Moving scams: Avoid the headache by checking consumer reviews

Last month we moved a house full of furniture in the least frugal way possible. We hired movers. But, we felt that we were justified in the expense due to a variety of reasons. First, we're getting older and no longer have friends or family members willing to sacrifice their Saturday for the promise of pizza and beer. Second, I've had chronic back issues throughout my 20s and 30s, so I can no longer move heavy stuff. So that just leaves my husband. And although he's pretty amazing, he is currently unable to move a house full of furniture with his bare hands and a Toyota Prius. But, I digress.

Once we chose to hire movers, we immediately thought of the moving company we used six years ago. They were reasonably priced at the time, after all, and they got the job done without incident. So I called them up and was quoted a rate of $159 per hour for four movers. In addition to that charge, I would also be responsible for an additional hour for transportation and a 10 percent fuel surcharge on my total. Fine.

I called around to get a few more quotes only to find that they were all about the same, give or take a few bucks. Ultimately, we decided to go with the movers we had prior experience with and paid a $100 deposit to hold our spot. During that same phone call, I went out of my way to confirm the charges once again. $159 per hour for four movers. An extra hour for transportation. Ten percent fuel surcharge. Uh-huh.

Moving day

The day of our move arrived and we were up and at em' early. And since we had already moved most of our possessions and clothing, we just had the furniture left. Unfortunately, the movers didn't arrive at our house at 8:30 as promised. And by the time 9:00 rolled around, I was getting impatient. So I called to see what was going on.

"Your movers will be there soon, Mrs. Johnson. But they'll only be two and it will be $129 per hour," said the man on the phone.