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Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

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Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Redd » Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:44 pm

I'm being ripped off by Trucks on Call in Rockville, MD. I am shocked people haven't reported this company on this site and trying to negotiate with them is worthless ... they are nasty and rude. Contracted a move from Northern Virginia to storage then out to Southern Maryland ... all along the DC beltway.

I contracted the company for $135 for 4 guys to pack and move to storage. When they arrived it was only 3 guys and the company did not reduce the cost for shorting me a person. Should have sent them away right then but I was only in town for a weekend from Florida. At 6:00 pm when they realized my house wasn't going to get packed and loaded that night ... they sent out 4 more guys for a couple of hours. To me 4 guys for 2 hours does not equate to one man for 8 hours. They are trying to rush to do things and that does not work.

I was also told that my monthly storage was the first month free and after that $380 for a 10x30 unit only to find out after my furniture was packed, wrapped, and loaded on the truck that one was not available and the cost increased to $580 a month. After screaming, cursing, and a lot of yelling I negotiated it down to $480 for 2 months because I would move it out when I got back in town. The first month of rental they hit my credit card for $490 and this month for $580. When I contacted the company they told me I would get it credited back. I am trying to be patient till I can get my furniture out but this is not easy.

I contacted the company on 3/7/05 (10 days notice) to deliver my furniture out on 3/19/05 ... I was told I would be given a quote on 3/8/05. Had not heard from the company till I called them on 3/15/05 because I found someone else to move my furniture out ... didn't trust them because it would be the last minute and I would not have a chance to find someone else waiting till the last minute. I was told I could get my furniture when I paid them $2320. I was also told I could pay them $2500 to deliver it to me. Talk about a rip off and being swindled. And they do that to you after they have your household belonging in their possession. I have requested itemized statements for the each cost.

Today, I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, the Dept. of Transportation, and the Virginia Motor Vehicle (VMV) Dept. I am being given the total run around by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Dept. because they say I need to file it with the Public Utilities Service Commission and they said they don't do that and VMV says I need to deal with the Federal Motor people because its Interstate.

Its very confusing around this DC metro area with who you contact to file a complaint against the moving company. I learned about your site watching a news report about moving companies ripping people off and hold their furniture for a huge ransom like this one is doing me ... wish I had saw it before they got my furniture.

In the meantime, I will not pay the ransom for my furniture. I called the Montgomery County Police Dept about filing an exhortion charges ... they said it was civil and to hire an attorney. Now, I am in the process of hiring an attorney.

If someone knows the legal steps for the DC metro area, please let me know ASAP! Peter at VMV is also researching it to help me. I have learned where my furniture is being stored ... it is not on their property but actually at a Self Storage company in Maryland. I just don't feel good about it right now ... I have worked too hard to lose everything I have worked for. I lost everything I owned once in a divorce ... I will not lose all my household belonging again!!!

PLEASE HELP!!!!
Last edited by Redd on Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Diane » Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:54 pm

Hi - I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I posted a warning here about Trucks on Call last July hoping that Google would pick up the topic headline - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2075
MusicMom, one of our volunteers, knows a lot about Trucks on Call and she'll probably be along shortly.
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby twalker » Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:08 pm

Redd,

I sent you an email yesterday letting you know that you should call Paul Pugh at the Virginia Motor Vehicles department (they have oversight of intrastate moves in Virginia). Paul's number is 804-367-1498.

What happened?

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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby MusicMom » Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:24 pm

Ahhh, crap. :x I had a very long reply to you, then silly me hit the close button. But call Paul Pugh like Tim suggests. Also call Anne Ferro, President of the Maryland Movers Council. Her number is (410) 644-4600, and she might be able to steer you in the direction of someone who can do something.

I had the distinct displeasure of speaking with Amy Fingerman about a year ago when it was discovered she was allowing her brother to use Trucks on Call's trucks to run his own unlicensed moving company, Olympic Movers. After Amy was unable to give me a sufficient explanation as to how this was legal, she hung up on me. A couple days later, the brother called me back (must have Caller ID), crying and begging me to remove the Alert of both companies from this website. He actually offered me free moves to delete the post. :lol:

These are the kinds of people that are bullying you. And, like most bullies, they are truly cowards at heart. Don't back down!
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Redd » Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:12 pm

Thanks MusicMom:

I am not going to back down or be bullied into paying them $2500 to get my furniture out of storage. It cost me to over $4000 to move it into storage and I only moved from a 3 level townhouse (3 bedrooms).

