Moving company disappears; woman's stuff gets auctioned off - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Moving company disappears; woman's stuff gets auctioned off

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

By Matt Wright - bio | email | Facebook | Twitter 

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – One woman who lost everything because of a fraudulent moving company has a message for folks thinking about moving: carefully research your moving company.

Trish Torkildsen says she experienced her worst nightmare after deciding to move to another home in town last summer.

Torkildsen chose a moving company online that promised to keep her furniture and boxes at a nearby storage unit, because she only needed a place to store things until her new house was ready.

"I got really nervous. Something in my gut said this is not right," Torkildsen said.

It turns out she was right. The movers put the unit in their name – and Torkildsen was never told the location of the unit -- just that it was somewhere in town.

Also, the movers were paying $100 per month for the unit, but billed Torkildsen nearly three times that.

And a few months later the movers stopped sending bills altogether -- and stopped answering their phone.

Later, Torkildsen discovered that the company never paid the rent on the storage units even though it was cashing her checks.

As a result, the company that owns the storage units began auctioning off her belongings.

In fact, she even received a call from someone who bought her stuff at auction.

"He said, 'honey, all your stuff got auctioned off… We opened up that door and saw how nice your stuff was and it was like mayhem,'" said Torkildsen.

The online company Torkildsen selected had a long list of customer complaints lodged against them.

In fact, the Better Business Bureau says it receives thousands of complaints against movers each year; most about damaged goods or high final prices.

Experts say if a company receives a lot of complaints, often they will just change their name, which is what Torkildsen's movers did.

"They'll turn around and change the name but they're still in the same location and you'll still hear the same names rotating around," said The Better Business Bureau's Kathy Graham.

To find a reputable mover, experts say to do your research:

  • Check out the company with the better business bureau and American Moving and Storage Association.
  • Get at least three in-home estimates.
  • Know your rights. Local movers in Ohio must display a Public Utilities Commission Certificate Number on vehicles.
  • Be sure the mover insures its workers.

Bonus Content:

American Moving & Storage Association's website

U.S. Department of Transportation's website

Better Business Bureau

Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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