Help Me Hank: Moving Nightmare
You see the problem instantly: this is the apartment where Kate and Paul are supposed to be living. But, where is their stuff?
"You know all of our furniture, all our sentimental stuff, you know, pictures of my daughter and you know everything that means something in life. Itís all gone."
What's worse, till they find their stuff, they're having to camp in a relative's basement. What's that like? Donít even go there.
It started in California. Kate and Paul packed up their worldly goods, and hired a moving company to bring everything cross-country to their new home on the East Coast. It never arrived.
"I think its one step up from living in your car."
"The whole month of January we thought everything was gone."
The California moving company kept making excuses. It had hired another moving company to help, Kate and Paulís stuff was supposedly in Boston, then New York, then on the road.
"Two and a half, three months, and we still donít know where our stuff is."
Thatís when they called "Help Me Hank".
Now here's where the story gets even more frustrating, a storage company in Boston finally admitted to us, they might have Kate and Paulís stuff. So with much anticipation, the couple watched as a huge warehouse crate was pried open. Would it contain their pictures, their heirloom jewelry, their clothes and their furniture? Yes.
But not so fast with the happy ending. Turns out: the two California moving companies were in a complicated financial dispute over another customers shipment and till that was settled, they weren't releasing Kate and Paul's stuff.
"Itís a bummer."
More phone calls, and a little bit of the law: federal regulations say you can't hold one personís shipment hostage, to enforce charges on another shipment. In other words, Kate and Paul have a right to their possessions.
And a week later, their empty apartment is filling up. They have those treasured family pictures and heirlooms -- as well their couch, their clothes and even the vacuum cleaner!
"I'm so happy I can't stop looking at it. Itís our stuff, itís back!"
If you're moving between states, there are federal regulations movers must follow. Be sure to check them out, before you make another move. So what consumer battle are you fighting? Maybe I can help.