Hank Investigates: Disappearing Moving Company

DERRY, NH (WHDH) - To you, this looks like an empty living room, but to Sandra Devenne, it looks like a disaster…

Sandra: “How could it have happened?”

How? A few months ago the Devenne’s, Sandra and her husband Walter, who used to be a DJ on Oldies 103, decided to sell their New Hampshire home and move to Florida.

Sandra called a low-cost moving company she found online, and soon movers packed up the living room furniture, hundreds of record albums from this shelf, the hundreds of CDs from this rack, the big screen, and the stuff in this closet, including Walter’s souvenirs from his DJ years.

A month later Sandra called the moving company to schedule the delivery, but no one at the moving company answered the phone. Ever.

Sandra: “They’re just nowhere to be found. There’s nobody to talk to.”

They emailed. Nothing. For weeks. Nothing.

Sandra: “It’s just so frustrating.”

As the days went by, their fear increased. Would they ever see their possessions again?

Walter: “It hasnt sunk in yet that it’s gone.”

The Devennes called in the Derry police–still no stuff.

We called. No answer. We emailed. No answer. This is what company documents show as its address: a PO Box in Cincinnati. We called in the Feds, The Federal Motor Carrier Safery Administration oversees interstate movers, and found the Devennes company recently had their license to operate yanked. Not good. The entire company seemed to have disappeared.

The Devenne’s moved to Florida. With basically nothing.

We emailed the company over and over–and told them: The Feds are looking for you. The Derry police are looking for you. We are looking forward to a happy ending here.”

Finally this big truck and its crew, hired by the moving company, pulled up to the Devenne’s Florida home.

Because of our calls, an agent from the federal Moving Fraud Task force arrived too, just to make sure all went well.

And watch–here’s the happy ending we’d hoped for! Every one of the Devenne’s possessions: The furniture, albums cd’s, souvenirs, now safely home.

Sandra: “Without Hank Phillippi Ryan, I don’t think we would have gotten this far.”

If you’re about to hand over everything you own to a moving company, don’t just choose the cheapest one. There are a lot of red flags that signal moving fraud, check out the information below before you hire a mover.

US Department of Transportation:
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move

American Moving and Storage Association:
http://www.moving.org/

For consumer and complaint information about intrastate movers (a move within MA):

Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications & Energy:
(regulates in-state movers)
http://www.mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/guidance-technical-assistance/agencies-and-divisions/dpu/dpu-divisions/transportation-division/

Massachusetts Mover’s Association:
http://www.massmovers.org/

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