Help: Movers scammed us | Just Ask Jan

We moved from Florida to Wash-ington in November. We hired a moving broker in Florida to coordinate the move of our belongings. It is now March and we still don’t have our items, including our personal items like our photo albums.

Dear Jan:

We moved from Florida to Wash-ington in November. We hired a moving broker in Florida to coordinate the move of our belongings. It is now March and we still don’t have our items, including our personal items like our photo albums.

Have you ever seen this happen?  — MRM

Dear MRM: Oh, my goodness.

What a horrible thing to go through! I would love to say no, but I have heard of this happening to someone just recently on “Get Jesse” on King-5 News. The end result, fortunately, was that Jesse was able to locate the owner’s belongings and another moving company will be moving these items to Seattle.

In reading that article and doing research to be able to answer you, I have learned that there is a government website, www.protectyourmove.gov. It is written by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Household Goods Department.

One of their suggestions is to take the company to court. And the sooner you take action, the better. Very scary stuff. Please let me know how your case ends.  I care. (Hey, you might try “Get Jesse” yourselves. Since they just did an investigation, they may have ideas.)

For those of you getting ready to make that move, here are some tips:

Do your research. Ask friends, relatives, co-workers and real estate brokers for recommendations. Do not go for cheap on the Internet, as anyone can create a web-site.

Get three estimates. Contact the Better Business Bureau to check on the company you are thinking of hiring. Do they have complaints filed against them? Choose a company that will do the move themselves, not sub-contract it out to someone else.

Never sign a blank contract. Ask for their Depart-ment of Transportation license number.

Listen to your gut. If they won’t come to your home to give you an estimate, find someone who will.

Check to make sure the signs on the side of the truck are not magnetic and that it is not a rented truck.

In closing, let me say that we are lucky in regards to local moves. I have heard only good things about Hill Moving out of Poulsbo. I believe they refer out of state moves to companies they know and trust.

Again, do your research, peeps.  Hoping for good news from MRM.

— Jan Zufelt is an agent with John L. Scott Real Estate in Kingston.