Lessons Learned Dealing with a Moving Company

The rural area I live in seems to have a lot of people moving in and out (mostly moving in). I hope this blog post will help anyone who has had an issue with a moving company and what they can do to resolve it. My story is a bit bizarre, but probably not unusual.

In this post I will not name the company, but simply refer to it as “TMC.”

We agreed to a contract with TMC on November 17, 2021 for a move from Texas to North Carolina. The estimate was for $3415 for 450 cubic feet of items and a $200 fee for a kayak, which they considered a “bulk item.”. The move was supposed to take place December 27, 2021 or December 28, 2021 because we had to vacate our home on December 30,2021. We told them we would move the kayak ourselves.

On December 18, 2021 we received a text from TMC asking that we postpone our move to early January. We replied immediately, reminding them that we had to be out of our home by December 30,2021.

We then had to try to find another mover and, given the short notice, we were not able to find any that could meet the pickup date.

On December 20, we received a new estimate from TMC that that they would fly a person from Florida to Texas to complete our move. They also said that the charge for the move would be $1500 more than the original quote. Since it was virtually impossible to find a mover to make an interstate shipment on one week’s notice, we had no choice but to agree.

We were told that this increase included the following costs:

  1. An expense for air fare and lodging for the driver.
  2. The cost of truck rental to transport our belongings to North Carolina.
  3. The cost to rent a climate-controlled storage facility in Murphy, NC until we were able to accept delivery.
  4. The cost to rent a panel truck to deliver our items when we were ready to accept them.
  5. The cost of local labor required to get our belongings out of storage and to deliver them to our home.

When the panel truck arrived, I saw that there were other loads in it. Our belongings were stacked in between the other loads. The driver stated that these were “not your belongings.”

There was no doubt that the truck that came to our house was the truck that our belongings were shipped in originally, so there should not have been a shuttle charge.

After truck was unloaded, I saw that they did not deliver a generator we had. They said they forgot to deliver it and would in the future. When it finally arrived, it was severely damaged. Here is what it looked like:

So, I told TMC that I wanted reimbursement for the following:

  • Cost of climate-controlled storage, which TMC did not get – approximately $135.
  • Local truck rental, approximately $80. That includes two-way mileage.
  • Local labor, approximately $116.
  • Charge for what they called a “bulky fee” – $200
  • Charge for the shuttle fee: $491
  • Cost of the generator – $765

Total: $1787 

TMC flat out refused to offer reimbursement, so I filed complaints with the BBB and a Federal Agency. The last I heard from TMC was April 14.


Then, out of the blue, on July 27, I had a conversation with the State DOT who told me that TMC had numerous complaints against it. They saw that I had lodged a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and reached out to me. They asked a number of questions, one of which was – had the TMC provided a copy of their arbitration process to me.

I replied that they had not.

The DOT stated that, by FEDERAL LAW, they had to, and suggested that I contact the arbitration company.

After getting off the phone, I sent the following email to TMC.

Well, well ,well. I just got off the phone with the (State) DOT. It seems that you have more complaints against your company, most of which are dealing with shuttle charges (I am shocked) and others stating that you never gave information about your arbitration process. You never gave me that information.

After talking with the DOT, I now know what that process is.

I am prepared to go to arbitration. Are you? Or would you prefer to negotiate with me reasonably?

Choice is yours.


Within minutes of that email, I got a call from TMC stating that they agreed to a refund of the amount I originally requested. They asked that I remove all the negative reviews I had posted, and then they would send a refund.

I said – no way is that going to happen. We went back and forth a while until, on August 10, I emailed the representative saying, “Send me a statement on the TMC letterhead that says how much you are going to reimburse me and the conditions under which you will do that. Email is not sufficient for that purpose. I would prefer it on a PDF with signatures.”

The document was sent, dated August 15, and I signed it. I then went about removing all the negative reviews I had posted and notified TMC that I had.

On August 26, I sent the following email: What is the status of the refund?

I was constantly stonewalled, so, on October 3, I sent the following email: I think it has been long enough. Either tell me when you will send a check or I will post reviews describing your renege on our agreement as well as contact the person I have been in contact with at the Illinois DOT. Also, I will contact your arbitration company and send them a copy of the agreement we had.

On October 26 (yes, that long) I received an email that said: We sent out the check.

I replied that, essentially, I didn’t believe them and that I had a call into the DOT.

Then I had some text exchanges in which TMC said that: their original mail was returned to them, that they had cancelled the check, but then (get this) they resent the original check to me via certified mail.

I asked: if you cancelled the check, won’t it bounce?

TMC replied: oh, we didn’t cancel it.

Well, on November 7, seven months after I contacted TMC demanding a refund, I got the check. It was dated August 1, 14 days BEFORE the dated agreement they sent me. It was for the full amount I requested way back when.

So, here is what I have learned – if you have an issue with a mover, call the DOT of the state it is headquartered in. That seems to get their attention. Posting bad reviews and contacting the Feds is not going to get it done. I hope this information is useful.