Families say Charlotte moving company raised prices and held property hostage – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE – Anyone who’s ever moved knows the stress it entails, but families across the country are reporting nightmarish experiences with a Charlotte moving company.

From skyrocketing prices to goods taken hostage, it’s a situation that Channel 9’s Allison Latos has been investigating for months.

The Fly Movers website boasts rave reviews. The photo of their truck clearly states that it is a Better Business Bureau accredited company. It’s not just fake, the BBB calls it trademark infringement.

“One of the worst corporate work experiences of my life,” said Erik Dreff of New Jersey.

“I had to find an additional $ 8,000,” said Cathie Campbell of Pennsylvania.

These families are just a few who describe moving horror stories and blame Fly Movers.

“This move was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life,” said Tatomya Wimbish of Washington state. “One of the worst – the worst experiences – that I have had with a business owner.”

“Everything they tell you is an absolute lie”

“They are just crooks,” said Chad Reynolds of Texas. “It’s a complete scam. Everything on their website, everything they tell you is an absolute lie.

“They damaged a lot of our new floors, walls. Our television was completely destroyed, ”Dreff said.

“They said, ‘If you don’t pay, we won’t deliver your furniture,’” Campbell said. “‘We leave it on the truck, turn around, go back to Charlotte, put it in a warehouse somewhere and we have no idea when you’ll get it.'”

Each of those customers said Fly Movers showed up later than they announced. Then after their stuff was loaded, customers were hit with shock with stickers, in some cases said the price had doubled.

Dreff moved from North Carolina to New Jersey in February and said Fly Movers suddenly said they needed a second truck, costing him thousands of dollars more.

“The initial quote was less than $ 6,000. In the end, we owed them over $ 9 (one thousand dollars), ”Dreff said.

According to Dreff, Fly Movers told him that if he didn’t pay, they would leave his things in North Carolina.

“His ashes were in this truck”

Wimbish said she paid the company $ 6,400 which was the original quote and then an additional $ 6,500 to collect her belongings when Fly Movers said she needed a second truck as well.

“I considered not paying on principle,” she said. “But the photos of my children from birth were in there. My mother-in-law who lived with us lost her husband. His ashes were in this truck.

These families say a local business has moved

“They have an F rating with the BBB, the worst rating we can give a business,” said Tom Bartholomy of the Better Business Bureau.

Bartholomy said that in the past year, the BBB has received more than 30 complaints against Fly Movers, but the company has ignored the office’s request for responses.

So, Latos went to the company’s office in West Charlotte to ask herself. She said a man who said his name was Alex came out of the office.

“We spoke to a handful of customers who are quite frustrated with their experience and the rates they were ultimately charged,” Latos asked.

“Why are we broadcast? Alex asked.

“We are working on a report on Fly Movers and I would like to talk to someone about it,” Latos said.

Then Latos said the man went inside and locked the door.

“I just wanna see them close”

Despite repeated attempts, Channel 9 cannot ask anyone from Fly Movers to speak in person or via email, however, they may need to respond to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The federal government filed 19 complaints against the company. So far, they judge 15 to be valid and are still reviewing more.

Channel 9 also discovered that Fly Movers’ insurance company had filed a cancellation of its insurance policy. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said his office was also investigating.

“If we find out that a company is mistreating its customers, cheating on them or treating them unfairly, we can go to court to get an injunction against them, either to put them online or if they are really a bad actor, for them. close, ”said Stein.

So far, no government authority has really cracked down.

For families experiencing this nightmare, said Bartholomy, unfortunately the options are neither cheap nor quick as the dispute is often viewed as a civil matter.

“Are you right between a rock and a hard place and having to pay it?” Latos asked.

“Pay to get your things back, then sue them,” Bartholomy said. “Find them at the enterprise level to see what assets you can get. It’s a mess.”

It’s a mess that can be avoided if people research moving companies first. Unhappy customers join forces on Facebook, sharing their experiences to warn others.

“I think they should never be banned from moving people again,” Dreff said.

“I just want to see them close,” Wimbish said. “If this is my mission on this earth and I complete it, I will feel successful. “

“You literally have nothing in your possession”

These four families eventually received their belongings, but a family of four who moved from the Fort Bragg area to Dallas this summer said they hired Fly Movers for the job and are still trying to get their belongings back. .

After everything was loaded, the couple said they were hit with sticker shock. They said Fly Movers told them, without explanation, that the original $ 6,800 contract would cost an additional $ 7,000. The couple refused to pay.

“They have everything in their possession, right down to the cradle of our youngest son,” said Chris Nance.

“My husband spent nine years in the military. All of our memories, heirlooms, everything, ”said Rebecca Nance.

For three months, the Nances have been fighting to get their things back, recording their phone conversations with Ivan Page, manager of Fly Movers.

“If you need the money for something else, you will need to put it in writing to indicate its usefulness,” Rebecca said in a phone conversation with the company.

They sent Latos a photo showing Texas lawmakers trying to get involved and threatening a possible criminal investigation, but so far the family has still had no luck getting their things.

“You literally have nothing in your possession. We have been married for 11 years, two children. We have accumulated this life, ”said Rebecca.

“It is an absolutely fraudulent partnership claim”

Employees at the Fly Movers office in West Charlotte declined to answer Latos’ questions. By email, an employee asked Channel 9 to contact Page. So far, he hasn’t responded.

The Fly Movers website promotes rave reviews, including one from James Benton.

Channel 9 checked and found that James Benton is actually a real estate agent in Australia. Latos contacted him, asking if he had ever really moved from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Raleigh, North Carolina.

We have also contacted all of the companies listed as customers on the Fly Movers website.

Representatives from Penske, Grace Outreach Ministries, Pilot Flying J and CPI Security, all said they had no affiliation with Fly Movers.

“We will take steps to have these logos removed as soon as possible,” said the Penske representative.

“We are based in Canada and have had no contact with them of any kind. This is an absolutely fraudulent partnership claim, ”said the representative of Grace Outreach Ministries.

9 Action Tips When Finding A Moving Company

Several Fly Movers customers said they consulted the company beforehand and trusted the reviews online. Click here to view the Better Business Bureau profile of Fly Movers.

“You want to do whatever you can upstream,” said Jason Stoogenke of Action 9.

Stoogenke said there are ways to really do your homework on a business and owner.

“If it’s an interstate move from one state to another, the US Department of Transportation has a mover locator. If it’s an infrastructure move, so from one part of the state to another, but you stay in the state, the North Carolina Utilities Commission tracks that as well, ”he said. Stoogenke said.

He said that before signing a contract it is essential to read the fine print. Don’t be tempted to skip this part of the process.

“You want a binding contract and lock up the movers. It should spell out how much you’re going to pay, when they’re going to pay, when they’re going to pick up your stuff and drop it off. What if there is a delay? Are they insured? What is covered? Is that the vehicle? the freight ? said Stoogenke.

Click here to go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, where you can search for movers and their history of complaints.

The Nances regret not digging deeper. They live with the daily frustration of their moving nightmare, wondering if it will end and if they will ever see their things again.

“It was very disturbing, very disturbing. Hope we get them back, ”said Rebecca.

(SEE BELOW: “They own it all”: families say local business made moving a nightmare)