Almost Four Months After Moving To Spanish Fort, Mother And Daughter’s Business Still Has Not Arrived | Baldwin County Alabama News
SPANISH FORT, Alabama (WALA) – Lori Hanks and her daughter, Keli, moved just outside of Boise, Idaho, in September to be closer to their family.
Almost four months later, their furniture and other personal effects remain in a warehouse in Southern California.
Delay is an extreme ordeal but increasingly common in a moving industry plagued by labor shortages and other issues, experts say.
For 74-year-old Lori Hanks, exasperation reaches levels of despair.
âMore than anything, it’s just frustrating,â she told FOX10 News. “And we just keep replacing things as we go, saying, ‘Well, alright. I can’t live without it. I can not live without it.
A walk around the Hanks house can be deceptive. But Keli Hanks said all of the furniture was recently purchased. She said she and her mother slept on air mattresses for two months before finally breaking up and buying beds. She said they were left without books, shelving, bedroom set, 250 DVDs, washer and dryer, $ 2,000 in electronics and other furniture. She estimated the dollar value to be around $ 25,000.
But Lori Hanks said it’s the irreplaceable items of intangible value – like photo albums and her artwork – that hurt the most.
âWe moved here during the summer. All of our winter clothes are packed, âshe said. âObviously, we didn’t move here with the intention of living four months with nothing. So our shoes. All our winter clothes. I have lamps on the floor because I don’t have any bedroom furniture.
It has been a convoluted journey. Keli Hanks said it started when the first moving company they hired pulled out two days before the move, sending them scrambling to find a replacement.
They found Fort Lauderdale-based Proud American Van Lines, a broker that connects clients and movers. This company contracted out the work to Revolution Moving Systems in Henderson, Nevada, who collected the family’s belongings and moved them to a warehouse in Las Vegas.
But while the move was still not completed on Nov. 29, Proud American asked the company to move the items to a warehouse in Mission Hills in Los Angeles.
Lori Hanks said she paid just over $ 7,000 out of a total bill of $ 10,180.
Companies promise refunds
Revolution Moving owner Lorenzo Madrigal said he sympathized with the Hanks and offered a full refund.
âIt’s understandable,â he said. âI would feel the same. This past year has been very difficult for the industry.
Madrigal said three of his drivers quit consecutively, leaving him with only two employees and no way to complete the move. He said he had also struggled to find another home in the West to move to Alabama, which is necessary because moving a small load on his own in a large truck is uneconomical.
Madrigal said the family’s frustration was understandable, but added that personal belongings were at least safe.
“This is an extreme case,” he said. âBut there are more extreme cases (in industry) than this. â¦ Some people wait even longer, unfortunately. Some things get lost, unfortunately.
Madrigal said beyond the reimbursement there is nothing he can do now because he has lost his job. “It’s not in our hands,” he said.
Proud US owner Matthew Pardi told FOX10 News he agreed to a moving company he owns, Mmg Moving, to return to work after Proud American failed to deliver. He said he intended to deliver the items at his own expense, but added that he only had a limited number of trucks, all on the east coast. Then the holidays caused a delay, he added.
âThere is a shortage of drivers,â he said. âThere is a shortage of trucks. There are a lot of shortages. â¦ I can only make a certain number of vans with my trucks.
Still, Pardi said, he was furious when he found out that Revolution Moving had failed to deliver on his pledge. He said it is the responsibility of the moving company, not the broker.
âIt was all done from top to bottom,â he said. âRevolution Moving was a legitimate business. â¦ I booked the job and handed it over to a legitimate carrier.
Lori Hanks said she didn’t hear of a repayment offer from Proud American until Wednesday. She and Madrigal have different accounts on Revolution’s cashback offer. He said customers told him they didn’t want a refund until they received their belongings. Hanks said she asked but never received the refund offer in writing and never received confirmation that her business was going well.
Take the tour
Keli Hanks said she got Proud American’s turn.
âI started to contact them on the 22sd September and I heard it would always be the following week, the following week, the following week, âshe said.
Later, Hanks added, a new promised delivery date came and went.
“I was told at the beginning of December that it would be there around the 15the, and it never happened, âshe said.
Lori and Keli Hanks also said they were struggling to figure out what to do. Disputes with the movers rarely lead to criminal charges, although the US attorney’s office last year prosecuted three people accused of failing to turn over their possessions to a family who moved from Georgia to Las Vegas. Court records show that the objects of this move ended up in a storage unit in Mobile
Lori Hanks said local law enforcement officials said her case was outside their jurisdiction and the Florida attorney general’s office referred them to federal authorities. She showed FOX10 News the complaint she filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, but said she had not yet received a response either.
The moving industry faces many challenges
MoveBuddha, a company that provides information to consumers, released a survey last month showing how tough the moving industry is. Ryan Carrigan, the founder of moveBuddha, said it is more and more common for people to have to scramble, as Lori and Keli Hanks had to, in order to find a new mover because the company original withdrew.
âIn terms of last minute cancellations, which was their first problem, it’s on the rise,â he said.
The moveBuddha survey of 63 moving companies found that customer complaints about last minute cancellations have increased 250% since the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, 71% of moving companies reported delivery delays beyond what is typical for peak moving season, and 67% said they did not have enough drivers.
âThe common joke in the moving industry is that nobody really wants to be there,â he said.
Carrigan attributed the labor shortage to a combination of concerns about the future of trucking and competition from employers like Amazon, which is offering warehouse workers $ 15 an hour.
âIt’s just not an attractive job,â he said. âPeople think it’s going to be automated. “
Another problem, Carrigan said, concerns “some strange migration patterns” involving California. For decades, the Golden State has been a beacon for moving people from across the country. Now, he said, more people are leaving than moving in.
“So what’s going on, there’s a lot of trucks leaving the state, and they’re not really able to get them back into the state because you’re not going to send back an empty truck, because you just go lose money, “he said.” So you have to wait for enough money to want to move to California to send that truck back. “
It all adds up to the frustration of a lot of people. Yet, Carrigan added, four months is extreme.
âIt’s really bad,â he said. ” This is unacceptable. I mean, it’s, you know, I don’t think there’s any excuse in that.
Meanwhile, she and her mother said, Keli Hanks are asking for the help of anyone who might travel to California to collect their belongings and transport them to Alabama.