FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. — Job losses and housing issues due to COVID-19 have ramped up the need to hire movers.
Action 9 spoke with a local woman who had been waiting over two months for her stuff.
“Frustrated, angry, upset, fearful. And on top of everything, I feel powerless,” Brittany Brosius said.
She was looking forward to a Florida beginning with her fiancé and son, but she regrets hiring Empire Moving Group to bring her family’s belongings from New York to Fruitland Park. When she called to find out when their stuff would be delivered, she didn’t like what she heard.
“The lady couldn’t tell me where my things were, she told me she does not know,” Brosius said.
Empire Moving Group, based in South Florida, has 17 complaints so far this year with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Brosius said when the movers arrived, she was told the move would cost $3,900, instead of the $2,500 on the original estimate, and that’s also when she found out the company she hired, was a broker.
“They told me that a third party wouldn’t be involved and now the moving company hired somebody else to pick up my stuff,” Brosius said.
It had been over 60 days since the movers had taken the family’s possessions and they were still waiting.
“There is stuff on that moving truck I cannot replace. I have photos of my grandmother who’s passed away,” Brosius said.
COVID-19 has caused job losses and housing problems, resulting in a large increase in moves during a stressful time. So, it’s more important than ever for consumers to avoid bad mover contracts.
A recent Better Business Bureau study shows the agency received close to 40,000 complaints or negative reviews about movers in three years and at least 1,300 moving companies have ‘F’ ratings. Consumer experts warn dealing with a broker can be riskier than hiring the actual company doing the move.
“They’re bidding out your work. So as a consumer you have very little control, actually no control over who they hire to do the move,” said BBB President Holly Salmons.
Action 9 contacted Empire Moving Group, a supervisor said the company is accredited and Covid-19 has caused major delays.
After Action 9 interviewed Brosius, she got a message saying she should be getting her stuff in a few days. And it did finally arrive, but only after two months and a lot of headaches.
“I would’ve gotten a U-Haul and moved my own stuff,” Brosius said.
- When picking a mover, get at least three binding estimates, preferably from the actual mover, not a broker
- Make sure they take credit cards, not just cash
- Research their complaint history with the U.S Department of Transportation and the Better Business Bureau
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