I am meeting with an attorney tomorrow and I'll make the phone call to Anne. I have spoken with Paul and he is researching the Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland moving laws because he said he doesn't handle it. Paul also recommended that I file a complaint with my credit card company for them overcharging it.

And thanks to this site I will make sure it stays up front for people to beware of them. I really hate I missed your post on them.

Redd
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby MusicMom » Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:44 am

Redd, Trucks on Call IS a member of the AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association, on Duke St, Old Town Alexandria). Please call them to file your complaint. I did copy your post here in the email when I checked on membership, so they've at least heard about it.

www.moving.org
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Guest » Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:44 am

MusicMom:

Trucks on Call is NOT a member of the Maryland Movers Council. They referred me to the Maryland Attorney Generals Office Consumer Protection Division in Baltimore, MD at 410-576-6300 hotline. Website: www.oag.state.md.us

According to Consumer Protection Division you send a letter in writing to:
200 Saint Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

Include person filing complaints: Name, Address, and Phone number.
Business you are filing against: Name, Address, and phone number along with any documentation related to your complaint.

I'll be sending my complaint off today.

Thanks for your help ... this site is really helping me vent and do the right thing! :P

Redd
:evil:
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Redd » Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:30 pm

Business and Organizations Contacted regarding Trucks on Call

1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
1-888-368-7238
March 15, 2005: FMCSA recommended contracting the Virginia Motor Vehicles Department because my move originated in Virginia and the Public Utilities Service Commission because they oversee Maryland (which after calling I found out it does not).

2. Virginia Motor Vehicle Department
804-367-1498 (Paul Pugh)
According to Paul moving from Northern Virginia to Maryland is considered a Commercial Zone (still not sure who covers this region) and he does not cover that zone. He stated it should be handled by FMCSA.

3. Better Business Bureau
410-347-3990
1414 Key Highway Suite: 100, Baltimore, MD 21230
Filed complaint online: March 16, 2005 www.baltimore.bbb.org
*Not a member of the BBB of Maryland

4. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General
Filed Email complaint online: March 16, 2005
hotline@oig.dot.gov
*Not covered under federal because the Washington, DC metro area is considered a Commercial Zone.

5. Montgomery Police Department
301-279-8000 (Non-Emergency)
Complaint: March 15, 2005 regarding extortion of household belongings at a huge ransom. Officer recommended contacting an attorney and filing complaint with Consumer Affairs of Rockville, MD and the Better Business Bureau.

6. Maryland Consumer Protection Division
Attorney Generals Office
410-576-6300 www.oag.state.md.us
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
*Waiting on response from Mediator - Abraham Eiss

7. Maryland Mover’s Council
410-644-4600
Contacted: March 16, 2005
Information provided: Trucks on Call is NOT a member referred to Consumer Protection Agency

8. American Moving and Storage Association Certified Mover Program
703-548-1845 ext. 4978
March 17, 2005: David Hauenstein recommended filing a complaint with their organization.
*Not a member of their voluntary Dispute Resolution Process Procedures

9. Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Division of Consumer Affairs of Rockville, MD
240-777-3636
Mr. Lewis instructed to file a complaint on March 16, 2005
*Unable to assist because the move originated in the State of Virginia Prince William County - not Maryland.

10. Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Office of Consumer Affairs

Virginia Attorney General Office, Richmond, VA
Phone: 1-800-552-9963 or 804-786-2042
http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/consumers/oca.html

11. Better Business Bureau of Metro Washington, DC and Eastern Pennsylvania
1411 14th St. NW, 10th FL, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-393-8000 http://www.dc.bbb.org
Email: info@mybbb.org

Maryland is a tough state ... not one particular place to go. I am going to contact my US Senator and US Representative for some laws in Maryland. At least in Virginia you have someplace and someone to talk to ... not in Maryland. Hopefully, if enough people write these people they will establish some type of commission in this commercial zone.

