GARNER, N.C. — Moving can be stressful and having to put items in storage can add to that stress. Customers of one local storage company are finding out their belongings are not where they think they are.
In the last couple of months, Five On Your Side has heard from customers who could not find furniture they stored with Newton Brothers Moving & Storage. The
Better Business Bureau
has 24 complaints against the company -- 16 of those were received in the last year.
In November 2001, Doris Martin hired Newton Brothers to move and store some of her furniture.
Two months ago, she was ready to pick it up. When she called Newton Brothers, the phone just kept ringing.
Martin went to the Raleigh office and it was empty.
"I'm not an overly emotional person, but it was really upsetting," she said.
Martin called Five on Your Side. It turns out a lot of people do not know their furniture is now in a warehouse in Garner.
In October, Newton Brothers moved its business and about 80 storage crates to the location, apparently without informing its customers. A piece of paper with a name is stuck on each crate. Some furniture is just sitting out.
Landlord Raleigh Bannister said he has not heard from Newton Brothers in more than a month.
"They told me everything was fine," he said. "They'd basically abandoned this warehouse and nobody was staffing the telephones and we couldn't get in touch with anyone."
Bannister changed the locks and is allowing customers, like Martin, to get their things back.
After pulling out, pushing back and squeezing around dozens of crates, Martin finally found hers.
"Well, it was very frustrating and I didn't know if I'd ever get it back, but I intended to pursue it as long as I could," she said.
Five On Your Side tried repeatedly to get in touch with Newton Brothers owner Todd Newton, but could not. The company is not licensed with the
North Carolina Utilities Commission
as required by law. The state Utilities Commission knew this and sent the company a letter last summer.
Customers who want their belongings
can call Bannister at (919) 779-1523.