Arizona AG Mayes warns residents about unethical moving companies
Jul 11, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 3:13 pm
PHOENIX — Hostage loads can turn a home move into a living nightmare.
Relocating Arizonans should look out for unscrupulous moving companies that use bait and switch tactics, Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a press release Monday.
Hostage load scams lure people in with low moving prices. A homeowner might welcome a company into their home, expecting the workers to load their furniture into their truck and relocate everything as promised.
However, hostage load scams pull the rug out from under customers. Instead of moving the furniture, the moving company jacks up their prices.
If the homeowner doesn’t pay the heightened fees, the company refuses to give back the furniture until they pay. Sometimes, the mover will drive away with the truck full of belongings, according to the attorney general’s office.
Hostage loads are illegal
Arizona’s Hostage Load Law, which forbids moving companies from refusing to deliver or unload luggage unless people pay up or comply with other demands. Former Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill into law back in 2017.
“Movers who unlawfully take consumers’ property hostage are essentially thieves masquerading as movers,” Mayes said in a Monday statement.
People dealing with movers who refuse to unload their property — and who aren’t complying with the Hostage Load Law — should reach out to local law enforcement, she said.
“Get moving quotes in writing. Before moving, obtain at least three written estimates,” Mayes said. “In-state moves are usually based on hourly charges.”
Victims of consumer fraud can file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.