Hiring movers should make the process easy, right? Well, four out of five times, that should be true. We never want any step of a client's home selling or buying process to be a nightmare, but the story I am about to tell you is just that - a nightmare, and one I feel we must share to warn and protect others.
Sadly, not all moving companies are as friendly and helpful as our local favorites we often refer our business to! This story is buyer-beware. The lure of a discount quote from a moving brokerage can be tempting, and the deal sounded sweet enough for our clients to go for it. It's important to note that a moving brokerage company hires a subcontractor to do all the work, unlike other companies that have direct relationships and oversee each part of the process.
This company quoted our clients $12,000 for a pack and move from Alexandria, Virginia, to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was agreed that the movers would arrive on Wednesday, but no one showed. Finally, on Thursday, the subcontracted movers showed up and claimed it was a $38,000 job instead of the original $12,000 the brokerage company quoted. Thanks to their no-show on Wednesday, the timing was so tight (our clients had to be out by 9pm on Friday) that our clients felt they had no choice but to move forward and sign off on the new quote.
This was when I was notified, and I was mortified that my sweet friend was dealing with such a stressful situation! I immediately got her in touch with a reputable local moving company to help advise us on what to do. We were told a job this size should've cost no more than $16,000, which proved how badly these unvetted movers were taking advantage of our clients. Additionally, we were advised to find out where the movers were taking the household items to store before they were to move the items to Charlotte a few days later.
Our client confronted the movers and asked where her items were being taken. And their response was "somewhere local." Eventually, they threw out a name of a storage company with multiple locations in the area.
With luck and a ping from an AirTag, our clients were able to identify what local storage facility and unit their belongings were being taken to. When the last truck was loaded into the unit, our clients called the police to escort them to reclaim their belongings at the unit. However, when details were shared, Alexandria City police said it was a civil matter and could not intervene. At this point, the best option was to secure their own lock on top of the moving company's lock, so at least their belongings would stay put. The following day our clients had to file an injunction to claim their own household items. The next day, our client realized both her American Express and Mastercard credit card numbers had been stolen, and a shopping spree was taking place in a town in New Jersey where that moving company was based.
Unfortunately, this story is not yet resolved. Our clients' items are still stuck in a storage unit in Alexandria, they are living in their new home in Charlotte without any of their household items, and the injunction has been filed, which can take up to 30 days.
Please know The Patterson Group is always happy to be a valuable resource to all. If you need any kind of recommendation, we're happy to provide them. Additionally, we work with three highly reputable and local moving companies that verified this is a real scam happening across the country right now. Please be aware!