(WSVN) - 7News first exposed a South Florida moving broker accused of conducting bad business, and now we’re learning the state attorney general’s office is investigating. Kevin Ozebek has our special report, “Boxed In.”
Moving is never easy, but for some, it turns into a nightmare.
David Pasternack (former customer): “I’m really upset! I wanna cry!”
David Pasternack told his story last summer after hiring Lauderhill-based Gold Standard Moving and Storage, llc for a move from New York to Wilton Manors.
David Pasternack: “Gold Standard did not come to my house, and that’s literally who I thought was coming.”
He felt blindsided when on moving day his $11,900 estimate soared to $25,400. Now there are other people coming forward who say they feel victimized by the same company.
Billy Bowers (former customer): “This is a nightmare for people trying to move.”
Justin Johnson (former customer): “We’ve lost things that can never be replaced.”
Christina Treppendahl (former customer): “I’m angry. I’m angry!”
These are just three of more than a dozen upset customers who contacted 7News after our story aired.
Christina Treppendahl (former customer): “All the bad reviews, are like mine. They have details, details, receipts, documents, photos, details.”
Christina Treppendahl hired Gold Standard Moving and Storage, llc for a move from Mississippi to Aventura. Her original estimate was $6,688.72, but Christina says the movers who came were from a totally different company.
Christina Treppendahl: “He goes through the house and says, now, your contract with this company, that was just an estimate. At the end of the day, I’m going to tell you how much it is.”
This is the invoice she received from the actual movers. Her total charges? $13,770. She says her belongings arrived weeks later on a different truck by a third company.
Christina Treppendahl: “It’s, it’s disheartening.”
Billy Bowers hired Gold Standard Moving and Storage, llc for a move from Georgia to Alabama. He says the movers who showed up were from Missouri. They doubled his estimate and broke some of his furniture.
Billy Bowers: “And then we find out that he has left numerous items at the pickup site.”
Justin Johnson also hired Gold Standard Moving and Storage, llc for his move from Maine to Iowa. He says the move was actually handled by a New Jersey business.
Justin says after they packed his belongings in a rental moving truck, he never saw them again.
Justin Johnson: “Penske had repossessed the truck that they had used to pick up all of our property, so they called another company and just disposed of everything in the truck.”
All three customers tell 7News they were unaware that they had hired a moving broker instead of a moving company.
A moving company will actually come to your home, pick up your belongings and move them to a new place.
A moving broker is a third party that takes your call and then coordinates your move with moving companies.
Attorney General Ashley Moody: “Oftentimes, the consumer never even knows that the brokerage company isn’t the people moving them.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is familiar with Gold Standard Moving and Storage, llc.
Kevin Ozebek: “So there is an active investigation underway right now?”
Ashley Moody: “We are actively looking at this right now.”
She confirms to 7News her office is looking into a whopping 137 complaints against the company.
We called the owner for an interview but was told he would send a statement.
He never did, so we visited the company’s office in Lauderhill.
Kevin Ozebek: “Hi, this is Kevin Ozebek from WSVN. Can we please speak to Charles, by chance? Is Charles there?”
The person who answered the door said he wasn’t there. Now his customers want answers.
Christina Treppendahl: “I haven’t even had time to cry yet. I haven’t slept or eaten in a week. I’ve just been… When you’re chasing people, and you’re angry, you don’t have time to have a tear.”
Christina didn’t have the best welcome to the Sunshine State, but she hopes that sharing her story helps others from being “boxed in” a potentially bad move.
The attorney general’s office has tips and advice if you are planning to move. It also offers a way to file a report against a moving broker or moving company.
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