State regulators deny permit to residential moving company
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Citing harmful business practices and a failure to meet application requirements, state regulators today denied a permit to a Tacoma-based residential moving company.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) refused to issue a permit to Oracle Marketing, Inc. d/b/a Great American Moving and Storage, a company seeking to operate as a residential moving company within the state of Washington.
The UTC may deny an application where there is an indication of fraud, misrepresentation or erroneous information. While conducting an investigation, commission staff discovered Oracle’s president had operated a residential moving company in California that had run afoul of the law.
The company, City Transport, Inc., had its permit revoked by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), incurred a $10,000 fine and had a slew of consumer complaints lodged against it. Company President Chana Green failed to disclose this information in applying for her Washington residential mover’s permit. The penalty remains unpaid and only $2,000 of $19,000 refunds ordered were returned to customers.
CPUC and UTC staff also uncovered Oracles’ and City Transport’s pattern of issuing low-ball estimates for customer’s moves, which were followed by much higher final bills. Customers had to pay the additional money in order to get their possessions released by Ms. Green’s moving company.
The UTC is the state agency in charge of enforcing consumer protection and safety regulations for more than 200 residential moving companies operating within the state. Movers are required to get a permit from the UTC, charge appropriate rates, carry proper insurance and keep their vehicles safely maintained. The commission does not regulate interstate moving companies.