According to the FMCSA’s statement, Trusted Moving and Storage has been holding the goods hostage.
This is the first the FMCSA has had the authority to order goods be returned. Under the new MAP-21 regulations, the FMCSA now has the power to order household moving companies to return items to shippers.
“This order follows an extensive investigation of the company’s operations which discovered that Trusted Moving and Storage is holding hostage household goods of individual shippers and alleges violations of federal household goods motor carrier statutes and regulations. The order is the first time FMCSA has used new enforcement granted to the agency under the federal surface transportation reauthorization program known as MAP-21,” the statement says.
“FMCSA has also initiated a proceeding to suspend Trusted Moving and Storage’s authority to operate in interstate commerce as a household goods motor carrier.”
Fifty-four individual shippers reported to the FMCSA that Trusted Moving and Storage refused to return their household goods, because of estimate disputes, even after payment had been made.
“Consumers should not have to fear the loss of their property at the hands of non-compliant household goods movers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.”
On November 27, 2012, the FMCSA revoked Trusted Moving and Storage’s operating authority for failure to comply with the federal financial responsibility requirements.
Trusted Moving and Storage informed the FMCSA that they had terminated many of their employees, stating financial hardship.
FMCSA is now working with the Santa Clara District Attorney to further investigate the company.
“Companies that violate federal regulations and take advantage of consumers will be held accountable and they will face serious legal and financial consequences,” LaHood said.
FMCSA encourages consumers to file any complaints involving household goods or other commercial motor carriers through FMCSA’s nationwide complaint hotline at 1-888-368-7238 (1-888 DOT-SAFT) and to visit the National Consumer Complaints Database at http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.
“Ensuring that consumers can access safe, reputable household goods movers is a priority,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “We will continue to use every resource at our disposal to protect consumers.”
A copy of the order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2012/Trusted-Moving-and-Storage-order.pdf