The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
As mentioned in the July issue of this publication, the National Council of Moving Associations met in early summer. Part of this valuable program was a conference call with the membership of the National Conference of State Regulator Specialists (think state regulatory enforcement staff). During the call, it was discovered that Craigslist.org had taken down the consumer warning notice information on each of its regional sites. This warning was a useful resource for consumers that cared enough to do a little research into the process of selecting a mover. One of the critical elements of the notice was the fact that it was an “above the line” Craigslist post, which meant that the post did not move based upon time and date of posting, and could not be flagged or removed by anyone other than Craigslist staff. These are important distinctions that anyone who has attempted to use Craigslist will immediately understand.
We sent an email to CPUC leadership and advised them of several facts about Craigslist’s mover listings warning post that should be as much of a concern to them as it is to us:
“Back in 2008, Moira Simmerson and Paul Wuerstle from the CPUC negotiated an arrangement with Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.org, to have a CPUC warning about illegal operators and a link to the CPUC website posted on its listings page of movers in California. Recently, it was brought to our attention that this warning and link has disappeared from the Craigslist listings page.”
In the email, we attached a copy of the CPUC statement that had originally been posted on Craigslist. On behalf of CMSA members, we asked that the agency contact Craigslist and request the reinstatement of the warning on their California mover listings page. We stated that it is imperative that consumers be aware of the risks they are taking when using unlicensed movers. It is also important that the CPUC take proper action to weed out illegal operators and create a level playing field for legal operators.
Our communication concluded with a request that the CPUC work to reinstate the above-the-line CPUC consumer warning and link on the Craigslist website. Our email was forwarded to other state moving associations with the hope that they will also contact their regulators to work toward the reinstatement of this consumer notice across the country.
- CMSA Communicator