Ten Moving Scam Tactics of Suburban Relocation Systems

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Ten Moving Scam Tactics of Suburban Relocation Systems

Postby forJustice » Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:00 pm

I've performed extensive research on Suburban Relocation Systems' scams. I visited many sites, read numerous complaint posts, and examined my documents. I found that this mover has developed a perfect strategy to scam customers. They start from low quote, deceptive marketing, fraudulent Bill of Lading, rental trucks and contactors. They hurt consumers through overcharge, delivery delay, uncompensated damage, hostage, fraud, and theft. I am sharing my results, "Ten Moving Scam Tactics of Suburban Relocation Systems." Everything I write is supported by posts and written documents (see "Sources and References" below).

1. Low Quote and Delivery Promise to Hook

They offer lower quote than other movers. For example, the price for moving from Pennsylvania to Florida is $3000-4000. They will offer a quote in the low range (e.g., $3000). They state that the estimate is binding. They promise that they will deliver in 3-14 business days (East coast). They get customers' information from other moving quote sites, such as movingrelocation.com and www.greatguysmoving.com. They use low quote and delivery promise as hook.

2. Deceptive Marketing

Suburban Relocation Systems presents itself as a 5-star mover. The fact is that overwhelming people in their page in Facebook post negative comments. Most reviews at Yelp rank Suburban Relocation Systems as 1-2 star in recent years.

They team with other web sites to send deceptive messages. For example "https://www.a1autotransport.com/suburba ... stems-llc/" does not allow consumers to post bad review on Suburban Relocation Systems. I tried to post factual but negative review twice (Sept 13 and Sept 17, 2021), but I was not allowed. This site shows 5-star rating on this mover, but it is based on only two reviewers (one is anonymous).

3. Add Unfair Terms after Packing and Loading

Section 1 of their Bill of Lading states that they are not responsible for damages to piano, TV, computer, refrigerator, air conditioner, other instruments or appliance. If they break your electrical equipments, electronics, and piano, you will NOT get any compensation at all. But reputable movers pay for damages to electrical equipments and electronics.

Section 7 of their Bill of Lading says that, if they are late, they pay only $30 per day, regardless of actual expenses that incurred as the result of delay. On the other hand, reputable moving companies pay $50-150 per day for delivery delay. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that if mover fails to deliver on the agreed date and you have expenses that you otherwise would not have, you may be able to recover these expenses from the mover.

These unfair terms hurt consumers. They are against both the norm of moving companies and federal regulator. To make thing worse, these terms are added after the agreement is signed. The bad terms are added after your goods are packed and loaded. They are on the back of the Bill of Lading and are in small font. Many consumers do not even notice these unfair terms, since they are in a hurry to move to new home. Even if you notice the unfavorable terms, you can not do anything, because your goods are already loaded into their truck. Now you are on the hook. They can do anything to hurt you.

4. Rental Trucks, Contractors, and No Answering Call

Your goods are in their hands. You've signed the unfair terms. Can they deliver your belongings as scheduled and without damage?

They hire rental trucks, including Penske and U-Haul. The drivers are contractors (not affiliated with Suburban in any way). The contractors may be hired for a delivery after responding to a Craigslist Ad. The U-Haul may be rented locally for the day. Sometimes, the rental-truck driver did not possess a driver's license or insurance.

Rental trucks and contractors are not the end of the risk list. Another hidden trap is waiting for you in the future. Nobody answers your phone call, no matter you call their 800 number or call your assigned consultant.

5. Charge more on Pick-up Day

Per federal law and Suburban Relocation Systems' own binding contract, a mover may not increase the price of a binding estimate once the truck has been loaded. By law, they must alert the customer to any overages or increases before a single item is touched.

Unfortunately, the law and contract do not apply to Suburban Relocation Systems. They charge more on pick day to many customers. The illegal overcharge can be $2000 higher than binding contract.

Now you taste the first bitter fruit of scam. But some people are in worse situation. This mover do not show up on pick up day. The victims are panicked.

6. Delay Delivery

Suburban Relocation Systems are often late in delivery. They can be one month past the delivery date. They can be 49 days late. You sleep on floor and eat sandwiches, while they reduce cost and make more profit. You and your family may get headache, lag pain, and back pain. Your kids may get fever.

Suburban Relocation Systems is not worried. The maximum amount you could claim, if you get any at all, is $30 per day. But you may spend $3000 to purchase essentials, such as sleeping bags, table, chairs, cooking stuff, clothes, books, toys, TV, and printer. These are purchases that you should NOT have had to make.

