recently MovingScam’s infamous ‘Blacklist’ was replaced by a more constructive ‘Superlist’ – an up-to-date index of positive and negative consumer reports about the quality of service offered by movers of all types nationwide. (Disclosure Statement: I am a regular participant in this community.)
is a professional industry support resource formed by Unigroup, Inc, the parent company of United Van Lines, and Mayflower Transit, two of the largest household goods carriers in North America. Opened in November 2003, the service provides assistance to those inexperienced and uniformed consumers who have fallen victim to disreputable moving companies.
Once at odds because of their differing perspectives, the moderators and industry professionals at MovingScam both now frequently refer frantic visitors who’ve been legitimately scammed to the legal resources at MoveRescue where the counselors handle about 300 new cases each year.