Moving company withholds family's belongings

ARNOLD, Md. - A Maryland family is working to get their belongings back after a moving company hauled away their items and never delivered them to their new home.

Public Moving Services, LLC packed up the San Diego home for the family of five on July 28. The estimated delivery date in Maryland was August 4. As of September 27, the family hasn’t seen their belongings and haven't been given an updated delivery date.

“I told the kids, worst case scenario, we won't get our things for four weeks,” said Lexi Hull.

It's been nearly eight weeks since Public Moving Services, LLC picked up almost all of the Hull family's belongings and drove away. 

“We're stuck in this purgatory of having no things. We have a card table that we eat at, we're all sleeping on blow-up mattresses, we have very limited supply of clothes,” said Hull. 

Hull was originally quoted around $6,000 for the move, but once movers arrived and started loading the truck they changed the quote to $12,000.

“We said, ‘Okay, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and we’re going to eat this financially.’ So after that we had to pay 50 percent, so we gave them $6,000,” said Hull.

Hull also doesn’t know where her family’s belongings are being stored. She contacted the company asking to pick them up but was never given a specific location.

Hull found Public Moving Services, LLC through a moving search engine. As a former military spouse, she's moved many times in her life and knew to check certain places.

“I thought I was doing my homework, and the sales rep was very helpful and ended up sending me links to some of their documents,” said Hull.

Hull was sent an email with a link to a Better Business Bureau rating. The rating was an A+ but it was for a company with a similar name in Missouri, not for Public Moving Services, LLC in Charlotte, which is the listed address. The actual BBB rating is an F and the reviews are under a different name.

“This is a common trait for the bad players within this industry,” said Angie Barnett, president and CEO with the BBB serving Greater Maryland.

Barnett is not surprised that Public Moving Services, LLC recently changed its name to "Your Moving Company."

“They'll open up a business and then once they get complaints, once they have issues, they close down and open up down the street under a new name. So, that makes it hard to track them, hard to track their websites because of that,” said Barnett.

Hull hasn't been able to get a straight answer on when, if ever, she'll see her family's items again including the some of the most valuable ones like photos and baby books.

“I don't. And I have one outfit that I took all of my kids home from the hospital in but I packed it. My wedding dress is packed,” Hull said.

ABC2 reached out to Public Moving Services, LLC by phone and email but did not get a response.

Hull also filed a police report, BBB complaint, and a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Interstate moving companies must be registered with FMSCA. 

Public Moving Services, LLC currently has 77 complaints filed against them. A spokesman with FMSCA told ABC2 that they are currently investigating the company and complaints against them.

Seven complaints have been filed with the North Carolina Office of the Attorney General.

Consumers are encouraged to visit ProtectYourMove.gov to better protect themselves from moving fraud.

If you have a matter for Mallory, she wants to hear from you. You can email her at Mallory@wmar.com.

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