May 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM
State fines 7 moving companies operating without permits
The state fined seven moving companies in Washington Wednesday for operating without permits to provide residential moving services.
Most or all of the $5,000 fines for six of those companies will be suspended for two years and perhaps waived if proper permits are obtained, according to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC).
But the state says it will not suspend the fine for one Seattle-based company, Jeff’s Express Movers, because its owner, Jeffrey Johnson, failed to appear in court. Several one-star reviews for the company on Yelp reveal angry customers who felt lied to by the company because they say it did incomplete moving jobs or claimed customers had reserved a truck for longer than the customer requested. Many of those reviewers said they would make sure the state knew about the way the company handled business with them.
“They sent me to the level of anger I had not thought possible,” said one reviewer, who described herself as a Buddhist who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt.
The other companies fined by the state include:
- A Father and Fast, Careful Sons Moving, owned by David J. Campbell, of Auburn
- Mark’s Pro Movers, owned by Mark Schueller, of Tulalip
- Professional Relocations Moving Co., owned by Wade Taylor, of Bremerton
- Smoother Mover, owned by Matthew Twiggs, of Richland
- Big Earl’s Moving and Hauling, owned by Thomas E. Harris, of Shoreline
- Advanced Moving and Packing, owned by Justin Suedel, of Seattle
The Washington commission that fined the companies says those looking to hire a moving company should verify the mover’s permit, compare costs with at least two estimates, and check online reviews. Moving-company customers should always get a written, signed inventory list from the company of all belongings being loaded as well.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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