West Palm Beach moving broker customers without belongings, refund
Several customers of a West Palm Beach moving broker have complained to Contact 5, saying they were taken for a ride by the company.
Tabitha Emmanuel told Contact 5 she hired Homesafe Transit last year for a move from California to Connecticut, thinking it was a moving company.
However, the company, which is based in West Palm Beach, is a broker. A broker is a go-between that outsources the job to any number of companies.
It's been a year and Emmanuel told Contact 5 she still hasn't received any of her belongings.
"I still haven't got the stuff," she said.
Emmanuel complained to Homesafe that everything she owns is missing. She wrote in a complaint to Attorney General Ashley Moody's office that "our stuff is not delivered."
"Our son, he lost all of his toys and everything," Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel couldn't provide receipts for all of the missing items, but she did provide Contact 5 with a canceled check, a Zelle payment, a Homesafe Transit receipt and a bill of lading which show she paid $5,100 for the move.
"They kept saying it's on the way," Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel is one of several people who emailed Contact 5 with similar complaints about the company.
Kieran O'Keefe told Contact 5 he paid Homesafe Transit $1,000 as a deposit to move him from New York to Arkansas two months ago.
He said once he saw negative reviews, he immediately canceled and tried to get his money back, per the 48-hour refund policy.
He provided Contact 5 with an email that Homesafe sent him months ago, approving the refund. However, he claims he never got the money.
"Every time I called, there was an excuse," O'Keefe said.
Homesafe has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau, according to their records.
Also, according to U.S. Department of Transportation records, the company is listed as "not authorized" to operate as an interstate-for-hire carrier right now.
O'Keefe said he thought he had it bad until he started hearing "horror stories" from others "who lost, like, everything they own."
According to court records and a notice on the door, Homesafe has been evicted from a building in Boynton Beach. After stopping by that location, Contact 5 went to the address listed on the Homesafe Transit website in downtown West Palm Beach.
It wasn't there, but another company was there. Employees there said Homesafe paid them to use their address, but they haven't paid or contacted them in months.
"We always receive their mail, and we always send it back, but we keep receiving it," a woman at the front desk said.
Contact 5 called the company's listed phone number and eventually got through to Adam Smith, the sales manager.
He looked up both cases and said he would try to rectify the situation.
Smith promised O'Keefe would get his refund. However, it's been a month since that conversation, and O'Keefe still has not received it.
When Contact 5 asked to speak to Smith's supervisor, he said he wasn't sure who was in charge.
Of the cases in which belongings are missing, Smith claims those outsourced movers have now been blacklisted from future jobs with the company.
In a series of emails after the phone call, Smith told Contact 5 they'll work with any customers who lost items and help them file claims with their insurance.
As far as the company's status with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Smith said that is an error and that they're working with the agency to get it corrected.
However, that was a month ago and, as of Tuesday, it still shows Homesafe is not authorized to operate as an interstate for-hire carrier right now.
When Contact 5 asked about the BBB rating, Smith said they "do not pay to be accredited" by the BBB. He called the BBB rating "a scam."
"At this point, I don't even know what happened to our stuff," Emmanuel said.
In Emmanuel's case, Contact 5 did try to contact her outsourced movers but was not able to get ahold of them.
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