“We had no choice but to leave,” a couple recounts, stating that the moving cost doubled upon the movers’ arrival.

In Atlanta, Georgia, a Tennessee couple faced a shocking reality when their moving expenses doubled upon the actual moving day. Like many others in similar situations, they found themselves with little choice but to proceed.

James McMillian explained, “Our house was sold. Our house was ready to be moved. We had to get out.”

Having sold their rural home in Chapmansboro, Tennessee, James and Judy McMillian were relocating to a 55-and-older apartment complex in Hoschton, Georgia, to be closer to family.

After discovering Precise Moving and Storage online, Judy McMillian sent a detailed list of 57 items via email to a sales associate. Despite a phone review of the list, which estimated their belongings at 521 cubic square feet, no request was made for a video inspection or live video call to assess the couple’s possessions. The quoted price, including additional fees, stood at $2,150.

While legally registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in Doraville, Georgia, Pierce Moving and Storage, the parent company, was found by Atlanta News First Investigates to be operating under a different moving company at the same address.

Speaking with Atlanta News First Investigates, the owner of Precise Moving and Storage confirmed the absence of their Georgia offices, revealing that their operations were now based in Alabama and Florida.

On February 23, the McMillians recounted the arrival of the company’s movers, with a lead mover inspecting their home.

“He went through each room, continually adding to the list,” Judy McMillian recalled.

After this assessment, the lead mover presented a revised quote, noting numerous boxes, an extra 229 cubic square feet, along with packing materials and associated fees. This adjustment resulted in the bill doubling to $4,300.

Despite paying the increased amount and experiencing a smooth relocation process, the McMillians remain puzzled by the discrepancy in pricing. They maintain that the volume of their belongings remained consistent with the initial estimate.

To assist customers in avoiding such situations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates “Protect My Move,” a website enabling individuals to conduct background checks on moving companies and safeguard themselves against fraudulent practices.

Moving Season: Exploring Moving Companies

As peak moving season kicks off in Illinois, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is advising residents to conduct thorough research on moving companies before embarking on any relocation plans.
According to ICC’s Chief of Police, Ruben Ramirez, “A simple online search or reaching out to the ICC can significantly shield residents from falling prey to moving scams. Spring marks a busy period for moving, which unfortunately can lead to an increase in deceptive or unscrupulous movers. The ICC stands ready to provide resources to assist Illinoisans in evaluating potential movers, thus averting the financial and emotional hardships of a mishandled move.”

In Illinois, intrastate moving companies are required to be licensed by the ICC (Illinois Commerce Commission). Consumers can verify if an intrastate household goods mover is appropriately licensed to operate in Illinois and check the number of complaints filed against each company on the ICC website or by calling 217-782-6448. For interstate moves, the mover must be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The ICC offers Smart Tips for hiring a mover:

  • Verify if the moving company is licensed by the ICC for Illinois operations.
  • Avoid relying solely on mobile apps for selecting and scheduling movers.
  • Invite the mover to visit your home to assess your belongings and discuss expectations for the move.
  • Obtain a written estimate to understand the expected costs on moving day.
  • Discuss options for loss and damage protection and ensure it is documented.
  • Prepare to pay 110 percent of the written estimate on moving day; movers cannot withhold your goods if you pay this amount.
  • Clarify any “freebies” offered by the mover to avoid surprises later.
  • Initiate your search at least six weeks before the move.

Throughout the year, ICC Police Officers enforce compliance with state laws, issuing administrative citations for violations such as operating without a household goods license or driving with a suspended license. Increased patrols will be conducted in various areas across the state in the coming weeks to ensure movers adhere to state regulations.

Owner of Aurora moving company receives a 6-year sentence for theft of customer belongings.

The proprietor of an Aurora-based moving company has been sentenced to six years in the Department of Corrections following a jury’s February conviction on two counts of theft.

At 40 years old, Huseyn Nemat-Zoda served as the proprietor of H&M Relocation Services when accusations arose that the company neglected to deliver approximately $151,000 worth of customers’ belongings. Prosecutors alleged that Nemat-Zoda targeted individuals undergoing cross-country moves who lacked the resources or opportunity to resist.

Initially pleading not guilty on January 11, Nemat-Zoda underwent trial from February 20 to 23, as documented in court records.

The two theft charges date back to June 2021 when Nemat-Zoda was contracted to transport belongings from Greeley to another state. According to court records, the items never reached their destination, and Nemat-Zoda ceased communication with the victims.

After the victims filed a report with the Greeley Police Department, authorities discovered the victims’ possessions at a self-storage facility in Englewood.

During the sentencing hearing on May 9, Weld County Deputy District Attorney Daniel Skelton asserted, “He was fully aware of his actions throughout, and nothing deterred him.” Skelton continued, “Individuals who placed their trust in the kindness of others found themselves vulnerable to his exploitation, as he absconded with their funds, leading them on with empty promises. He preyed on the desperation and innocence of others to serve his own gain.”

The Weld County District Attorney’s Office also noted that victims addressed the court during the sentencing hearing.

The owner is also confronting a felony theft charge in Denver.

The victims’ belongings were located by authorities in a self-storage business in Englewood after the victims filed a police report with the Greeley Police Department.

