Moving Van Lines Inc. fined for holding property hostage

| 8/31/2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has fined an interstate moving company $281,000 for violating several federal regulations – including “holding consumers’ property hostage” and jacking up moving fees beyond contractually agreed amounts.

FMCSA announced Monday that it has fined Moving Van Lines Inc. after an extensive investigation driven by consumer complaints. The investigation into the Tampa Bay, FL-based company led to charges 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.”

“Consumers should not have to fear the loss of their property at the hands of fraudulent household goods movers,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “Companies that violate federal regulations and take advantage of consumers will be held accountable and they will face serious legal and financial consequences.”

FMCSA encourages consumers planning to make interstate moves to visit the federal government’s “Protect Your Move” website by clicking here. Consumers who have encountered problems with moving companies may file complaints through FMCSA’s nationwide complaint hotline at 888-368-7238 (888-DOT-SAFT) or visit the National Consumer Complaints Database by clicking here.