What to do when a moving company loses your furniture
When Paul Fisch’s moving company loses its furniture, he turns to the usual suspects for help. But there is nothing they can do. Time to call a consumer advocate.
I recently planned a cross-country move from New Orleans to Los Angeles with the Purple Heart Moving Group. The company quoted a price of $ 1,922 for the entire contract and we paid a $ 821 deposit.
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Purple Heart commissioned Victory Moving and Storage with the order. At the end of April, a Victory representative brought our things to his truck. Then he told me the price had gone from $ 1,922 to $ 5,768.
When I tried to retreat the Victory Mover said it had already started packing and I would have to pay for packing and unloading. He also told me that the $ 800 deposit was just a “search fee” for Purple Heart and didn’t count towards the cost of moving.
I paid this new price of $ 5,768 in full for the move.
Our contract states that you have 30 days to deliver the furniture. It’s been 53 days. The Victory Mover’s phone has been disconnected. Every time we call Purple Heart, a representative promises to call us back with more details, but never does. I’ve filed complaints with the BBB and the Department of Transportation, but my things are still missing. Please help us. We slept on the floor for almost two months. Can you find our furniture? – Paul Fisch, Los Angeles
You should have received your shipment on time and at no additional cost. Your case has so many red flags, all of which are outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Protect Your Move” brochure. A moving company representative should be there in person to provide a cost estimate. Something about this subcontractor doesn’t seem right either. You could have avoided all of this if you had carefully read through the government brochure.
And if anyone ever tries to take your furniture hostage, call the local police. I’m willing to bet the mover will quickly unload the truck and race away never to be seen again.
Time to find your lost furniture
This is a complicated case. Purple Heart worked with a subcontractor. It is unclear whether the Victory Mover was an employee or a subcontractor. The contract you signed provided for a reasonable price adjustment but also offered compensation for late deliveries. The paper path between you and the moving companies went on and on, but the bottom line is: Purple Heart was late and owed you money.
In reviewing the correspondence you sent to the Elliott Advocacy Team, it appears that you did all you could. They kept your emails short and polite, and were as patient as possible. It’s a shame the BBB and government couldn’t help but I’m not surprised. This is not the case they would meddle in, at least not immediately.
I contacted Purple Heart on your behalf. The company agreed to reimburse you $ 200 for the delay. It found your furniture and delivered it.