Moving company racks up complaints

Rather than haul it themselves, they hired a moving company called Unified Van Lines. According to the paperwork, Trejo was quoted $2,887.20 for the move. But when the van arrived to pack up their house, the price jumped significantly. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - When Matthew Trejo and his wife moved to Utah from California last March, they didn't bring much. Just enough to fill their new 1200 square foot apartment.

"It was only our furniture pieces that came with us," he said.

Rather than haul it themselves, they hired a moving company called Unified Van Lines. According to the paperwork, Trejo was quoted $2,887.20 for the move. But when the van arrived to pack up their house, the price jumped significantly.

“At the end of the day, they ended up charging us $4722," he said.

Trejo says he felt held hostage because he had to be out of his house so he paid the inflated bill.

When it arrived in Utah, he says some items were missing and he found evidence that someone had rummaged through their belongings.

In the months since, Trejo says he has been trying to reach the moving company to complain, file a claim over the missing items and ask for a refund over the jacked-up-bill. He says the company does not respond.

Get Gephardt reached out to Unified Van Lines multiple times to ask about all of this. We were never able to reach anyone for comment.

Digging deeper, we found that Unified Van Lines had their U.S. Department of Transportation license revoked in April for refusing to comply with an audit. The result of the revocation is that the company was banned from traveling across state lines.

The company has racked up 68 complaints with the Better Business Bureau and has been slapped with an F rating by the consumer watchdogs.

Jane Driggs, President of the Utah BBB, has a strong condemnation for the company.

"Do not hire Unified Van Lines," she said. "They're a mess."

Driggs says that the complaints received against Unified Van Lines are often some of the most egregious kind – not just bad customer service but outright theft and extortion.

"This is essentially theft,” Driggs says. “They're taking your stuff and they won't let you have it back."

Driggs suggests that consumers investigate a mover before hiring it by going to the website for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and checking out its complaint database.

"You can look up to see if the company has had complaints, see what kind of complaints they are, and you can file a complaint if you have a problem. They're who can … get the license revoked," Driggs said.

Trejo says he has filed a complaint with the feds and isn't ruling out a civil suit against the company.

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