Moving Van Firm Fined $281,000 for Holding Property Hostage
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently announced $281,000 in fines against Moving Van Lines Inc. of Tampa, Fla., for violating multiple federal regulations including holding consumers’ property hostage and requiring moving fees in excess of the original binding contractual agreement.
“Consumers should not have to fear the loss of their property at the hands of fraudulent household goods movers,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Companies that violate federal regulations and take advantage of consumers will be held accountable and they will face serious legal and financial consequences.”
“Ensuring that consumers can access safe, reputable household goods movers is a priority,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “We will continue to use every resource at our disposal to expose unscrupulous movers and protect consumers.”
FMCSA issued these citations and fines against Moving Van Lines following an extensive investigation of consumer complaints against the moving company. FMCSA issued a final order on Aug. 16, 2010, and found the company in violation of 28 counts of failing to relinquish possession of a household goods shipment (hostage load), and one count of collecting fees more than the original binding estimate.
The “Protect Your Move” website at http://www.protectyourmove.gov, provides information on shippers’ rights and responsibilities and information on how to research USDOT registered household goods carriers.