Never trust a moving company’s website without basic research first because websites make it very easy for criminals to pose as professional moving companies.
“At A.S.A.P. Relocations, Inc., our mission is to provide our clients with the most complete and best relocation package for the lowest possible price. A.S.A.P. provides quick, efficient, and reliable services to its clients. We are not satisfied until you are”. So reads the opening paragraph of the About Us page on this San Jose, CA moving company’s website.
At the time of writing the website also displays the California Moving & Storage Association logo and valid Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration USDOT and MC numbers. Together with pages of referrals and testimonials (like the one below) it is easy to believe from looking at the website that this was a reputable company. One that you could trust and one that would do a good and professional job of moving your belongings.
Far from it, a four year investigation by local and federal authorities has resulted in grand theft and other charges for the owners and six employees. In court yesterday Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Martha Donohoe said consumers were given lowball quotes and once the moves were in progress they were told that there would be significant additional fees due for packing and packaging supplies. Customers were told that their furniture and other belongings would be taken to storage unless they paid the higher bills. The scam was widespread as the company operated under several names; America’s Best Movers, Champions Movers, Fast Moving Van Lines Inc., Fast Moves, Quick Quotes for Moving Inc., and Encore Movers.
Consumers could have avoided this fraud with two simple checks (although we always recommend far more diligent research). The Better Business Bureau website shows the company with the lowest possible rating and with 62 complaints. Yelp has the company listed with 25 very bad reviews.
The moral of this story is that you should not believe anything that appears on a moving company’s website without doing research first.