I am here, back in Tucson but not yet in my home. I’ve been here staying with a friend since the 17th of July as I have unfortunately found myself victim of a moving company holding my belongings hostage.
I am writing this blog to let people know there are things that can be done and agencies that can help get your belongings back from unscrupulous moving companies.
I had signed a binding estimate with a local New Jersey Moving Company as the quote came in thousands of dollars less than the nationally known moving companies. By law, a moving company cannot charge anymore than the quoted amount on a binding estimate and only 10% more on a non-binding estimate.
My quoted amount for the move on a signed binding estimate was $6,630. But after the crew packed my items, I was told that I had more than double the estimated cubic feet agreed to so the price increased to $14,000. My items were moved to their storage facility allegedly awaiting a larger van for the move.
After several days of attempting to contact the company to contest the price increase and find a date of delivery, I was finally able to speak with someone but nothing was accomplished, the person was extremely rude and talked loudly over me every time I tried to speak. I was finally told they would get in touch with me with an estimated date for delivery, I’m still waiting for that contact.
I was in the middle of dealing with the sale of my previous home and mentioned the increase in price of the move to my real estate attorney. She sent me a link to instructions for dealing with such an event.
I followed every step outlined on the site, I filed police reports, complaints with State agencies, I contacted MoveRescue which is a group of attorneys to help with legal advice. But the agency that helped the most and very quickly was the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).
Within 15 minutes of filing my on-line complaint, I received an email asking me for documentation of the events along with copies of my estimate with the moving company. Within a few hours, the FMSCA sent a notice to the moving company telling them they were in violation of federal guidelines and if they did not revert the pricing back to that of the binding estimate they would be fined $10,000 for each occurrence they have on file with the FMSCA (there must be many), imprisoned for 2-3 years and the company will lose its license. They were given one business day to respond to the FMSCA and to notify them when my belongings will be shipped.
Needless to say they responded and will honor the original estimated price. My belongings will be shipped on the 1st of August. I do not know what condition they will arrive in or when I can expect delivery, but at this point I can only wait to see.
I must confess I did not perform due diligence but will do so in the future. I advise everybody how important doing so is. Had I read reviews on only the BBB site, I would have realized the company I chose did not have any positive reviews. I have since read reviews on Yelp and Google and find the same to be true there as well. I will be adding my review to all the sites.
Wow! That’s awful, Arlene. I hear this stuff happening to folks quite a bit. I’m sorry it happened to you. I hope your belongings are delivered with no damage. Would you mind sharing the name of the company?
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Thanks Bonnye, the company is New Jersey Transport (https://njtransport.us/#!/)
Yikes. Welcome to Tucson. Same house or did you sell it?
No Steve, I sold that house. I will be renting, I don’t want the responsibility of the maintenance of a house.
Can’t really hit the like button. This is terrible. Appears you won’t have furniture till mid August!! What a bummer. At least in the bright side, you have friends to stay with. Were you able to go to the pilgrim meeting?
Yes, Lynda I am very lucky to have such good friends. I did get to the Pilgrim’s meeting, it was good to see old faces as well as to make new friends.
Geez! Well, thanks for sharing how others can advocate for themselves if they are in a similar situation.
This is more common than we can imagine. Sad how some businesses take advantage, but luckily there are governmental agencies that can help the consumer.
This is just terrible. I hired a moving company several years ago. The worst thing they did was break my wife’s vanity. We didn’t know about it until after they had left. My wife called the company and neither the manager nor the two guys who moved our belongings ever apologized, in fact, they denied they broke anything. But this is very small potatoes compared to what you are going through. I hope you receive all of your stuff and in good shape,
Thank you for your response. I want everybody to know there is recourse should they find themselves in a similar position.
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So sorry you are going through this grief. Moving is hard enough. That you for posting advice on where to get help. Hope all your goods will be here soon!
I just thought of something! You are barely (hopefully) going to get a couple boxes unpacked and then be off to Portugal!!! Portugal will help put all this unpleasantness behind you!
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Lynda, ah, yes Portugal – now that is going to be wonderful. Not too far off now, trust me I am surely going to enjoy every moment of the week there!
The movers in Panama stole our jewelry and gold, including a family heirloom. It was my negligence for not hand carrying them. Movers. Gotta love ’em.
Neusa and David
Neusa and David,
It is great to be back. I’ve heard so many horrible moving stories, it truly is a shame. I do blame myself for not performing due diligence on this particular company, no excuse on my part. Thankfully there is the FMCSA who helped, well I think so but time will tell when I finally receive my items.
Take care and maybe we will run into each other at some point.
So sorry Arlene. Have been praying for you. Hope everything goes better for you soon.
Love ya Deb ♥️
Keep the faith sweetie.
Deb, Thank you for the prayers! According to what the moving company told the FMCSA, my things should be on their way now. I will give a telephone call to the movers to find out an approximate date of delivery, I imagine it will be within the next week (fingers crossed and lots of prayers are being said)
PS It won’t be long till we are training together again 🙂
That is horrible. I am glad you have a resolution. Hopefully your items will be in tact and none missing.
I was in Costa Rica for a month. What a paradise! A good friend retired there so I went for a visit. Have thought about moving there since it is so inexpensive. Time will tell. It won’t be for another year or so before I make a decision on it.
Keep in touch. I may be coming to Tucson in the fall. Would love to see you.