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October 25, 2012

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Gripes over unlicensed moving companies

MORE than 70 percent of complaints about moving companies involved unlicensed firms, the Shanghai Customer Protection Commission said yesterday.

The commission released details about licensed movers on its website.

It also tags these firms' vehicles and makes their workers to wear the same uniforms.

Thousands of copycat companies have cheated tens of thousands of yuan from residents this year, officials said.

Xu Weigeng, a manager with Jinshajiang House-moving Company, a licensed firm, said: "Not only does our business suffer, but also our hard won reputation."

He added one of his friends was cheated.

Xu's friend paid 2,200 yuan (US$351), three times the regular fee, to an unlicensed company using Jingshajiang's name in June. The company also threatened to hold Xu's belongings if he did not pay.

Such operators routinely overcharge or even steal goods from customers, officials said. Some unlicensed firms also give the phone number of licensed movers, making them the scapegoat when things go wrong.

Liu Weijun, vice general manager of Shanghai Gongxing House-moving and Logistic Co, said: "It's gotten worse in the last couple of years. It's really embarrassing when people come to complain and it turns out they were cheated by someone using our name."

Shanghai's licensed moving companies continue to report copycats to the industry watchdog.


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