Los Angeles

Blood on the Walls: A Couple's Nightmare Move

Hiring a professional moving company usually means having an expectation that the heavy lifting gets done with ease.

Unfortunately for Gwen Jackson, those expectations were left at the door­ of her new home, trapping her in a nightmare of damaged furniture pieces and bloodstained walls.

Jackson needed to move nearly 12,000 pounds of furniture from Norco to her new home in Lake Elsinore. She contracted Sav-On Moving and Storage after coming across a great deal, she said.

"He quoted us $1,900," she said, which was lower than other quotes she’d checked out.

But as the saying goes, it looks like it was too good to be true. On the day of the move, Jackson said four movers showed up in a truck too small for such a big job.

The amount of furniture to move would have filled two, 23-foot, 5-ton trucks.

"It’s too heavy for them," she said she realized.

The movers damaged 17 pieces of furniture and left the Jacksons’ drywall filled with holes and streaks of blood, she said. The movers injured themselves while trying to move the heavy furiture, and left the blood on the walls.

"It looked like a homicide team, and at that point we told them to just stop," said Jackson.

NBC4’s I-Team wanted to find out if the Jacksons’ moving experience was a common one, so we spoke to Marshall Lambert, vice-president of Rene’s Van and Storage, billed as the oldest moving company in Los Angeles.

"I can’t say that I’ve ever seen blood on walls," said Lambert, whose resume includes moving President Ronald Reagan into the White House.

Lambert said moving isn’t just heavy lifting, but requires skills.

"The way you lift it, the way you angle the piece, the way you wrap it," he said.

Lambert suggests consumers check the company’s insurance coverage and getting multiple estimates before choosing a mover.

"The cheapest price doesn’t mean it’s the best price."

Jackson filed a damage claim against Sav-On Moving and originally was offered a settlement of $5,350, but still “didn’t sense any empathy from them.”

That’s when she called the I-Team.

We contacted Sav-On Moving on her behalf, and the company responded with a statement.

"Ms. Jackson was not pleased with the settlement. In the interest of goodwill we amended it to $6,230. The check has been issued," the statement read.

That’s $4,600 more than the job’s original cost, making Jackson wonder if the men who moved her were actually professionals.

If you have a bad moving experience, you can file complaints through the Public Utility Commission or the California Moving & Storage Association.

Both groups can launch an investigation on your behalf.

  • California Public Utilities Commission can be reached by phone at 800-366-4782
  • California Moving & Storage Association can be reached by phone at 800-672-1415
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