INVESTIGATES: Jacksonville-area couple out thousands, claim moving broker company took their money

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A couple is out around $3,000 after they say a south Florida based moving broker company took their money and disappeared.

They say the company, US Standard Van Lines, quoted them for a move and then never arranged movers to show up on the scheduled date, forcing them to shell out even more money to move across the country.

“We thought we need to tell our story,” Krista Smith said.

Smith and Jennifer Beamer never thought it’d happen to them.

“It’s terrible cause I’m not the only person they’ve done it to,” Smith said.

The two are now out thousands of dollars after they say a moving broker company charged them, didn’t do their job, and disappeared.

Smith hired US Standard Van Lines for her move from Ohio to Jacksonville on November 20.

She said from the start their communication was sketchy.

“That’s when the first red flag hit me. I was like ‘something’s not right,’” Smith said.

Krista said at one point, they were calling and emailing with one employee and then all of a sudden another employee picked up the account. Then the second employee became nearly impossible to reach.

“We kept calling them. No answer. No answer. No answer,” Smith said.

It wasn’t until move-in day, they got their answer.

No movers ever showed up.

By the evening, she had to rent another truck herself.

On the following Monday, she said a random number claiming to be a moving company texted her and asked to come by in the morning, two days too late.

That’s when they called their bank and learned they couldn’t get their money back.

“When they said that they wouldn’t be able to help me, we reached out to Better Business Bureau, and that’s when we saw over 50 complaints and they’re all unanswered, unanswered, unanswered,” Beamer said.

Action News Jax looked into the company on the Better Business Bureau website. We found dozens of similar complaints. Other people also complained of no refund, no answers, and no luck.

It doesn’t stop there.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s records, there have been 44 complaints filed against US Standard Van Lines in 2021; 26 of those under the deceptive business practices category.

Action News Jax’s Gretchen Kernbach called the company herself. That’s when we found out the main number is now disconnected. No one picked up the company’s emergency number either and it did not take voicemail.

Kernbach also emailed the company’s main email address and did not get an answer.

“I don’t know how these people are doing this, I really don’t. But they’re repeatedly doing it to people,” Smith said.

They have been in contact with the Better Business Bureau but with no avail. Now, they just want to warn others.

“Get all your information. Make sure you know what you’re dealing with. Make sure you look at your contract,” Smith said.

Action News Jax reached out to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to see if officials there were aware of the complaints made against US Standard Van Lines.

We’re told they can only regulate in-state moves. It’s the U.S. Department of Transportation who regulates moving companies that cross states.

If you want to make a complaint against a moving company, you can do so here.