Unified Van Lines - Deceased Relative

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madeleine2676
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:44 am

Unified Van Lines - Deceased Relative

Postby madeleine2676 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:59 am

Hello! I am trying to figure out how to handle a somewhat complex situation. My aunt hired Unified Van Lines to move her things from southern California to Indiana. They picked up her items at the end of April and she was to have one month of free storage while she decided on a house to purchase. She, unfortunately, passed away before she could complete her move.

While in CA sorting through her things, I found the original paperwork for her move and attempted to contact Unified Van Lines to find out the status of her things. After leaving a few messages, I finally got a call back from someone who gave me the balance due, monthly storage amount, etc. He also gave me the dispatch number to call when we were ready to pay for and schedule delivery.

It took a few weeks to settle affairs with the bank and gain access to my aunt's funds, but once that was accomplished, I called back the dispatch number only to find out that it was no longer in service. Some basic Google searches turned up a number of disturbing news stories about this company and its practices. None of the phone numbers on the paperwork are active now, but the company has several other numbers on its website (where it also states that they are experiencing "technical difficulties"). I have been calling all of those numbers over the last couple of weeks, leaving messages, stating that we are considering legal action on behalf of the estate, etc. No one has called me back.

I see that the company is somewhat notorious for this kind of thing, that they are under investigation by several agencies, etc. What is our best course of action? Should I contact the California Attorney General (where the stuff was picked up), the Indiana Attorney General (where the stuff was headed), the Connecticut Attorney General (where I live), the Maryland Attorney General (where the company was headquartered)? Or another agency?

We don't even know what was in the 950 cubic foot shipment, but as executor of the estate I feel that my responsibility is to pursue all avenues on behalf of the estate and attempt to recover her property. Plus, it's kind of the principal of the thing!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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Jeff.Walker
Posts: 1189
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:32 am
Location: Central IL

Re: Unified Van Lines - Deceased Relative

Postby Jeff.Walker » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:55 pm

1. First and foremost, contact Move Rescue immediately. They can help start the process of tracking down your stuff, helping you confront the fraudsters and, if you can find where your stuff is located, MoveRescue can help get a mover to complete your move. That being said, I want to be up front with you and let you know that I have no statistics on the success of MoveRescue, and again am not guaranteeing this will succeed.

2. Read our article “I’ve Been Scammed! What now?” which will give you many options to try to attempt to get your belongings back.

3. File a complaint with the FMCSA as soon as possible. Make sure you include details such as conversations (including where you were directed for reviews) and what led you to believe you were working with a reputable company. Include as many details as possible right up to when they left with your belongings.

4. Keep detailed notes going forward, and write up exactly what has happened up to this point. Make sure you log calls, conversations and times and dates they occur. This will help you keep track of things in case you ever need to use them in court. In addition, I’d advise writing down everything that happened up to this point while its fresh in your memory.


Please come back to let us know how it went.

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4659
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Unified Van Lines - Deceased Relative

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:04 pm

Has this issue been resolved?

What is the name of the United Agency that has the difficulties?

Moverescue should be able to help you, but since you dealt with an agency of United Van Lines, you should contact the headquarters in Fenton, Missouri.

The reason is if an agency is having problems; they have an agency agreement with United Van Lines that may protect shippers that have used their services.

I retired from 28 years in the moving industry in 2015, but I still have a network of friends and agency owners.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain


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