Household goods carriers fined by FMCSA

| 8/6/2004

Three household good carriers have been fined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for violating federal rules, the FMCSA announced Thursday, Aug. 5.

Goldstar Moving & Storage Inc. of Norcross, GA, SNS Business Opportunities Inc., doing business as Giant Van Lines, of Jessup, MD, and A Supreme Movers Inc. of Fair Lawn, NJ, were each fined thousands of dollars.

“These movers did not abide by federal consumer protection requirements,” FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg said in a written release. “Thanks to help from victims, we investigated the movers’ operations, found problems, and now we’re fixing them.”

The federal agency cited all three for operating a charge card plan without providing a tariff, or list of charges; and for failing to properly weigh shipments, prepare orders for service or prepare itemized bills.

The companies also failed to provide their customers with a required pamphlet that tells consumers about the carriers’ dispute-settlement programs.

The FMCSA also cited Goldstar Moving & Storage for: not publishing a tariff; not participating in a dispute-settlement program; not following loss and damage claims procedures; not furnishing written non-binding estimates to shippers; and not retaining copies of those estimates.

Giant Van Lines was also cited for not charging its applicable tariff rate and failing to relinquish possession of shipments after being paid the estimated charge plus 10 percent.

A Supreme Movers faced an additional citation for: not charging its applicable tariff rate; not following its loss and damage claims procedures; and not preparing non-binding estimates as required.

Gabe Suissa, a manager at Giant Van Lines, said his company intended to contest the alleged violations, as well as the amount of penalties. He contends his company did follow regulations.

Officials from the other two companies were not available for comment.

Goldstar was fined $22,750; SNS faced a fine of $60,500; and A Supreme was assessed $32,950. The FMCSA said in a release that all three companies could contest either the fines or the alleged violations.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig can be reached at