Our hidden camera investigation struck a nerve. Several viewers have come forward saying they too were ripped off.
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“I thought oh my God. That’s me. That’s what happened to me exactly,” says Mike Applegate of Rancho Cordova.
He says the same moving company we confronted in our story last night quoted him $252 for a short move from Folsom to Rancho Cordova. He says after loading up his stuff in their truck, they jacked up the cost eight times that to $1900.
His receipt shows 15-hundred dollars was for packing material, even though he says most everything was packed.
Applegate says they demanded cash. When he didn’t have it?
“They took it; they hijacked it to parts unknown. I still don’t know where they went.”
He says they refused to return his belongings until he paid in cash. He eventually did and so have others, we’ve told you over the past 2 1/2 years.
People like Sunnyu Vito of Fairfield were forced to pay more.
“You pay now or we don’t unload. As simple as that,” she told us.
In our sting, one of our producers called up Stevens Move and was quoted $328 for a short move between Elk Grove and North Highlands.
Our hidden cameras caught the movers driving up to our wired sting house in a moving truck with a Bekins logo on it, even though they’re not an authorized Bekins agent.
When asked by our undercover producer why it said Bekins on their truck, a worker responded, “We just bought this truck.”
Once all of our stuff was loaded onto the truck, and we got to our destination, that nearly $328 doubled to $638.40.
We called them on it, but the movers had nothing to say during our confrontation, and then drove off with our stuff inside. We followed them to a storage facility where we believe they unloaded it and haven’t seen our belongings since.
The moving industry regulator, the Public Utilities Commission all but stonewalled us for 2 1/2 years as we searched for answers on these rogue movers.
It wasn’t until our producer crashed a meeting speaking during a time dedicated for public comment; they finally spoke with us on camera about this problem admitting they only have eight investigators for the entire state of California.
We wanted to know, if that’s enough.
“If it wasn’t enough we’d ask for more.” said Richard Clark of the Public Utilities Commission.
Applegate calls the P.U.C.s response to this problem, “ridiculous”. To those who feel ripped off, they think the State needs to be more aggressive putting these movers in jail.
“Do something about it. It’s really a problem. It certainly has to be illegal. Certainly it’s immoral,” Applegate said.
The company has gone by a variety of names, including Better Way 2 Move, BMS Bekins, and Stevens Move.
A detective tells CBS13, he suspects its all part of an organized crime ring.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY D.A. STATEMENT
‘The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office takes complaints from consumers very seriously. If you think you have been a victim of moving company fraud or any other type of fraud, we encourage you to contact our Consumer Mediation Unit at (408) 792-2880.’