Victim Location 30312
Total money lost $20,000
Type of a scam Moving
I first contacted Long Distance Relocation Group, Inc. through the my mover review website (https://www.mymovingreviews.com/). You can obtain a quote by typing in your origin and destination to receive free quotes from moving companies.
Jon Kaufman was the original point of contact. He was friendly, informative, and told me there were no hidden fees. He walked through potential extra fees, like additional moving supplies or moving the items further than a certain amount of feet. Following the submission of my full inventory, I was quoted $1550 with no offer to send someone and have an assessment of my inventory taken at my apartment. I was sent a email with links to positive reviews. Months later, I am still digging up real reviews from actual customers, all of which are a similar story of bait and switch. The original pages of positive reviews seem to be full of fake customers.
On June 23rd, 2018, I scheduled to have Long Distance Relocation Group, Inc. located at 2598 East Sunrise Blvd, Ste 2104, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304, to relocate and store my items. The relocation was from Brooklyn, New York to Atlanta, GA, and I was told by the company that they were having a promotion for one month of free storage during the initial sales consultation calls.
The company told me they would arrive between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday June 23.
At 5:00pm I had received no update
I called when they did not arrive by 4:30pm, and I was told the mover was running late. Once the driver contacted me, It was 7pm, and he was at the wrong address on the other side of Brooklyn. They arrived about 8pm.
When the company finally did arrive, the first thing the supervisor did was scoff at my inventory. I had confirmed all inventory the day before by phone — but the supervisor commented it might be a little more. As they continued to load my things onto the truck, he continued to come to me and say that it was going to be more.
The movers completed the loading of my inventory around 11:00pm June 23. Per my lease agreement I was required to vacate the premises by the following morning. The movers left the apartment in was covered in mud, dirt, empty tape rolls, and discarded plastic. The “supervisor” sat me down and stated that he was measuring my the way my items filled the truck, and they might be able to work in an additional discount once it was relocated to the warehouse for storage. The grand total came to 3x the originally quoted amount, $4537.50. If I didn’t pay, they said they would unload my things into the street. I asked to speak to his manager, and there was no one to call due to the time of night. He said I could work it out with his supervisor the following day. I paid $3100 by check, and they said they were taking my things to be stored in New Jersey until they were to be relocated to Atlanta, GA.
I made numerous unanswered calls and emails to the company asking that they not deposit the check until we discussed the outrageous tripling of the rate. I spoke with a man named Tommy who would not give his last name, although he sounded very similar to Jon. They offered a discount of $247.50 and an additional free month of storage. I continued to call and ask to speak with a manager over the next two weeks. When I finally spoke to a manager, he said they weren’t going to do anything about the price. Upon further digging about the company, I found a series of bait and switch complaints about the moving company with BBB, DOT, Consumer Affairs, yelp, etc. I did not make a complaint so that my things would be released by the company.
In August, I continued to confirm details of my move, and I began to receive responses less and less. By my relocation date of August 25th, I was receiving responses 1 out of 10 times I reached out by email and phone. I found out that a 3rd party answering service receives their calls and forwards messages on. When the answering service is turned off, the number 877-285-7001 goes to a full voicemail, and the line is disconnected.
After 6 days in my empty apartment and numerous points of contact outlined below, I received an email response on August 30th, 2018 that my things had been loaded onto the trailer in New Jersey on Wednesday August 29th, 2018, and that I would receive a call from the driver when he was close. I continued to call and email with no further response from anyone at Long Distance Relocation Group. I wanted to find out why my things were late, how long I could anticipate the truck to take coming south, and why no one was answering my calls or emails.
On Sunday, September 2nd, 2018, I received a call at 3:31pm from a mystery number that my things would be delivered on Monday, September 3rd, 2018, a holiday. He did not know my address, the cost of what was owed, or what time he would arrive. He told me I owed $1000 in certified checks, and I explained all the banks were closed for Sunday/the holiday, and that I was last quoted a balance of $800. He said he would verify my cost, but if I didn’t pay, he was going to continue to drive past Atlanta and hold my things hostage.
I called on Monday, September 3rd, 2018, and I stated I wanted to hear from a supervisor. The driver continued to be vague about his arrival, saying he had to get a smaller trailer and sending texts with various time frames. At 10:35am and 10:44am, I received calls from Tommy at Long Distance. He said he was going out of his way on his day off to contact me. I explained that no one had been responding to me, the driver didn’t know my address, and that he was demanding more money. He said that the balance was $800, and the driver would be there soon. I asked that he said all claims/damage reporting policies to me in the event anything arrived damaged. He sent the following information:
CSI Pros: 877-274-0074
CSI Website: csipros.org
Your job number: L2481122
When the truck driver and another man finally arrived at 2pm after continuous delays and text messages, they did not have keys to the back door of the 35 foot trailer and proceed to take a hand saw to the back, laughing that they couldn’t find the key.
When they finally broke into the back of truck, they began to unload my items. My friend, Victoria Ireson, was there helping me to evaluate the condition of every item. As things started being loaded into the house, we began to notice that things were soaking wet. When we opened boxes, we saw that everything was coated in a carpet of black and green mold. The 2nd man who was helping the driver move said that he had just been asked to help his friend, that he did not work with the company, and that he could not believe the condition of these things. We took over 100 photos and videos of the goods. When the larger furniture, including a bedroom set, dresser, nightstand, queen mattress, desk, shelving, and storage trunks were pulled off the truck, we saw just how bad the condition was. Every item was coated in thick mold that looked months old. At the point, everything was just strewn across the sidewalk, and I demanded the a supervisor was called and dispatched. Upon further seeing that 75% of my things were to be rejected, I called the police.
Prior to the police arriving, Tommy called from the blanket #877-285-7001 number at 4:52pm following the driver contacting him. I told Tommy about the severity of the condition of the items, that I could even bring them inside because were coughing and inhaling mold spores just opening the boxes. Water seeped out of my memory foam mattress onto the street. He asked that I send him pictures, and that he would make some calls. At 5:04pm, he called back after seeing the extensive damage, and he said he was at his home having dinner with his parents on his day off, and he could not get in touch with anyone. He said everything would be fixed, and when I asked how they would fix this, he could not tell me. I stated that they needed to take all of the damaged property out of the street, it had not been accepted or signed for. He refused. He said he needed to return to his evening and dinner. I explained he needed to talk to the police. The police walked over, and Tommy hung up.
The police officer began to file a report. He stated that this seemed both criminal and civil in nature, and he advised that I get the courts involved. He looked at fining the drivers, but he was able to contact the Department of Sanitation to remove the items on Tuesday, following the holiday. The driver left without collecting the unexecuted Household Goods Descriptive Goods Inventory list. 75% of my goods, including irreplaceable family heirlooms, were left destroyed in the street. I asked for the $800 back from both Tommy and the driver, and the driver rode off following the officer telling them they needed to move all goods to the side of the street. They did move the items to the side of the street, but the driver did not return the $800. On the call, Tommy said that he could not give that back because it was the driver’s payment. The friend of the driver continued to apologize, and he drove off in a separate vehicle. The officer stated that a full report would be available to me for Incident Report #18-246-1341 in 5 to 7 business days, and that the Department of Sanitation would pick up the damaged items that the moving company had abandoned.
I notified my apartment complex of the scene and the movers disposing the goods on the side of the street following the departure of the police. On September 4th, both the property manager and Department of Sanitation knocked on my door, and the Department of Sanitation stated they could not take the items. The property manager called a service in, and I will be billed for the removal of the goods.