Being worried, you call them. But nobody answer the phone. They will send you a text message, promising that a truck will load your goods in two days. But nothing happens.

7. Damage, Missing, and Little Compensation

Suburban Relocation Systems often damage your goods, because they use rental trucks and contractors and because Bill of Lading says that they are not responsible for damages to your electrical equipments, electronics, and piano.

Sometimes, they broke half of customer's things. Sometimes they destroy most of customer's goods. In some case, half of customer's things were missing.

In many cases they ignore damage claims (remember they are not legally liable for damage to electronics). You may get 3% of the value of your damaged goods in final settlement.

8. Mover Hostage

Overcharge, delays, and uncompensated damages are bad. But a worse trick is coming. They can hold your belongings hostage. In my case, they arrived late and missed the scheduled elevator reservation. In return for their fault, they hold my goods as hostage (demanding more than double pay). Adding insult to injury, they will charge me administration fee for their delay and fault.

9. Fraud

They charge on your credit card without your authorization, which is fraud by FBI's definition. In my case, they charged $1440 on my credit card without my authorization, committing fraud. My card company agreed and reversed the fraudulent transaction.

Please be careful when you give your card information to a fraudulent mover!

10. Theft

The next scam is theft. In my case, they threat to sell my goods at auction, which is theft. They are preparing for theft on top of hostage and fraud. The root cause is that they were late.

You are welcome to comment and add more information. Your help and participation will protect innocent people in the future. Fewer people will be victims of Suburban Relocation Systems. Please join my victim support group:

Suburban Relocation Systems: Have you been Scammed by them?

Sources and References

https://www.a1autotransport.com/suburba ... stems-llc/
https://www.facebook.com/Suburban-Reloc ... 1732295181
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.d ... s-2013.pdf
https://www.yelp.com/biz/suburban-reloc ... shington-3
https://www.bbb.org/us/md/beltsville/pr ... complaints
https://www.movingfeedback.com/moving-c ... stems-llc/
https://www.loc8nearme.com/maryland/bel ... ts/#google
https://suburban-relocation-systems.pis ... eview.html
https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/su ... do-1287453
Author's written communication with the mover, Binding Estimate, and Bill of Lading

Posts: 4697
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Ten Moving Scam Tactics of Suburban Relocation Systems

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:15 am

You seem to have done extensive research of Suburban Relocations Systems. Where did you move from and to?

The first question I would ask is how you came to utilize this company in the first place. The second question is did they come to your residence and give you a visual estimate. The third question is did they tell you at the time of the in-home survey and estimate [if they did do so] that they were only a broker and would not be doing the actual packing and/or moving? Next question, did they, as required by government regulation, provide you with the "Your Rights and Responsibilities" booklet at the time of the estimate?
Another question. How were the charges for your move calculated? By weight, or by cubic foot? Last question. How far in advance of your move did you receive the written estimate?
One thing to remember is that under federal regulations, a binding estimate has to be given prior to the move loading, and, if there are changes that would increase the cost, an addendum or revised estimate has to be given before the first item is loaded onto the truck.
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.d ... s-2013.pdf
Read this booklet carefully on the sections concerning non-binding, and binding estimates.
You also indicate that they claim they are not liable for providing valuation compensation on high value items...
Are movers liable for damage?
In general, your mover is legally liable for loss or damage that occurs during the transportation of your shipment and all related services identified on the bill of lading . ... All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the household goods they transport .. When was your move completed? You have 9 months from the time of delivery to file a claim with the company. If you have a family attorney you may ask him to look at your moving documents.
I would be happy to help you further if you are interested, but I do not come on this site very often anymore. I have been a contributor here for 18 years.
Feel free to email me at [email protected] and I will respond within 18 hours.
My experience has been with Paul Arpin Van Lines, and with Mayflower Transit from 1991 until 2015 I arranged household goods relocations worldwide for all the Southern California military bases. My company moved many Generals and other officers to the Pentagon.

It just so happens that there is a Suburban location in Tarzana which is about 120 miles from me. I will have to check it out the next time I go to Los Angeles.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:19 pm

Re: Ten Moving Scam Tactics of Suburban Relocation Systems

Postby forJustice » Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:09 pm

Dear BigLeeCalif :

Thank you very much for your response. Your insights are very helpful.

A. I moved from Pennsylvania to Florida
B. I used it because it called me, gave lower estimate, and promised in-time delivery.
C. They did not come to my home. They did the estimate over the phone.
D. They told me that they were "Full service moving company"
E. They never gave me the "Your Rights and Responsibilities" booklet. I just learnt it from your post.

Thank you in advance for your help.

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