Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 6, 2003 at 9:53 p.m.
Florida is taking tentative steps toward regulating disreputable moving companies. A law passed by the Legislature last year establishes a number of requirements on the 800 or so companies that do business solely within the state.
It's long overdue. Horror stories abound about movers who quote one price before the move and then demand more - holding the customers' property hostage.
Charles Bronson, Florida's commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, recently announced administrative action against five companies for failing to register as required by the new law. Companies that don't register are subject to $1,000 fines and possible shut-down orders.
The law also provides for contractual agreements between movers and customers that govern differences in billing. Companies are prohibited from holding belongings hostage.
Consumers can find out about a particular mover's registration and history before signing a contract by calling the department's hot line at 800-HELP FLA.
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