New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Cites 21 Unlicensed
Public Movers Following Undercover "Sting"
NEWARK – The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has cited 21 public movers for unlicensed operation following an undercover investigation, during which Division investigators posed as consumers who needed items moved within the state.
The Notice of Violation issued to each public mover carries a civil penalty of $2,500 for violations of the Public Movers & Warehousemen Licensing Act, N.J.S.A. 45:14D-1 et seq. and the Regulations Governing Public Movers and Warehousemen, N.J.A.C. 13:44D-1 et seq. The public movers have the opportunity to become licensed with the Division within 30 days and have the civil penalties reduced by 50%.
The Division conducted the undercover sting in November 2015, with the moving companies responding to a moving job at a location in Pequannock Township, Morris County. Agencies assisting with the operation included the New Jersey State Police Mobile Safety Freight Unit; Pequannock Township Police Department; Morris County Sheriff's Office; U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Unit; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Mobile Safety Freight Unit of the New Jersey State Police found 95 violations during mechanical inspections of the moving vans and trucks, with one truck impounded. Five individuals were arrested on outstanding warrants.
"Consumers entrust movers with their possessions, and as this investigation shows, there are moving companies out there that are undeserving of this trust," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "We're giving these companies an opportunity to come into compliance with our laws or else cease operations."
"Consumers need to do their homework before hiring a moving company in order to avoid fraud," said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. "Consumers should beware of low-ball pricing and always make sure the moving company is licensed by the State."
State law requires all intrastate movers (those performing residential moves that both begin and end in New Jersey) to be licensed by the Division of Consumer Affairs. These movers must also protect consumers' goods by maintaining cargo liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and bodily injury and property damage insurance. They must register each moving vehicle they use in New Jersey, and keep the vehicles properly marked and insured, in compliance with State regulations. Movers also must provide consumers with a written estimate of the costs of the move. There are approximately 300 licensed intrastate movers in New Jersey.
The companies issued a Notice of Violation are as follows:
- ABC Moving, a/k/a "Official Moving & Storage," Brooklyn, New York
- A Precision Movers, Belmar
- Beastman Movers, Northfield
- Black Moon Movers, North Bergen
- Edison Movers, a/k/a "M&M Moving & Storage," Astoria, New York
- Emmanuel Moving & Cleaning Service, Elizabeth
- 4 Brothers Moving, Garfield
- Garden City Movers a/k/a "NJ State Moving Inc.," Elizabeth
- Hezzy's In & Out Moving, Elmwood Park
- James Grodon Jr., Milford
- Master Movers, Cherry Hill
- Mike Davis Pro Service, Cranford
- Moverland, a/k/a "Manhattan Movers," a/k/a "Hoboken Movers," Newark
- Northeastern Van Lines, Queens, New York
- Rommel Service, Woodland Park
- Rowell's Moving and Hauling, Pleasantville
- Soho Moving & Storage, Old Bridge
- Stevenson's Moving, East Orange
The moving companies were found through advertising on internet postings and online message boards.
Advice for Consumers:
Before hiring a mover, review the tips available from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. They include the following:
- Call the Division of Consumer Affairs at (800) 242-5846 to verify the license status of any mover you consider hiring. Ask whether consumer complaints have been filed against the mover.
- An estimator is required by law to come to the consumer's house to provide an estimate.
- Obtain a written estimate from the mover you select. The cost can be estimated on an hourly rate, by weight and miles traveled, or by cubic measurement.
- Never pack jewelry, money, or valuable documents with your goods to be moved. The mover is not responsible for items of extraordinary value.
- Check your goods as they are being delivered. If any goods are lost or damaged, notify the mover immediately. A damage claim can be filed up to 90 days after the move date.
- Unless you purchase additional coverage, the mover is required to compensate you only up to 60 cents per pound, per article, for damages.
Investigators Murat Botas, Vincent Buonanno, Oscar Mejia, Barby Menna, Ray Yee and Luis Zuniga of the Division of Consumer Affairs' Office of Consumer Protection, conducted this investigation.
Deputy Attorneys General Erin M. Greene and Russell M. Smith, Jr. of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law, represented the State in this matter.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse,
can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer
Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846
(toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
Follow the Division of Consumer Affairs on
Facebook , and check our online calendar of upcoming
Consumer Outreach events.