A dozen viewers complain of problems with moving company

Tim Camimos
Tim Camimos
Richard Hee
Richard Hee
Teresa Fujii
Teresa Fujii

By Teri Okita – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More customers of Pacific Island Logistics and Storage have contacted our newsroom to say that they, too, are embroiled in a moving company mess.

Since our report first aired on Wednesday, Hawaii News Now continues to receive calls and emails - from almost a dozen customers - claiming Pacific Island Logistics has not been delivering on its promise to deliver their household goods on-time.

"We tell consumers that, having one complaint or two complaints, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's how a company responds to those complaints. In this case, the company has not responded to complaints," says Tim Camimos of the non-profit, Better Business Bureau of Hawaii.

We called owner Tom Kay, also known as Tom Kainan in some documents, once again, for updates on customers' shipments that have been enroute from the mainland to Hawaii since early February. When pressed, he still refused to comment. He told us answers to all our questions would come in an email, but Hawaii News Now has yet to receive any correspondence from the southern California-based company.

The BBB and the Department of Transportation are looking into the growing complaints - so, we took a closer look at what customers can do to protect themselves.

The BBB website can be a good launching point. It gives moving companies grades from A+ to F, plus the reasons why. And on the DOT's website, you can download a booklet designed specifically for customers who are relocating.

"It's a pretty detailed 60 page form that will let them know what their rights are, about insurance for moving, if something were to go awry, what to do," says the BBB's Camimos.

Another company, Island Movers, has been around for 53 years in Hawaii. The BBB gives it an A+ rating. When complaints surface, a credible company, like Island Movers, addresses concerns within days, not weeks or months.

"Our goal is to process the claims within three days and get it out to our claims manager," says Richard Hee, Island Movers' moving division manager.

BEFORE relocating, consumers should do their homework. The BBB advises: plan your move at least two months in advance. Take inventory of everything you own "before" the movers arrive. Research the company's licensing and longevity. Ask family and friends for recommendations, and if a moving company is grossly underbidding others, be wary. Cheap is not necessarily better.

Customers shouldn't be getting the run-around. It's their right to know exactly where their belongings are during the shipping process. "If there's a delay, we will usually contact our customers and let them know, that their shipment is still here," says Island Movers sales division manager, Teresa Fujii. "Then, we will provide them with other options, as well."

If there's a problem DURING the move, the BBB recommends first trying to resolve the issue with the company. If you can't, file a complaint with the BBB, the DOT, and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. You will be "on record" with your concerns.

Camimos advises, "There will be a process in place to where that organization will attempt to resolve the conflict between the business and consumer. And after that, if there's still no resolution, then we recommend either legal action or depending on the situation, that would vary."

Moving is already stressful - so know your rights and responsibilities ahead of time.

Here's a link to the DOT's booklet on consumers' rights during relocation: https://www.protectyourmove.gov/documents/moving-rights-v9-final.pdf

Consumers can use this search tool to check whether an interstate mover is properly registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation. http://ai.volpe.dot.gov/hhg/Search.asp. The DOT phone number is 1-888-368-7238.

Since this is a California-based company, complaints can also be lodged at California.bbb.org.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.