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N4T Investigators: Putting the brakes on a 'Nightmare Move' - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Putting the brakes on a 'Nightmare Move'

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Whether it's just across town, or across the country, moving can be stressful. When you add the possibility of being taken for a ride when it comes to what you're paying, it can be a nightmare.

For Kelly Johnson and her family, their move from Pennsylvania to Tucson turned into an ordeal almost immediately. Kelly tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, she became suspicious within just a few days of calling the movers, when they didn't show up as promised.

"Five days later, they finally picked up our stuff. I should have known at that point not let them pick-up the stuff," Johnson said.
 
That was just the beginning. Johnson tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, the company then changed the estimated weight of her family's household items not once, but three times. That meant the cost of the move also went up.

"It started with like 11,000 pounds, then went up to 14,000 pounds, and ended at 18,000 pounds," Johnson said.  

When the movers did show up at the family's new home in Marana, they demanded to be paid, before they would unload. When Johnson wouldn't cough-up the money, the movers then took off with her stuff.

"My heart just started beating really fast, because I knew at that point, there goes my stuff, there goes my memories, and I was so close, but there they go," Johnson said.
 
Though, the truck didn't get far. That's because investigators from Arizona Weights and Measures were also there. Investigator J.J. Stroh pulled the truck over, a few hundred feet up the road. He tells us, the moment they drove away from Johnson's home, the movers stepped over the line.

"They do not have the legal standing to leave with the possessions. Those belong to the family. These companies are only hired to transport the property," Stroh said.
    
Stroh made the driver back up, and ultimately the movers did unload the family's items.

Stroh tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, to avoid falling prey to what might be a rogue moving company,  you're should stick with national, or established local companies.

"The truck behind me has no identification on the trailer. That's one of the giveaways. A company that's working is going to want to advertise to get repeat business," Stroh said.

For her part, Johnson says no matter how much research she thought she had done, there was still plenty she didn't know, that could have cost her.

"I didn't actually get on, and look at reviews, or check the Better Business Bureau, or see if there was anything wrong with those companies," Johnson said.
 
"Please do your homework. Do not just go to the first glitzy website, read the glowing recommendations, and accept that as a well-behaved company," added Stroh.  

Weights and Measures has posted more tips on keeping your move hassle-free.

The movers didn't want to talk to us on camera, and they didn't return our calls to get their side of the story.

If you have something you would like the News 4 Tucson investigators to check out, email us at investigators@kvoa.com, or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.

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