Our partners at WISC News 3 in Madison, Wisconsin report on a man whose belongings have been held hostage by a moving company.  Looking to move from Wisconsin to Florida, he had hired a Virginia-based moving company with online reviews.  After getting an estimate of about $6,000 over the phone, the man was surprised when the movers showed up and told him, after loading their belongings into a rented truck, that the cost would actually be $12,000.  The company also refused to let him pay with a credit card and instead required he wire an up-front payment of $9,000.  In a hurry to proceed with his move, he ignored these red flags.  Now, weeks later, the company retains his family’s belongings, which they estimate to be worth more than $100,000.  WISC reached out to the company, which refused to disclose information about the case.  The frustrated customer hopes that sharing his story will serve as a warning to others to be more careful when hiring a moving company.

Wisconsin man’s belongings held hostage by moving company

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The Department of Trade and Consumer Protection shared these red flags you should catch if you consider a move.

  • Always receive an estimate from a moving company in person instead of over the phone.
    • In this man’s case, his estimate went from $6,000 to around $12,000 when movers showed up at his home and loaded up his belongings, making it harder for him to say no.
  • Check what kind of truck the company is using. Most reputable companies own their own vehicles and won’t use a rental.
    • The man noted that Titan used a rented Penske truck to move his belongings.
  • Always get three estimates, to compare costs and companies.
  • If you’re moving across state lines, check that the company is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Do a quick Google search of the company. Does the company have a physical address?
    • When the man typed Titan’s address into Google Maps, it showed an empty warehouse.