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Does this constitute fraud or bait and switch?

Sarasota, FL |
Filed under: Fraud

I recently moved from Virginia to Sarasota Florida. My mover gave me an estimate (binding) of about $6000 for the move. I told him that I had about 15 or 20 more boxes in storage. I asked if he would like to look at the storage. He declined. The final bill was nearly double the original estimate. I was told that I needed to sign a new non binding contract because the weight exceeded what had been estimated by the man that sold us this service. I was told that I couldn't get my goods if I didn't pay and that they would go into storage for which I would be responsible. I was never told how much extra it would cost until the truck was weighed. Anyway, the original estimate was either fraudulent or incompetent. Once the truck was loaded and weighed, I couldn't stop the move.

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Attorney answers 3


This is a pretty common form of fraud. People move interstate all the time only to find out that the estimate of their move was grossly undervalued and their goods are held hostage until they pay. It's also one of the rare types of civil cases the police commonly get involved with. You should speak to a civil attorney quickly before the moving company "disappears," something I've found to be common.

The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!


Florida has attempted to crack down on this type of fraud. In addition to a statutory remedy, you can complain to the attorney generals office.


Your attorney should consider a claim under the Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act which may preempt State law. At least that is something that will need to be researched. Also consider contacting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at 888-368-7238 to complain and see if there is anything else that can be done. Perhaps you would also want to contact attorney George Pezold who wrote the book, Freight Claims in Plain English. I have hired him in the past as a consultant on a freight claims case. I believe his telephone number is 631-427-0100. I believe his email address is If this information has been helpful, please check the thumbs up tab below.

If this information has been helpful, please check the thumbs up tab below. Disclaimer: The above is intended to give you some insight into various legal topics. This information is not intended as legal advice, but rather an attempt to provide helpful topical information. Please consult a lawyer as to the specific circumstances of your case. Again, this is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist. If there are more facts that you overlooked and did not include in your initial question and you would like to email me, you may send an email to Steven M. Fahlgren Attorney, Arbitrator and Certified Circuit Civil Mediator Law Offices of Steven M. Fahlgren, P.A. Phone: (904) 845-2255 Phone: (407) 852-1711

Brent Allan Rose

Brent Allan Rose


Superb answer.

Jonathan H Levy

Jonathan H Levy


Excellent referals, crooked movers are all but impossible to nail without expert help.

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