Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Beginning

I am starting this blog out of frustration and maybe to create a nexus for people who have lost their belongings in the vortex that is East Coast Moving Systems. Here's my story, the bulleted version.

  • Paid $542 on June 24th to ECMS as a downpayment to confirm pickup June 30 of all the belongings in my 4 bedroom house, my office, and laboratory, and move them to Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Agreed to contract of a total of $2785 for move.
  • Movers arrived on July 2nd after "mechanical difficulty" with their truck at my home in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
  • I sign a blank Bill of Lading that they will charge me $5 to $7 for any cubic feet over the original estimation. I say that was never in the contract I agreed to. The driver, "Michael" says he will take care of it. I pay $1114 cashier's check.
  • Furniture and boxes loaded from house, more than fill the small rented truck, and "Michael" says there is no way that my office, laboratory, etc, or the rest of the things from my house will fit. I am over my estimate, and it will be another $2500.
  • I tell him, go have dinner. My friend and I will take the furniture off the truck up to the line where the estimate shows, and then he can go.
  • He refuses, suggests that if I pay him, he will reduce the amount owed. I pay him $300 cash, and he marks the Bill of Lading down to $1000 owed on top of the $2785 I am supposed to pay.
  • They never take my office or laboratory furniture or boxes, or the rest of the furniture in the house, so I rent a 15 foot truck from Budget, load it up, and drive to Atlanta three days later.
  • I tell the dispatcher that they will have to change the delivery date, because they did not move what they contracted to move, and I had to move it myself.
  • The truck from Budget costs $2000.
  • Today, it is August 5, 2004 - still no furniture.
  • I have called, and been told that there are delays, mechanical difficulties, every conceivable untruth.
  • They will not tell me where my furniture is.
  • The Massachusetts and Florida police are both involved, but can't locate the movers to serve a warrant because the address on their contract is really a Mailboxes, Etc. address.
  • I have a lawyer, but we can't serve papers unless we can find one of the individuals involved.

So, we have to assume that the furniture is somewhere in Florida, in storage, while they continue to pick up other people's belongings, extort money, put them in storage elsewhwere. I know this by keeping track of the complaints posted on the web. I want someplace to collect the complaints so that we can eventually shut these guys down. Over 80 moving companies out of south Florida were shut down and their owners tried, jailed, or deported last year, and their victims recovered over $800,000. The FBI and the Florida police accomplished this. If there are enough documented complaints, they will be able to do the same with these guys, and then the government will seize the property, and hopefully we will get it back, instead of having it auctioned by the storage companies. So please leave your information. And some way to contact you.

I'll be posted more information about the company, other possible courses of action, my own trials and tribulations, in future.

For tonight, here's to everyone having furniture delivered tomorrow!



Blogger KS said...

Just wanted to mention that
Adam's story on The Amateur Gourmet blog was what inspired me.

If you get an attorney, he/she will probably tell you to first file complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Office of the Inspector General, and the FMCSA, in order to have standing to bring a lawsuit.

As soon as I figure out how to put links into this message, I will link the pages.



August 7, 2004 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger nash said...

It has been a long 7 weeks since ECMS picked up my household goods. Twice they have promised my goods will be delivered next day and they will tell me exact time in 20 minutes. I have no idea when delivery will be. Overcharging me at the time of pick up seems trivial now. Dealing with them is once in a life time experience. After talking to them, for a day or two it is difficult to trust anyone.
Thanks for creating this site.

August 11, 2004 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Rezhan said...

I am another victim of ECMS, our stuff was picked up on July 11, 2004 from Philadelphia suburb to be delivered to Morgantown, WV (5 hour distance), no need to complete the story.
We still have no furniture. :(


August 27, 2004 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Linda566 said...

Thank you for doing this Kathy! I was also scammed by this company--We hired them to move our belongings last year back in August and we have had nothing but grief from them and the company they sub-contracted to do the job. (Which we were never told about) It is now over a year later and we still don't have our things--Plus we haven't been able to get any further support from ECMS regarding this matter.

Globe Van Lines of California (The movers hired by ECMS) supposedly have everything in storage (We were told LA and later San Fransisco) They refuse to give us some kind of storage contract and insist that we pay an over priced bill or everything will go into auction (Which they will then charge us over $16,000 for) They also tell me the contract I signed with ECMS is no good and that we need to follow THEIR instructions if we want to have our things returned to us...
Sounds a lot like extortion to me! I checked these 2 companies out and they seem to have some kind of connections with names, addresses, etc--Globe btw, also has had quite a few complaints in FL and CA about the same problems...UGH!! I wish I knew all this before I hired them! (Originally ECMS checked out with the BBB and I didn't see any other complaints-- not until much later and it was too late!)

My fiance' and I have been trying to hold them off as long as possible but as of yet, have not been able to come up with $3000+ needed for delivery nor can we afford the additional $250 a month to keep it there in storage. I have tried to reach them again but I'm not getting a reply and I'm afraid to keep trying...I'm worried we are going to lose EVERYTHING we own if we haven't done so already...If anything, all I really want back is our box of photos and home-movies!

I felt like there was nothing else we could do about this up until I read what you wrote here this morning...I am again inspired to not give up! I want to start posting my full complaints elsewhere about these scam companies as well. (Since I cannot get help from the FHA, or lawyers, etc) If there is a chance to still get our belongings back or help someone else get theirs, then I will try--Companies like this need to be shut down NOW so others will not have to go through what we are!
Please contact me if you have any more info at:

Thanks again and good luck to all of us!

September 8, 2004 at 4:41 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's really to found your blog, Moving is really a stressful task i got very useful stuff to read thanks for sharing.

December 26, 2013 at 11:32 AM  

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