Moving to another city or state is often made in response to a new job, promotion, or change in relationship status. May is National Moving Month. But, three dozen consumers who opted to get a jump on a new home this spring with Unified Van Lines, have already contacted Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland because the process has been more costly and fallen well short of what they say they were promised. Many are still living without their property “held hostage” by the BBB F rated company.“I was told in writing by William a sales rep that I would be guaranteed to have my belongings delivered on 3/2/18,” wrote, Kaitlin, a Fort Collins, Colo., customer in her complaint to BBB. “It is now April 19th and I [still] do not have my belongings and I have no delivery date even in sight. I have been sleeping on an air mattress for a month and wearing clothes (while working a full time job) out of one suitcase and a bag.” Unfortunately, Kaitlin’s complaint is not unique. After spending over $11,000 upfront on her move, and spending weeks waiting for her family’s furniture and personal possessions, a Prescott Valley, Ariz., customer wrote, “The moving quote provided by Dominick was also undervalued by $10,000…He will no longer return our calls and we've left more than 6 messages. It is difficult to reach anyone in customer service or dispatch and we still have no idea where our items are or when they will be delivered.” According to her complaint, before cutting off communication, Unified Van Lines had demanded an additional payment of $6,700 at the time of delivery. “The customer experiences reported to BBB about Unified Van Lines in the last 30 days, allege sales practices built on false representation,” declared Angie Barnett, president/CEO of BBB of Greater Maryland. “Customers have been deceived through misrepresentations of the organization’s identity on BBB, false claims and bogus awards.” In 2016, BBB of Greater Maryland investigators reached out to U.S. Department of Transportation officials to report a spike in complaints against US Relocation Systems, LLC. Like Unified Van Lines, US Relocation Systems, claimed a Baltimore address and customers from across the U.S. waged similar allegations ranging from lost and damaged goods, to shipments withheld at non-disclosed locations and demands of additional monies, even cash, at the time of delivery. In addition to the complaints, there are many similarities between Unified Van Lines and US Relocations. They include shared I.P. addresses, connections to business owner, Andrey Shuklin of Hallandale Beach, Fla., and similar organization names associated with incorporation documents and DOT registrations. At the time of the 2016 investigation, BBB was able to link Shuklin to 14 additional moving companies and/or websites.Since May of 2017, the BBB system has received more than 8,700 complaints against moving companies, moving and storage companies and moving brokers. Those complaints were about six percent ahead of the previous 12 months beginning May 2016. After watching the delivery date of the contents for her new home in North Beach, Md. come and go, Unified Van Lines customer, Catherine Riley told BBB, “I have since learned from the FMCSA that the company is 'currently under an out of service order and shall not operate - out of service reason: new entrant revoked - refusal of audit/no contract.' There has been no response to me despite MANY attempts to contact them. I have filed a criminal theft of property charge with the New Castle County Police." “There are plenty of reputable, BBB Accredited, movers,” says Barnett. “Look for established businesses and check our online tips. It’s likely you searched long and hard for your new home. Don’t rush the research when it comes to the final step and call our office if you have any doubts about what you’re finding.” If you’re planning a move, you can find BBB tips for hiring a mover and avoiding moving scams. In Maryland, the Maryland Household Goods Movers Act offers special protections. For more help, you can contact your local BBB.