CAMPBELL COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Moving can be a traumatic experience for a family, even if everything goes right. But, imagine your stuff never arriving. Instead, it’s been thrown into a warehouse thousands of miles away.
That’s what happened to a couple who moved 2,500 miles from Oregon to Campbell County. Jeff and Charlotte White were planning on starting a new chapter of their lives, but their retirement plans have been shattered.
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Jeff, an Army veteran, had planned to remodel a mobile home, but those plans are now on hold. Instead, the couple moved into this small cabin on their property in Campbell County and spent what little money they had on furnishings since their belongings never arrived from Oregon.
“We thought we would get our stuff. They promised us we would get our stuff within 7 to 21 days,” said Charlotte.
“It’s like they’ve stolen everything that we, ever had,” said Jeff.
They hired Gold Standard Moving and Storage out of South Florida. The couple said they were never told Gold Standard is a broker that hired another Florida company East Freight Logistics, to move their belongings in early July.
“We trusted these people, we thought they were a legitimate moving company,” said Charlotte. “They would promise, oh, it’s on its way. We have a date set for you. We waited for that date, it came and went.”
“Four times. they promised us that our delivery was going to be here. And, to be here. We sat here and waited and nothing showed up,” said Jeff.
Their belongings are left behind in a warehouse in Oregon and the household goods of others are under criminal investigation. A Portland Oregon Police detective wrote to the couple saying East Freight Logistics is no longer licensed. Gold Standard Moving and Storage has suggested to the couple that they return to the warehouse and pick up their stuff.
“If we could get back to Oregon, yes, we would go look for our stuff. But, I’m a disabled veteran on a fixed income. We spent almost $8,000 on having our stuff brought to us. But now we don’t have the finances to finish our new home where we were going to retire,” said Jeff. “Everything I know about honor and discipline has been shattered.”
“You just don’t know for sure who, who you can trust and not trust anymore,” said Charlotte.
WATE reached out to both East Freight Logistics and Gold Standard Moving for comment, there’s been no response. Portland Police report that federal investigators have entered the case because so many families have seen their belongings in that warehouse.
What is the difference between a moving broker that the Whites hired and a moving carrier? A carrier, or a moving van line operator, directly handles your shipment. A freight broker serves as a transportation intermediary, does not directly operate a truck fleet, or physically move your stuff.
The benefit of using a moving broker is that the move could be cheaper than hiring a moving company directly. However, some of the largest van lines in the country are also licensed moving brokers. It’s always wise to first check into the background of the moving company you contact before signing a contract.