More come forward with horror stories about moving company - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

More come forward with horror stories about moving company

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At least five more viewers have come forward with complaints against a Southern California moving company, claiming they were scammed.

Those complaints came after Hawaii News Now's story about the Tuaniga Family, who moved to Makakilo from California more than three months ago, and still haven't received their belongings from Pacific Island Logistics and Storage of Van Nuys, Calif.

Viewer Jose Meris paid Pacific Island $4,000 to move his belongings from Sacramento, Calif., to Hilo. The company picked them up in February. Meris said at first, Pacific Island said it would take 30 to 45 days to deliver his belongings. Then they told him it would take 30 to 85 days.

"So it's past the deadline," he said, "and then when I talked to the lady (at Pacific Island) about the 85 days, she said it doesn't count weekends. I said it doesn't say that on the contract, it says 85 days. It doesn't say anything about weekends don't count."

Doug Heath, meantime, has spent $7,000 and counting in his move from Rhode Island to Maui.

"They never return your calls. They lie to you," Heath said. "And I looked them up, they're nothing but a scam company."

"I was trying to get my money back, and then he told me that I can't stop them getting my goods shipped, they were his now," he added.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Protect Your Move" Web site, there were some red flags that popped up regarding Pacific Island Logistics. First, they demanded cash or a large deposit before the move. And they also answered the phone with a generic "Movers" or "Moving company," instead of a company name.

That's if they would answer the phone.

Meris said when he called, they would give excuses. "They're in a meeting, and I said, that's kind of ridiculous because yesterday when I called you guys, you said you were in a meeting," he said. "It doesn't take 48 hours to be in a meeting. And the lady was kind of rude to me."

The experience has soured the men's planned move to what they consider as paradise.

"We're so worried about moving companies that we don't trust any," Heath said. He was able to locate his belongings at a Boston moving company, which had been waiting for Pacific Island Logistics to pick them up. Heath said his son will pick them up. "Now we're going to use the mail," he said.

"If I don't hear anything from them this Friday, I'm thinking to find a lawyer which might be able to help me," Meris said.

We talked to the FBI, which said that there would be a case only if the company was involved in a "scheme to defraud" the consumer. An FBI spokesperson said otherwise, the best recourse would be to file complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Office of Consumer Protection, and the U.S. Department of Transportation -- and to get a lawyer.

Related link: U.S. Department of Transportation "Protect Your Move" Web site

Related link: Hawaii Better Business Bureau Tips to Avoid Moving Scams

Previous story: Makakilo couple embroiled in moving company mess

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