“Moving’s stressful enough,” Brnovich said. “This notion that someone could keep your stuff — it offends me.”
Brnovich even has a name for such situations: “hostage loads.” Some movers realize they have total leverage once in control of a customer’s household possessions, he said.
“They were holding our furniture hostage,” she said, explaining why they caved on the bill. It was May, the temperatures were climbing and they had three little kids at grandma’s house who faced the prospect of returning to an empty home.
“He was stuck,” she said.
Her experience is typical of complaints about movers made to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office. Interstate moves are covered by federal law, but if the move is across town, or within Arizona borders, there is little officials can do.
A bill at the state Capitol would provide some relief, however. House Bill 2145 would prevent companies that do in-state moves from holding a customer’s goods over a payment dispute. It also would require them to give an accurate quote on moving costs and related fees, including insurance provisions.