Consumer Affairs Reaches Settlement with Seventh Moving Company This Year;
Summer is the Busiest Season for Relocating
NEWARK - The Division of Consumer Affairs and a Passaic County moving company
have settled allegations that the firm violated the state's Consumer Fraud
Act, the Public Movers and Warehousemen Licensing Act and Public Mover Regulations.
A Atlantic Plus Moving and Storage, Inc. of Passaic is required to enter into
binding arbitration to resolve consumer complaints that have been filed against
the company. The firm also will pay $5,323.50 in civil penalties and cost reimbursements
to the state.
The Consent Order with A Atlantic Plus Moving and Storage is the seventh settlement
that the Division has reached with moving and storage companies in 2009.
“The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day traditionally is the busiest time for moving and relocating. We urge consumers to know their rights under New Jersey law before hiring a moving company,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director. “We continue to monitor the industry and act against those who attempt to take advantage of consumers.”
All companies conducting moves within New Jersey are required to be licensed with the Regulated Business Section of the Division of Consumer Affairs. There are approximately 309 warehousemen and movers licensed by Consumer Affairs
Before hiring a moving company, consumers can check to see if a particular company is licensed and how many consumer complaints have been filed against the company by calling the Division's Regulated Business Section at 973-504-6442 or 973-504-6512 or by going to http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nonmedical/movers.htm
A Consumer Brief that explains state laws and regulations governing movers and warehousemen and tips for consumers is available at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/brief/mover.pdf
The tips for consumers include:
Consider Your Insurance Options
Without additional insurance, moving companies are required to compensate you up to 60 cents per pound for any item that is damaged or destroyed during the move. You may purchase additional insurance through the mover or on your own through a broker. You should also check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if moves are covered.
Immediately Inspect For Damage
Inspect your possessions immediately upon arriving at your new residence. If any damage or loss of items has occurred, you can file a claim with the mover within 90 days. If the claim is not resolved to your satisfaction, contact the Division at 973-504-6442 or 973-504-6512.
Be sure to get a written estimate.
- The moving company, in most cases, is required to physically inspect the items to be moved and give you a written estimate that explains how the overall cost is calculated, at least 24 hours before the move.
The Division cited the following four companies for operating without a license. Each company, without admitting it had violated any laws or regulations, agreed to comply with the provisions of the Public Movers and Warehousemen Licensing Act and pay $2,000 in civil penalties, under settlements reached this year.
- Moving On Up, LLC Kinnelon
- Loyalty Moving and Delivery Service, LLC Lindenwold
- Four Brothers Moving and Storage, Inc. Passaic
- Dan the Affordable Moving Man, Inc. Budd Lake
A Better Choice Movers, Inc., of Fairfield, in January agreed to pay $48,000 in civil penalties ($30,000 suspended) and $2,000 in cost reimbursements to the state to settle alleged violations without admitting guilt or wrongdoing. The company also agreed to binding arbitration if it does not reach settlements with consumers who had filed complaints prior to the settlement. Additionally, the company is required for two years to inform the Division of how consumer complaints were resolved and to enter into binding arbitration if the complaints cannot be resolved.
Ron's Moving, Inc., of Willingboro, in January agreed to comply with provisions of the Public Movers and Warehousemen Licensing Act, without admitting that it had committed any violations. The company was assessed $10,250 in civil penalties. The penalties were suspended after a financial audit confirmed that the company would sustain extreme financial hardship.