Woman says she lost thousands of dollars, prized possessions in cross-country move

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OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. -- A woman says a cross-country move ended up costing her thousands of dollars more than the negotiated price, and now she's missing some of her most prized possessions.

In May, she hired what she thought was a moving company called Safe and Secure Van Lines to get her and her family's stuff from Olive Branch, Mississippi to Glide, Oregon.

"We have had to learn a hard lesson," Dell Minott said. "He seemed very genuine and sincere."

Turns out, they're actually a broker, meaning they give a price and hire other companies to do the labor.

Minott said they never made that clear, but offered a good price of $6,000 and promised fast and reliable service.

"Maybe we had 10 days to pack and get everything ready," she said.

Minott said she updated Safe and Secure Van Lines repeatedly about the amount of boxes and furniture she had.

But on May 27th, the day of the move, that didn't matter.

"They got to the end of the truck and they still had seven, eight things still not on. They couldn't squeeze any more on," she said.

Leaving some of her belongings behind was the least of her problems that day.

She says when she got to the weigh station, the movers explained her stuff weighed more than anticipated, and she needed to pay an extra $4,000.

"I was sitting there dumbfounded. He told me he needed more of an initial deposit," she said.

Minott said she argued, but ended up paying just to get her stuff moving toward Oregon.

A couple of days later her family followed suit. They got to their new home before the movers were set to arrive.

"We had discussed [initially] that it had to be there by the 15th of June, because my husband started the 17th," she said.

June 15, 2019 came. No sign of the movers.

In fact, Minott said it took countless calls before she finally spoke to the driver.

"First time we found out Safe and Secure that we made contact with and paid money to, was not the company that ended up shipping our stuff. It had been subcontracted," she said.

She said the moving company that now had her stuff told her they just picked it up from a warehouse in Dallas and wouldn't arrive until June 27.

She said more problems came with the delivery — many of items were damaged or missing, totaling $8,000.

Some of those missing items include a church pew her grandfather restored, a couch, bookcase, queen mattress, nightstand, 40-inch TV, gaming computer, electronics, a lamp, desk, outdoor furniture, lawn mower, ladders, tools and more.

She said Safe and Secure's response was: "File a claim."

"I told them I didn't want to file a claim. I want them to find the things that are missing," she said.

Minott said she also found three boxes that weren't hers, and says after no help from Safe and Secure, she used an old address in the box to track the owner to Wichita, Kansas.

"Found out she had some of my stuff," she said in frustration.

Minott said that nearly a month later, she still doesn't have her stuff. She says the insurance she was told she had doesn't exist, and if she files a claim, she'll only get reimbursed 60 cents to the pound.

WREG called the president of Safe and Secure Van Lines, who's based out of Florida.

In our brief conversation, he told us it's not true and called it all "pathetic." He blamed the moving companies they contracted, and when we asked to record his statement, he hung up. He wouldn't answer when we called back.

WREG learned other customers of Safe and Secure Van Lines told similar stories to the Better Business Bureau, which gave the company an "F" rating.

Minott says she's left reviews too. She wants to warn others even if it ends up costing her.

"He said he is not going to find any of my stuff unless we remove the reviews," she said.

If you are looking to hire a moving company, here are some tips:

https://www.bbb.org/article/tips/13306-bbb-tip-hiring-a-mover

https://www.consumerreports.org/moving/how-to-choose-a-reliable-moving-company/

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