Action News Investigation: Couple says movers held their belongings hostage for months
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – Cross Country Movers is accused of taking customers’ personal goods hostage, delaying deliveries and other fraudulent business practices.
Action News noted that the Florida-based company has dozens of consumer complaints and is now operating in our area.
The Brigante family moved to Mount Airy from Florida this summer.
They contacted Action News after their stuff was never shown.
“It was worry, stress and emotional breakdown,” said Ricky Brigante of the situation. “They kept telling us, we will deliver, we will unload and we will plan and nothing.”
The late delivery caused the family to sleep on the floor and eat paper plates.
They also used radiator covers to store their clothes.
“I just want the company to shut down … what they are doing is criminal,” the couple said.
Action News noted that the Brigands aren’t the only ones complaining about cross country movers.
One hundred and eighteen consumers have filed complaints with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration since 2017.
These complaints range from disputes over final charges, goods hostage-taking, and claims settlement.
Late last year, the Florida Attorney General took Cross Country Movers owner Yehoshua Vaknin and his moving company to court.
The lawsuit alleges that the company failed to meet “low bid” estimates, used fictitious names similar to other “reputable” moving companies, and often delayed deliveries until goods could be matched with other customers.
The company has denied misconduct on court files.
Cross Country hung up repeatedly when we tried to speak to the owner on the phone.
We also stopped by a warehouse in southwest Philadelphia that they advertise as their local hub. Nobody was there.
However, Brigante believes his threats to contact Action News prompted the company to finally deliver.
Our cameras rolled from a block away last week when the movers finally showed it.
Brigante said the company told him they wouldn’t discharge if he didn’t pay cash.
He also said that the moving companies told him they would not accept a personal check or credit card in a possible violation of the Florida Household Moving Services Act.
Contact the Action News Investigation Team
When the movers left Brigante’s house, we were asked why we showed up and confronted them.
“What would you do if this was your stuff and it was missing for two months?” asked Chad Pradelli.
The Cross Country moving companies refused to answer the question.
Use this SEARCH TOOL to verify that an interstate mover is properly registered with the US Department of Transportation.
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