5 On Your Side

Moving Company Fails To Deliver For New Triangle Residents

Posted September 15, 2004 3:31 a.m. EDT

— Moving is stressful even when things go smoothly. For a couple who just relocated to the Triangle, you might say things did not go at all.

Paul and Courtney Wright trusted the mover they hired, but now say they should not have.

It all started when Courtney Wright filled out an online form looking for a mover.

Miami-based East Coast Moving Systems could meet their deadline and had the lowest price, about $1,400 from Massachusetts to Chapel Hill.

When the movers showed up, so did the red flags.

"He was really inflating the estimate," Paul Wright said.

The movers told the Wrights they went over their allowance and said the couple owed almost $900 more than the original estimate. It turns out that was the least of the couple's problems.

"We paid almost $1,000 for them to pick up our stuff and vanish with it," Paul Wright said.

"We had some framed wedding photos that are gone. Actually, all our wedding photos including the negatives," Courtney Wright said.

The movers never showed up with their belongings.

"I try not to think about what's missing," Courtney Wright said.

When Courtney Wright called East Coast, she first heard lots of excuses. Now, no one answers their phones.

The Wrights checked


and found they are not the only ones missing their belongings.

Lots of others tell the same story. And that is when it hit.

"Oh my God -- we're never going to see anything we own again," Paul Wright said. "I mean, we're going have to start all over. That's a pretty horrible feeling."

The Wrights called the FBI and the agency is investigating. The couple learned a lesson that they now want everyone to think about.

"You just have to be very careful. You really just can't trust anyone" Courtney Wright said. "I think in the past I've been too trusting and too naive and it got me this time."

Five On Your Side investigated further and learned the FBI has located the Wrights belongings in a warehouse in Connecticut. The couple will have to pay to get the items back.

Interstate movers -- those that cross state lines during a move -- do not have to abide by many laws when it comes to consumer protection, but federal investigators say they will take action against the most unscrupulous carriers.