3 movers cited in federal enforcement sweep

Three household goods moving companies are facing civil penalty fines of $25,000 each after a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforcement sweep in March in nine U.S. cities.

The companies are Guardian Moving & Storage of Los Angeles, Lightning Van Lines Inc. of San Leandro, Calif. and Viking Moving and Storage Inc. of Oakland, Calif.

The sweep involved 37 FMCSA and state investigators who conducted compliance reviews of 67 moving companies as part of the agency’s year-round Household Goods Strike Force initiative targeting fraudulent moving companies. The sweep targeted high-risk moving companies in Los Angeles and San Jose, Calif., Las Vegas, Phoenix, New Orleans, Miami and Atlanta.

The compliance reviews looked for regulatory violations such as failing to relinquish possession of a household goods shipment (hostage load), collecting fees more than the original binding estimate and failing to provide consumers with arbitration.

Consumers can report problems with moving companies by calling FMCSA’s nationwide complaint hotline at (888) 368-7238 or by visiting http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.

FMCSA also encourages consumers planning a move to visit FMCSA’s web site, www.protectyourmove.gov, which provides information on the public’s rights and responsibilities and allows consumers to search movers’ complaint history.

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