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Three Ways To Avoid Moving Scams

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(Memphis) Spring is here and so is moving season, but we're On Your Side with a warning if you plan to hire help.

The On Your Side Investigators met one family who learned that lesson the hard way.

Plus, we reveal three questions you need to ask before hiring a mover.

"From the picture on their billboard, it's this cute little innocent boy."

However, Matti Pearson says that image is far from what showed up at her door.

"I should have followed my first mind and sent them away."

Pearson hired All My Sons Moving and Storage for what should have been a quick and easy job.

The family had three rooms, already packed and boxed that need to travel less than two miles from one Cordova home to another.

Pearson says the process was anything but simple.

"Oh my God, it was something!"

According to Pearson, she ended up with a bill for a rate higher than originally quoted and even worse, a missing diamond ring, watch, and laptop.

Those items were worth more than $4,000.

Pearson says once she discovered her laptop was missing, "That triggered me to immediately unpack all of my other stuff too, to see what else was missing."

Her engagement ring and watch were gone too.

All My Sons found the laptop and fired the employee responsible.

Pearson filed a report and police charged Blake Nabors with theft after he admitted to stealing the laptop.

Police haven't recovered the jewelry, and Pearson says she's yet to hear anything from All My Sons.

"To this day, they have not tried to compensate me for anything. He gave me a number, he said call this number, our claims department, you call the number, you get nobody, when you press '1' for claims, they said, send us a letter!"

All My Sons has a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The On Your Side Investigators also found lots of other complaints online.

A man who identified himself as the Operations Manager, named Ronnie Williams, agreed to speak with WREG when we visited their office.

Williams said,"We definitely do drug test, we definitely do background checks on every employee, not just drivers and helpers.  If they so much as even have a misdemeanor theft charge, we do not hire them."

Nabors pleaded guilty to a 2011 DUI charge and before that was arrested for drug possession with intent to sell.

Pearson said, "I really should have researched a little bit deeper."

While there's no way to know exactly, who'll be inside your home, experts say you always stand a better chance with a more reputable company.

Make sure the company is bonded and insured

"Which means if there's a problem with an employee, there's an insurance company that's going to step in," explains BBB President Randy Hutchinson.

Check for licensing

Licensing is required for interstate movers.

Never accept a basic, over the phone quote
Consumers should also avoid paying fees up front.

The Pearsons have started to settle in their new home, minus the items they may never get back.

"I've learned from this move that you really need to ask a whole lot more questions because in the end, you could get duped," Pearson said.

It's also important to ask movers whether they'll require payment before unloading.

This happened to the Pearson's and is often referred to as a "hostage goods" situation.

When WREG asked Williams about this policy, he said they have to do it to protect themselves.

More BBB tips on moving scams


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