Nemat-Zoda is also facing a felony theft charge in Denver District Court, accused of utilizing his company to allegedly steal from another Colorado resident relocating out of state. The victim claims she contracted with H&M Relocation Services in June 2022, agreeing to pay approximately $3,383 to Nemat-Zoda in three installments.

However, she alleges that upon Nemat-Zoda’s arrival for the move, he initially stated that she had not disclosed several items during the estimation process, demanding full payment because the truck was already packed. According to the victim, when she returned with the funds, Nemat-Zoda demanded thousands more in payment.

The victim alleges that her belongings were held for around three months, with the moving company owner reportedly threatening to donate the items to charity unless additional payment was provided. She filed a complaint in Denver, accusing Nemat-Zoda of stealing over $100,000 worth of her property.

Although Nemat-Zoda initially entered a plea in the Denver case, he withdrew it on October 19, 2023. His legal representation is scheduled to appear for the case on May 31, according to Colorado Court records.

Driver enters a plea of not guilty in the case involving the death of a teenage cyclist in Boulder.

Investigators with the Denver DA’s Office have said they do not believe this was an isolated incident with the suspect’s company, H&M Relocation Services. In 2022, the investigators asked anyone who believed they might have been a victim of Nemat-Zoda to call the Economic Crimes Unit at 720- 913-9179.

According to Colorado court records, Nemat-Zoda was facing four counts of theft for the Weld County case, but the district attorney’s office dismissed two of the charges. According to the Department of Corrections inmate locater, Nemat-Zoda is currently being held in Denver. He will be eligible for a parole hearing in December 2026, according to the DOC.

Ex-social worker sentenced following fabrication of child abuse allegations.

A victim reportedly expressed, “Every week, we clung to hope that our belongings would arrive at our new home, but they never did. It was a devastating ordeal, both financially and emotionally. He has inflicted wounds upon us that have left us shattered.”

The Ultimate Moving Checklist Ever Created

Prior to Moving Day

Planning each aspect of your move well in advance, ideally weeks ahead, is essential.

With numerous tasks to complete, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. However, this comprehensive checklist can serve as your guide to regain control if things seem to spiral out of hand.

Starting early will significantly alleviate the stress associated with the moving process.

Two months prior to moving day

Preparations can commence as early as 8 weeks prior to your scheduled move date.

1. Establish a digital folder dedicated to moving day

To maintain organization and accessibility, consolidate all documents related to your move into a single folder. While the folder can be stored locally, it’s advisable to create a backup online using platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar file hosting services.

As you proceed with your preparations, populate this folder with photos of quotes, receipts, and other relevant documents.

2. Obtain a quotation from a moving company

Research and obtain estimates from a minimum of three moving companies. Evaluate their services to ensure they align with your budgetary constraints. Additionally, verify their licensing and insurance status for added peace of mind.

For those considering a DIY approach, commence research into the rental costs of moving vans and other associated expenses.

3. Establish a budget for moving costs

Compile a comprehensive list of all anticipated expenses and allocate funds accordingly as early as possible. Having cash readily available will alleviate one aspect of stress when the time comes for your relocation. If you are moving due to work-related reasons, inquire whether your company will provide financial assistance, either partially or in full, for the expenses incurred.

4. Examine documents provided by the moving company

Seize the chance to examine the documents provided by the moving company, detailing the terms and conditions of their services. Allocate sufficient time to carefully evaluate these documents before proceeding with the signing and return process. This proactive approach serves to preempt any unexpected occurrences or misinterpretations on the day of your move.

Should you have any questions or require further clarification regarding the process, now is an ideal time to address them.

5. Evaluate your new residence

Once you’ve confirmed arrangements with a moving company, take the opportunity to visit your new residence and strategize the logistical aspects of the move.

Map out the preferred route for the movers and pinpoint appropriate parking locations for their arrival. Evaluate the local traffic conditions that could affect the moving process. Check for the availability of a service elevator, particularly if you’re moving into a multi-story apartment or condominium. Familiarize yourself with any specific moving guidelines or regulations provided by your new residence.

Addressing these crucial factors beforehand will help ensure a smooth transition when it’s time to commence the move.

6. Ask for time off from work

Submit a request for time off on the day of the move if it falls on a weekday. If needed, consider requesting time off for the day before or after the move. Filing your request as early as possible increases the likelihood of it being approved.

7. Locate a school for your children

If you have children, begin researching schools in the local area. Utilize resources such as Great Schools to identify suitable educational institutions in the vicinity.

Additionally, take this opportunity to request transcripts for your children from their current school. Submitting all necessary documentation to the new school ensures that everything is settled well in advance of the children’s first day.

8. Dispose of items you will not be taking with you

When you declutter before moving, it becomes simpler to gauge the amount of belongings you’ll need to pack and their designated locations in the new residence.

Consider giving away or selling items that will not be accompanying you on the move. Alternatively, opt to donate them to a nearby charity or shelter.

9. Segregate items that the movers will not be responsible for handling.

You may prefer not to entrust valuable, delicate, or sensitive items to the moving company. Separate belongings such as firearms, fine art, safes, and similar items to ensure they are not grouped with your other possessions.

At the very least, mentally note which items you will personally transport to your new residence.

10. Communicate with your landlord

Renters should communicate with their landlord. Typically, tenants are required to provide notice before relocating to a new residence. Ensure any outstanding debts are settled to avoid complications.