FMCSA Takes Action Against Three Chicago-Area Moving Companies
July 17, 2013
Three Chicago-area household goods moving companies have had their interstate operating authority revoked or suspended due to serious violations of safety and commercial regulations. In addition, all three companies were assessed civil penalties, announced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Aurora, Ill.-based White Glove Relocation Services Inc. (USDOT No. 2069670) was ordered shut down for safety violations. The company’s operating authority has also been suspended for holding customers’ shipments hostage. The company has been assessed civil penalties totaling $56,300 for commercial violations (holding shipments hostage, misleading advertising, billing clients excessive charges for moves) and $2,070 for safety violations (failing to implement a random drug and alcohol testing program, using a driver not medically qualified). The company is currently not allowed to operate in interstate commerce.
- Cicero, Ill.-based Able Moving Inc. (does business as Father & Sons Moving Service) (USDOT No. 1418141) had its operating authority suspended for holding customers’ shipments hostage. The company has been assessed civil penalties totaling $20,000 for commercial violations (holding shipments hostage) and $2,000 for safety violations (failing to implement a random drug and alcohol testing program). The company is currently not allowed to operate in interstate commerce.
- Chicago-based Best Price Moving & Storage (USDOT No. 693651) was ordered shut down for safety violations. The company was allowed to resume operations after it fulfilled a corrective action plan. The company has been assigned a federal safety rating of “Conditional” and FMCSA will monitor its safety compliance. The company has been assessed civil penalties totaling $15,900 for commercial violations (billing clients excessive charges for moves, false documents purporting to release the carrier from liability) and $5,530 for safety violations (failure to maintain driver qualification files, failure to maintain drivers’ duty status records).
In 2012, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation produced a report that focused on Chicago-area household goods moving companies that had received numerous consumer complaints, including holding customers’ shipments hostage until additional charges were paid. In the months that followed, FMCSA established a Moving Fraud Task Force targeting the identified Chicago-area companies as its first intensified investigation, which resulted in the enforcement actions announced today.
More than 5,800 household goods moving companies are registered with FMCSA. In 2012, FMCSA received more than 3,100 consumer complaints about household goods movers, up from 2,851 in 2011. Among the most common complaints are shipments being held hostage, loss and damage, delay of shipments, unauthorized movers, and deceptive practices such as unwarranted overcharges.