Complaints against moving companies on the rise

SEATTLE -- If you're planning on moving, experts say you need to make sure you're hiring a legitimate mover before you agree to anything.

Moving halfway across the country is stressful enough, but for people like Susan Frey it can also be costly with little return.

"Karma's going to come back to bite 'em," said Frey.

Frey says she only got about half the stuff that she hired a moving company to bring from Indiana to Seattle.

There were a lot of reasons and excuses, and some of what did arrive was broken.

"It breaks your heart when you hear these horror stories of people hiring these bad movers and they end up having their personal belongings held hostage, they end up paying more than they were quoted," said David Quinlan with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB is handling Frey's complaint and Quinlan says you have to do your homework before hiring anyone. Most importantly, if hiring a company in Washington State make sure it's permitted by the Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Quinlan said there are a lot of illegal companies out there.

"Don't believe just general estimates. Get everything on paper, understand the contract and all the policies, the cancellations a timeline you've got to read every single word," he said.

That's advice Frey wishes she would have known before she moved.

"It was all verbal," she said. "I was like, ok, and then they emailed me a receipt and I thought it was a done deal."

Frey was left to buy many of the items she needed to fill her apartment because it was cheaper than hiring another moving company to bring the rest of her possessions.

"I'm not looking for money, I just don't want someone else to go through this it's just not right," she said.