NAPLES, Fla. — September 9th was the start of a new journey for Helen Goytizolo, moving from Naples, FL to Sacramento, CA. She handed over her most prized possessions to Moving and Storage Connection LLC, based in Miami, expecting it by October. Their delivery truck didn’t show up to her Sacramento home until December 25th, without 10 of her boxes.
“Christmas, I spent crying, and thinking about all of the items that I was potentially never going to get back, and because this hasn’t been fully resolved, I still don’t feel at ease,” she said.
When Goytizolo didn’t receive her belongings by September 24th as anticipated, she says panic and worry set in. So, she did something she should have done before hiring the moving company, she looked them up on betterbusinessbureau.org.
One of the brokers she hired for the move, Unique Van Lines, the third party which connected her with Moving and Storage Connection LLC, has an F rating on the BBB site. But still Moving and Storage assured her, they’d deliver her items.
The boxes that had arrived were torn, leading Goytizolo to believe someone rummaged through her stuff. Afi Raz, manager of Moving and Storage Connection LLC says if boxes were torn, that could be the customer’s fault.
“If customers pack their boxes, and they don’t fill it to the top, and they usually use very, very thin boxes, boxes do intend to crush,” he said.
But she doesn’t think that’s what happened based on a brand new amazon box that had items she never ordered in it.
“That box was opened and there was a random blazer in there that I had packed in a different box,” said Goytizolo.
Raz says it’s harder to get drivers to go to the west coast, and the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies that. The woman moving says they should’ve communicated that to her before December 25th.
Art Forster, an investigator with the Better Business Bureau says the BBB has 20,000 moving company profiles on their site. They’ve received 5,000+ complaints within the last year.
He says researching is key. That customer says she did some digging online before signing on the dotted line. But, Forster says where you research is even more important.
“Many people are going to start with a Google search for movers, and there’s a lot of paid ads that come up top,” he said.
Raz says he’ll compensate the customer for her troubles.
“We told her we would give her a refund,” he said.
That woman also said her exercise bike is missing, too. Raz says he doesn’t recall it being in their facility, but he could replace it, too.
But, Forster says more roadblocks could be ahead, considering she may not get the full value of missing items based on typical payouts by most companies.
“Damages are paid out at 60 cents per pound. Not on the value of the item. So, if you can imagine a high-end television might only weigh 20 pounds, at 60 cents a pound, that’s not a lot of money,” said Forster.
He added the customer may even have to provide receipts for that missing item. Raz says on top of the refund, they’ll ship of rest of her items to California as soon as possible. But, Goytizolo says her trust is gone, and she’s working to send family members to pick up her things themselves.