Md. AG: Moving company hiked up prices, drove off with clients’ goods

Frosh said Swift Van Lines gave their clients low estimates for their services but later hiked up the price "drastically" after loading the moving truck. If the company's clients refused to pay the marked-up price, the company would not deliver the items and drive off with customers' belongings. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — Maryland’s attorney general is suing a moving company for charging extra to move their clients’ goods and holding their goods hostage when clients refused to pay the increased demand.

In a news release, Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s Consumer Protection Division filed charges Monday against Hyattsville-based Swift Van Lines, LLC, (formerly Revolution Moving and Storage, LLC) and its owner, Juan Carlos Martinez.

Frosh said Swift Van Lines gave their clients low estimates for their services but later hiked up the price “drastically” after loading the moving truck. If the company’s clients refused to pay the marked-up price, the company would not deliver the items and drive off with customers’ belongings.

A Maryland law states that for moves within the state, a moving company cannot refuse to transport household goods once the moving truck is loaded. The law also limits how much more than the estimate movers can charge customers (usually no more than 125 percent more than the estimate.)

The Consumer Protection Division acquired a temporary restraining order Nov. 21 from Prince George’s County Circuit Court prohibiting the moving company from delivering goods.

The charges against the company prohibit the company and its owner from refusing to deliver to customers and from hiking up the price of service. The charges also seek an order to require the company to compensate any customers affected by their practices.

Anyone with complaints against the company or the company’s owner should call the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6569, file a complaint online or write to the Consumer Protection Division.