The moving company that has been quoting low prices to customers and then hijacking their belongings until they pay a higher price has finally been banned from doing business in the state of New Jersey.
Moving Max, which is notorious for this practice and has a wealth of negative Yelp reviews to prove it, has been permanently barred from doing business in the state of New Jersey as of last Friday, NJ.com reports.
The company, which is based in Bergen County and owned by brothers Adam and Oziel Eliad, is banned as a result of the settlement that was reached between Moving Max and the state Division of Consumer Affairs.
Additionally, the company is required to pay back 18 customers whose belongings they withheld until they paid a higher price than was quoted to them as part of the settlement.
About a quarter of Americans (24%) reported moving in the last five years, according to a recent survey. Between the years 2005 and 2010, over 15 million people moved out of large cities, while 11 million moved in; most of these moves (44%) were because of a job or business opportunity.
The moving company would allegedly give customers quotes between $225 and $921, but would actually charge between $500 and $1,665.
How did they get the higher prices out of customers? By refusing to release their possessions once they were loaded onto a truck — even threatening to drive away with them if the customers protested in any way.
The company apparently charged a higher price for tape and protective blankets which weren’t actually used and for EPA charges that they didn’t actually pay.
“We’ve thankfully never encountered a situation like this but what a nightmare!” says Libby Lambert, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Good Guys Moving. “When choosing a moving company, customers should be sure to at least do the following: check out the company with the local Better Business Bureau, always ask if they are licensed, bonded and insured (any legitimate moving company is) and don’t be afraid to ask for references.”
In addition from being banned from doing business in New Jersey, the company owes the state nearly $350,000 in investigative and court costs, attorney fees, and civil penalties, but cannot pay them. The company will have to provide tax return information to the state for five years and will pay when their incomes are high enough.