U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Bill MacLeod
Thursday, August 5, 2004
FMCSA Fines Three Household Goods Carriers
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced fines for three Georgia, Maryland and New Jersey household goods movers for violating federal motor carrier regulations.
"These movers did not abide by federal consumer protection requirements. Thanks to help from victims, we investigated the movers' operations, found problems, and now we're fixing them," FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg said.
Goldstar Moving & Storage, Inc., of Norcross, GA was assessed a civil penalty of $22,750; SNS Business Opportunities, Inc., doing business as Giant Van Lines, of Jessup, MD was assessed $60,500; and A Supreme Movers, Inc. of Fair Lawn, NJ was assessed $32,950.
The federal agency cited all three for operating a charge card plan without providing a tariff, or list of charges, and for failing to properly weigh shipments, prepare orders for service or prepare itemized bills. The companies also failed to provide "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move," a pamphlet required for consumers that summarizes of carriers' dispute settlement programs.
In addition, the federal safety agency cited Goldstar Moving & Storage for not publishing a tariff, not participating in a dispute settlement program, not following loss and damage claims procedures, and not furnishing written non-binding estimates to shippers and retaining copies as addendums to the itemized bill.
Giant Van Lines also was cited for not charging its applicable tariff rate and failing to relinquish possession of shipments after being paid the estimated charge plus 10 percent.
A Supreme Movers also was cited for not charging its applicable tariff rate, not following its loss and damage claims procedures, and not preparing non-binding estimates as required.
These motor carriers can contest the alleged violations and the amounts of penalties.
Consumers may file complaints about household goods movers by calling FMCSA's nationwide complaint hotline, 1-888-368-7238 (1-888 DOT-SAFT) or by going to http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov on the Internet. A commercial complaint form also is available on FMCSA's Web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov. The form may be mailed or faxed to: FMCSA, 400 Seventh St., SW, MC-PA, Washington, DC 20590. The fax number is 202-366-7298.
The investigations were prompted by consumer complaints to the FMCSA and the outcomes resulted from investigations and coordinated efforts by FMCSA's Georgia, New Jersey, and Washington, DC offices.
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