Queens couple who moved from Arizona are still waiting for a moving truck full of goods to arrive 2 months later
NEW YORK (TBEN New York) — Moving to the Big Apple turned into a nightmare for a couple from Arizona.
They loaded all their stuff into a moving truck in November, and now, two months later, they’re living with suitcases, unsure if that will ever happen.
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Working from home on a lawn chair and sleeping on an inflatable mattress isn’t exactly how Amy Newberg and Martine Danel planned to make their 34th Avenue apartment their “home”.
“I bought the airbed right before we arrived, just thinking, oh, in case there were a few overlapping days,” Newberg told TBEN’s Lisa Rozner.
Well, it’s been eight weeks now.
“I couldn’t work for two months because I don’t have my instruments. I am a musician,” Danel said.
On Nov. 18, the belongings of their Phoenix apartment were packed by Flash Moving and Storage, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles.
“They packed all of our stuff very carefully… Everything went well,” Newberg said.
Just a week before the big move, Newberg realized she was dealing with two companies, not just one.
She first received an estimate from Allstate Moving and Storage, Inc., based in Delray Beach, Florida, and paid them about $2,500.
She then noticed that the contract stated that Allstate was a “move coordinator.” A move coordinator who chose Flash, but only learned it was Flash 24 hours before moving day. Newberg then had to pay them about $1,800.
“It wasn’t obvious to me on the phone,” she said. “They said the process usually takes about three to ten business days.”
The contract stated: “The carrier…has up to 30 business days to deliver the household goods,” otherwise he will have to pay a late fee to the customer.
“But they said it was very rare for that to happen,” Newberg said.
Newberg and Danel received no refunds and few updates.
They say Flash told them the driver would be leaving around Thanksgiving and again around New Years, but the driver wanted to spend time with his family, so there would be a delay.
Newberg says they also said, “The truck had mechanical issues… They said it was in California, but they didn’t give us a location either.”
At the company’s address in Los Angeles, there is no sign of moving trucks. It is an apartment complex.
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No one at Flash returned TBEN’s voicemails, texts or emails.
Newberg says Allstate told him they were also having trouble reaching Flash.
We called Allstate customer service.
“What type of check does your company perform? Rosner asked.
The person said “I’m not really sure” but that he had been in contact with the couple on a daily basis.
“Have you ever had any problems joining the company?” Rosner asked.
He said “No” and in part that “the problem…is that Amy and Martine are very dissatisfied and they don’t understand the logistics of their delivery”.
“So I think the lack of communication makes me really worried that people are doing it intentionally. I try to have the best intentions for people and I just feel taken advantage of,” Newberg said.
“Just give us our things. That’s all we want,” Danel said.
The couple are not alone. Dan Kershner says another moving broker hired Flash when he moved from Washington state to Virginia last year.
“And then it took three months,” Kershner said. “There are no regulations, in my opinion. It’s just completely awful.
Twenty-seven people have complained to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about Flash since 2020, but the agency did not respond to our multiple emails asking if it would take action.
The Better Business Bureau gives Flash an “F” rating and advises customers to always ask up front if the company is a mover or a broker?
“Because a broker is going to take your specs, send them out to all these movers to try and get someone to accept your move,” said Claire Rosenzweig, president and CEO of the BBB of Metropolitan New York. “You want to get at least three written quotes… They’re going to offer you insurance by weight, which frankly doesn’t cover next to nothing. What you want is full value insurance, which covers the cost of replacing the item… If you have anything valuable, uh, you know, jewelry, heirlooms, anything really irreplaceable, you don’t want to put it in the truck. You want to make other arrangements… If they ask you for things that are unreasonable, like a big initial deposit, if they ask for it in cash, you don’t want to do it.
For now, Newberg and Danel are living a tentative lifestyle – cooking with a saucepan they bought on Black Friday and using a kettle loaned by a colleague, hoping their items will arrive soon.
Days after contacting Flash, the company told Newberg that the truck left California on Monday and would arrive in four to six days depending on the weather.
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As for Allstate, the moving broker, we asked to speak to the owner, but no one answered.