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Senate relies on industry pros to rout out rogue movers

By • Jan 25th, 2012 • Category: Consumer Help, Consumer Protection, FMCSA, Hostage Load, MovingScams, Scammers

Senagte investigation into rogue movers and brokersAs part of an ongoing investigation, the staff at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation recently invited representatives of the International Association of Movers (IAM) to join them to answer questions regarding their official inquiry. 

IAM is a global association of movers and forwarders based in the shadows of Capitol Hill. The industry trade group consists over 2,000 moving and storage companies from more than 170 countries and territories.

The meeting occurred just days before the January 27, 2011 deadline set for several household goods movers and brokers to comply with a written request to provide the Senate committee with information pertinent to their probe into activities involving unscrupulous "rogue" operators.

In mid-December 2011, Chairman Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller (D-WV), announced that the committee had undertaken "an investigation into the practice of moving companies holding household goods 'hostage' to extract additional money from individuals and families mid-way through their moves." The in-depth investigation is to discern how widespread the problem is and what can be done to protect consumers.

IAM Program Manager Brian Limperopulos was joined in the meeting by a special government affairs team from PACE LLP – managing partner, James Wise, and his associate, Bryan Vickers

PACE is a well-established government consulting firm whose partners have a wealth of both personal and professional relationships with White House personnel, Federal agency officials, chairmen of major Congressional committees, members of Congress and their staff, corporate sector executives and related press corps.

During the January 18, 2011 meeting, the industry group shared the details how the practices of rogue operators and shady brokers differ from those of reputable movers, and explained how unscrupulous operators are successful in scamming customers.

On December 19th, letters requesting specific, detailed information regarding each company's sales and marketing programs, operational enforcement and compliance to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations explanation were sent to the owners and principles of Best Price Moving and Storage, Inc. (USDOT# 693651 ; MC# 321559), Nationwide Relocation Services (MC# 381766), Budget Van Lines (MC# 512534), and Able Moving, Inc (USDOT# 1418141; MC# 536623).

Included in the letter that the Senate committee sent to Nationwide Relocation Services, CEO Aldo DiSorbo was asked to explain his relationship, or the companies' relationship, with the following companies or entities and provide a copy of the contract if a contractual relationship exists.  (see Correction below)

 
American Van Lines
United States Van Lines Relocation Division
United States Van Lines
MBM Moving
Moving Squad
WeHaul Moving
Patriot Van Lines
World Moving Services
All Coast Transporters
Nationwide Van Lines
Brown Van Lines
Moving Cost, Inc.

Company owners only have until January 27, 2012 to comply with the Congressional committee request for information and documents.

It shouldn't be too hard to get accurate updates on the status of the committee's investigation now that several industry groups have become involved in the Senate's discovery process.

Related Articles:

Senate investigates household goods carriers and move brokers – RELO Roundtable

Rockefeller Investigates Consumer Complaints of Moving Companies Holding Furniture & Possessions Hostage - Senate Press Office

Feds crack down on more rogue movers and brokers – RELO Roundtable

Correction: Senate relies on industry pros to rout out rogue movers – RELO Roundtable

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  • jenevara

    I am dealing with Florida Southwest Van Lines, Inc, Ocala, FL(also known under several previous names) because of forging original documents after loading to gain more money upon delivery of my belongings.  Have contacted BBB, police, and  D.O.T. to try and stop this company and Tevel Benoon.  They use “brokers” with suspended driver’s licenses and the man is a scammer.  Please help.  I have all the documentation needed to take this to court but do not have the funds.  Please contact me and I will forward any and all info needed in your efforts to stop these people.  fla34481@yahoo.com

  • Eric Anders

    enevara, it appears that Florida Southwest Van Lines, Inc is a small, four-truck carrier licensed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide interstate household goods moving services in April, 2010 (USDOT # 1875494 ; MC # 677116). http://bit.ly/Jijmpr | http://1.usa.gov/KSSlsh

    Since you didn’t say where you are moving from and to, or offer any specific evidence that the company violated the terms and conditions you agreed to when you signed the bill of lading, there is not much I can do to help but recommend that you seek informed advice or legal counsel if the company has not yet delivered your goods.

    Your recourse will be determined by the intra- or interstate laws applicable to your situation. Historically the BBB and police will not get involved in revolving a civil dispute.

    MoveRescue.com is a consumer assistance service operated by UniGroup, Inc. that
    offers free professional advice to those who feel they’ve been taken advantaged by an unscrupulous interstate movers.

    Call 800-832-1773 if you moved interstate and would like to speak them. You will be asked to forward your shipping documents for review. A knowledgeable representative will answer your questions about the moving process and advise you of the appropriate next steps to take. They can refer you to an attorney in your area if you deem one is necessary.  You would be responsible to pay the legal fees.