These moving companies think they are above the law.
Last edited by Redd on Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Redd » Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:49 am

I should have learned from this original posting on March 16, 2005! :twisted:

Some of my furniture is still being held ... I got the majority of it by paying the extortion money of $2125 (3 hours 15 minutes of work) but not without a lot of stress of calling different federal, state, and local agencies, the police, and an attorney.

I'm still fighting this battle and it been over 6 months. Items missing: 2-glass table tops - $125 each, 2 sets of weights - $80, decorative rod iron curtain rods - $50, Black TV stand shelf - $25. My sofa is ripped and damaged - $500, Broken: step stool - $15 and ceramic trash container - $50. Value of missing and damaged property estimate: $970. Not to mention what I was overcharged initially in moving and storage.

Checkout:
http://www.thesqueakywheel.com/complain ... nt7297.cfm

I want to make sure this stays in the forefront and no one in the Washington, DC Metro area gets ripped off by Trucks on Call in Rockville, MD ever again. This is not a good feeling. You work hard to acquire your household goods to then have a moving company you contract to swindle you out of more money to get it back.
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby MusicMom » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:08 am

Redd, have you thought about small claims court in MD?
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Redd » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:22 am

I'm still being bounced between jurisdictions of Maryland and Virginia. Virginia small claims court is only $2000 max so my claim is a civil matter. Not sure what Maryland is but they keep telling me that I have to go to VA because that is where the move originated although my final delivery was Maryland.

I am waiting to hear from the Virginia Attorney General's Consumer Affairs office in Richmond, VA. The county I lived in VA - Prince William County does not have a Consumer Affairs local office.
Last edited by Redd on Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby MusicMom » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:27 am

Oh, that's right. Sorry.
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Redd » Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:09 am

If I finally have to seek legal counsel the attorney will have to be licensed in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland because we will either end up in court in Prince William County, Virginia or Charles County, Maryland.

Paul Pugh (VA) still believes it is federal because I moved to Southern Maryland. The problem is no one knows where the boundary lines are for the DC commercial zone. :?:

I now understand why moving companies get away with ripping people off and the people just give up and take the lost.

Amy Fingerman (Trucks on Call) swindled the wrong person this time ... I will not quit till I get what belongs to me. Amy told one of her previous employees I was ruining her business. She is the detriment of her own business by running a dishonest and fraudulent moving company.
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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby twalker » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:30 am

Here is the definition of the commercial zone in the DC area:

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations: § 372.219 Washington, DC

The zone adjacent to, and commercially a part of Washington, D.C., within which transportation by motor vehicle in interstate or foreign commerce, not under common control, management, or arrangement for a continuous carriage or shipment to or from a point beyond such zone, is partially exempt from regulation under 49 U.S.C. 13506(b)(1) includes and is comprised of all points as follows:

(a) The municipality of Washington, D.C., itself;

(b) All points within a line drawn 15 miles beyond the municipal limits of Washington, DC

(c) All points in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, VA, and all points in Prince William County, VA, including the City of Manassas, VA, and the City of Manassas Park, VA.

(d) All of any municipality any part of which is within the limits of the combined areas defined in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, and

(e) All of any municipality wholly surrounded, or so surrounded except for a water boundary, by the municipality of Washington, D.C., or by any other municipality included under the terms of paragraph (d) of this section.

[41 FR 56654, Dec. 29, 1976, as amended at 46 FR 56424, Nov. 17, 1981; 62 FR 15422, Apr. 1, 1997]



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Re: Help! Furniture being held hostage for a huge ransom!

Postby Redd » Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:44 pm

Tim:

According to the regulations you posted, then my move was not within the commercial zone just as Paul Pugh stated. Although it originated in Prince William County, VA (Dale City), my final delivery destination was Charles County, MD (St. Charles) which is over 30 miles outside of Washington, DC.

In reading the DC commercial zone federal regulation it does not specifically state counties in Maryland. It only states mileage around the DC area ... 15 miles to be exact.

Since my move geographically exceeded 15 miles outside of DC ... then this is federal and not state level.

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