How do I Identify brokers/middlemen from actual truck-owning movers?
All Interstate and most Intrastate moving companies can be confirmed as either a moving company or broker by viewing the number of moving trucks (power units) a company owns on their federal registration page. A broker’s page will show 0 power units. To view this registration page you can either run a search here:http://www.safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx.
Most brokers have a tendency to not want to volunteer to the customer that they are brokers. The tendency is to lead the customer to believe that they are an actual truck-owning moving company. And for that reason the Department of Transportation (DOT) recently (on 11/29/2010) passed a law* requiring brokers for interstate moves to:
- Register for, and provide the customer with a DOT number
- Give consumers the FMCSA’s pamphlet “Your Rights and Responsibilities”
- Tell the customer that they are not a mover
- Provide customers with a list of moving companies the broker will be using
- Provide estimates of expected moving charges and brokerage fees in writing
- Provide the customer with the broker’s deposit, cancellation and refund policy.
*The legislation can be viewed here: www.protectyourmove.gov under Regulations and Enforcement where it provides the PDF titled “Final Rule: Brokers of Household Goods Transportation by Motor Vehicles”.
To report a broker for misrepresentation you can fill out the following form for interstate moves: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/hc_disclaimer1.asp