When you are in a hurry to move and strapped for cash you may make the mistake of going with the easiest most inexpensive route to finding a moving company. What easier way to move your belongings than to have someone to move them for you. However, there is a dark side to some moving companies. Some companies pretend that they are legit, however, you may find out a horrible surprise and you may find out too late.
It was the end of the spring semester at Clark Atlanta University and I was in a super rush to finish up finals and move my belongings out of my dorm room as soon as possible. Time was ticking away and I knew that I had to act fast. In between classes I remember seeing a man on campus with a table and a sign that said Total Package Moving Co. I decided to stop and talk to him and see what type of deals the company had for moving students. He assured me for $99.00 his company would pick up my belongings, store and return them the following semester. He said that by going to his website and filling out the information I could easily get the assistance that I needed.
I immediately informed my mother of the great news. I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. My finals were almost complete and I didn’t have to worry about my belongings. The next step was just making my flight on time so that I could return home to my family.
I followed his instructions and after paying online with my mom’s credit card the procedure was finished. I would just wait for the final call to set up a date and time for them the pickup my things.
About two days later I received a telephone call from a very friendly individual. He stated that Total Package would be available to pick up my things right after my last final. Which was perfect considering that I had an early morning flight to catch the following day along with the many friends I had to say goodbye to. I confirmed the deal and went on the rest of the day packing my things away into boxes.
The day arrived. I was finally done with all of my finals and the only thing that I needed to do was to wait for the movers to come. Two men arrived on time and they started to load my things onto a UHAUL truck. At first I thought that it was a little odd of them to pick up my things in a regular UHAUL, considering the fact that they had their own website, why wouldn’t they have a company truck? However, I decided not to pay it any mind. These guys were extremely nice and they seemed like they knew what they were doing. So I continued to let them store my things away on their truck. They gave me a receipt and drove away.
I kept the number that they gave me to reach them at and made it an obligation to keep in touch with them in case anything should happen. About a month later I decided not to attend the university anymore and I wanted my things delivered to Colorado. I called the number that I was given and I informed Total Package Moving Co. that I would need for my belongings to get shipped back to my home in Denver. I even agreed to send the money for them to ship my things back. A man told me that he would be sending my things back to me.
I kept in touch with the guy by calling him every other day to insure that he would be shipping my things. He kept giving me the same answer saying, “We will be sending your things out very soon”. I waited and waited for several months and there was still no sign of my things. I called him one last time and this time he said that by the middle of the week he would definitely be sending my things out to me. He proceeded to ask me what items I had packed because he would need to know so that he could properly and securely send them. I told him about the television, the laptop, the Playstation, my clothes and several other valuables I had. Which was a huge mistake!! He assured me once again that he would send out my things and hung up the phone.
That was the last time that I had heard from him ever again. When my items did not return to me around the time he said that they were scheduled to, I began to worry. I decided to give the company a final call to check the status of my packages. To my surprise the phone was disconnected. I could not believe it, just days before I was assured that my things would be sent out and now there wasn’t anyway to determine or track the whereabouts of my belongings. I immediately went to check the website to see if there was another phone number available and to my surprise, once again, the website no longer existed. I began to grow frustrated and I was determined to find out what happened to my things. I called Atlanta Information and they had no records of the company ever existing. All of my belongings would be lost forever.
It has been over three years since this incident occurred. I have not been able to track my things and I strongly believe that the “so called” employees of Total Package are enjoying my personal belongings.
I believe that by writing this article I can help others who may decide to place their belongings into a stranger’s hand. There are certain things that you should know before placing your property in a moving company’s possession.
1. Make sure that the company is legit!!! This is the most important step. You may need to investigate the company by visiting the Better Business Bureau or doing research online.
2. When movers arrive check for photo id. This is also a very important step. By asking for an identification card then you are able to take down the names of the people you are entrusting with your items.
3. If they arrive in a UHAUL truck you may want to be skeptical. I am not saying that all companies that use a regular UHAUL are not legit, however, I would think twice before handing over my things.
4. Make sure that you have a legit address for the company. You may need to visit the office to make sure that there is an actual residence.
5. Just because they have a website doesn’t mean that the company is legit. Be cautious!!! The Internet is a great place to conjure up a scam. Be aware of false websites by doing your research.
6. Get insurance for your possessions!!! If your items are misplaced, stolen, or broken then you can always have a back up by making sure that your items are insured.
7. Check out the website www.movingscam.com this website is great for giving you the details about moving scams and the procedures you may need to take if you are a victim of a moving scam.
8. Last but not least: Pray that all of your items are returned to you safely!!!