Troubleshooters: Moving Mishap

Spring is moving season and the Troubleshooters have a warning. A moving company that operates nationwide is the target of a federal investigation after complaints alleging it failed to deliver furniture as promised

Coal Township, Northumberland County is about 115 miles from Newark, Delaware. A moving company was supposed to deliver one woman's furniture in two days but it took more than two months and only after the Troubleshooters got involved.

"I was emotional. I was very upset. I almost had a nervous breakdown for two weeks what these people put me through, said Catherine Weber.

Weber wanted to move closer to her family in Delaware. She hired First Class Moving and Storage, headquartered in Georgia, after talking to a representative on the phone.

"He asked me about the contents of the house and I told him everything. No small boxes, just furniture. He said it would be $1,150. When they came on the 1st to take my furniture after the furniture was on the truck they said they $2,300," explained Weber.

That was on December 1st. The next day, Weber said she got a call saying her furniture can't be delivered until her checks clear in 4 to 5 business days.

"On the 5th, I got a phone call from a New Jersey number for an additional $1,457 I would get my furniture the next day," she said. "They didn't want a check. They specified that. They wanted a money order or cash."

Then there was another demand.

"We don't want a money order, we want you to go to the bank, cash it in and wire cash to a bank in New York. Right then and there I knew something was wrong," she said.

Weeks go by.

"Then I got a threat last week, if I didn't pay, they were going to sell it at auction," she said.

Weber paid the additional money but credited the Action News Troubleshooters for getting her furniture delivered and stopping the company from asking for even more money.

"She must've did something, everything was great. They were going to deliver my furniture," she said.

Weber said there is damage to some of her pieces but that she is happy to at least have it back.

"It's 50 years of collecting things," she said.

When the Troubleshooters contacted First Class Moving and Storage for comment, we were told:

"We will communicate with the customer directly ... thank you for your concern."

So here are your Troubleshooter Tips:
Get a written estimate based on an in-person inspection of your belongings

If you are moving out of state, check the company through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's online database.

The website shows First Class Moving and Storage had 5 complaints filed against it last year and already 13 this year. (at the time of this report) Complaints allege issues with estimates, final charges, and deceptive business practices. And federal authorities confirm to Action News they are investigating the company.

Statement From First Class Moving based in Illinois:
We are First Class Moving & Storage out of Northbrook, IL - DOT 1001042, MC 130447, no affiliation with any other company by the same name nationwide. We are an A+ rated company with the BBB, have hundreds of great reviews on Angie's List, and have won their prestigious Super Service Award for 14 consecutive years (since 2005). Since September we have been receiving many contacts - calls, emails and bad reviews - intended for this other company. It has badly tarnished our reputation and forced us to spend countless hours trying calm, assist and sometimes counsel people who are being badly mistreated by a company that shares our name, but clearly not our ideals or business practices. It is straining on our resources, devoted significant time daily to trying to assist their clients, when we should be focused on servicing our own. It is frustrating for us, and heartbreaking to interact with people daily in such helplessness and anguish at such a vulnerable and stressful time.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Protect Your Move
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