Moving isn't always your idea of fun, but it can be an even bigger headache if the company you're trusting to move your personal belongings across the country never delivers, literally.
In June, Mark Brewer of Mount Prospect moved his life to Los Angeles to be with his partner. Three months later, his items still haven’t arrived.
"Not a day goes by that I don’t think about when I might ever see my stuff again," said Brewer. "What’s been super violating of this whole experience is that I have journals in there that I’ve written through since I was a kid."
The red flags started appearing about two weeks prior to the move.
"They inflated the quote almost double what we initially talked about," said Brewer. "We were in a bind [and] we wanted to trust it."
At first, Brewer says he hired a company called ‘Right Way Moving.’
But during the move, he said his job was subcontracted to another company: ‘American Home Relocation,’ with an office out of Carol Stream, Illinois.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives the company an "F" rating for "failure to respond to or resolve customer complaints." It is here that you’ll find a plethora of customer complaints.
Customers like Mark say the company operates under different names. Steve Bernas, president of the BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois, isn't surprised.
"What happens is, they subcontract the work to another moving company who subcontracts it to another moving company. It’s like a vicious cycle," said Bernas.
Complaints by the hundreds even led customers to start an online petition, pushing for federal regulators to step in and protect consumers.
Moving companies are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Data obtained by NBC 5 shows the number of formal complaints filed with the FMCSA against American Home Relocation have grown over the last three years.
A spokesperson for the FMCSA said American Home Relocation had its "interstate operating authority" revoked twice in 2021. It was later reinstated.
NBC 5 asked for more details but the FMCSA wouldn’t comment further, only saying that a new investigation was recently opened "due to a high volume of complaints."
"It just feels like I’ve personally been going crazy because they’ve been giving me these deadlines that they blow past for reasons, anywhere from a tire blowing out to everyone having COVID,” said Brewer.
Right Way moving did not respond to NBC 5’s request for comment.
American Home Relocation’s CEO told NBC 5's Chris Hush that he "has COVID."
Brewer told NBC 5 that excuse has been given to him for months.
Brewer said he has paid nearly $3,000 for the move but is no closer to seeing his items than he was three months ago. Brewer hired an attorney to send the company a demand letter. He says the CEO of the company is still giving him excuses.
"Do [your] due diligence. That 15 minutes, that 10 minutes, that hour can save you countless time and aggravation," said Bernas.