HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A cross-country move for 76-year-old Saadet Sezgen from Nevada to Tampa Bay turned disastrous when nearly everything she owned vanished.
"When I did not get my furniture for a few weeks, I was devastated," she said.
Sezgen showed us her contract and bank statements indicating she paid two companies a total of $8,500 to move her belongings from Nevada to Tampa Bay in November. Months later, the items had yet to arrive.
When ABC Action News Consumer Reporter Jackie Callaway met Sezgen in March, the retiree and her family were still searching for her property.
"Every time I called, they would say 'no, we don't have any information,'" Sezgen said.
Trinity Moving and Storage, the broker Sezgen hired, contracted with a company called Movesmart and Storage to move her items. We checked with the U.S. Department of Transportation, who told us that it did "not appear that Movesmart and Storage has any interstate operating authority as a household goods carrier."
Katie McMichael, a director with the American Trucking Associations, says its critical consumers check to ensure the company is licensed to carry goods across state lines.
"If you don't have authority. that means you are unlicensed," McMichael said.
After months of calls, Sezgen says Movesmart and Storage finally located her belongings at a storage facility in California. A family member made arrangements to have the items brought to her new home in Tampa.
So far, neither company involved in Sezgen's move has returned ABC Action News' calls or emails requesting a comment. Saadet has filed a complaint with federal regulators.
You can also check a company's complaint record at www.bbb.org.