NEW BRIGHTON, Minnesota (WCCO) – A family that returned to Minnesota this summer has waited months for their household goods and belongings, as everything they own is stuck 1,300 miles away.
Terry Xiong and Aninta Vang’s new home in New Brighton is furnished with empty walls and bare rooms. The couple have five children who eat on the floor because there is no place to sit. In the kitchen, no refrigerator is seen and air beds are installed in each room. It’s a lifestyle the couple weren’t prepared for.
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In July, the family hired a moving company called Van Lines Inc. to move their belongings from California to Minnesota. Van Lines says it has contracted out a third-party company to deliver the items by the end of July. However, four months later, Xiong says they still haven’t received a delivery.
“It’s devastating. Back in Minnesota, we hope to start our lives over after a pandemic to buy a new home. To feel like it’s not a house, it’s stressful for the family and the kids, ”Xiong said.
The third-party carrier took away approximately $ 130,000 worth of furniture, appliances, clothing, toys and other family items. In order to ensure that Xiong’s family had the minimum amount of items to continue living, he had to spend more money on some household items.
The third-party agent tells Xiong that his things are being held in a storage unit in Henderson, Nevada, but Xiong can’t be too sure.
“There were photos, but looking at the photos, they are not my objects,” he said.
Adding to the misery, the storage unit is listed under a different name. Xiong says the Nevada storage company threatened to auction the items because the person the unit is under did not pay the fees. Xiong says the storage company fortunately delayed the auction of the items.
Aninta Vang held back tears as she said, “It’s really hard, we have five kids and I just don’t know what to do. The only thing I want is our products back. We just don’t know what to do with anything.
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Vang says the kids don’t have their toys or winter clothes for the cold months. The family is holding out as long as possible, waiting to collect their belongings.
WCCO spoke to Van Lines on the phone. The company says it refunded its money to Xiong. However, the third party agent did not. Van Lines declares under contract that any lost or damaged item is not the responsibility of Van Lines. Instead, the third-party agent is responsible for these items. Xiong disagrees.
“I didn’t hire the third party they contracted out. I hired Van Lines and now they are trying to take no responsibility for the situation, ”Xiong said.
Xiong wants other consumers to be wary. He advises taking a picture of the driver’s license and the carrier’s DOT number. Xiong says his next steps are to follow up with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which has governance over the movers. Xiong says he also filed a complaint with the Nevada attorney’s office’s consumer protection department.
Xiong and others have filed complaints on BBB’s website about the same third-party movers. Xiong says he has filed a claim with his insurance, but because the third-party agent says Xiong’s items are in storage, the insurance will not consider them as lost items.
The family told WCCO previously that they had confirmed September 30 as the new delivery date, but the third-party agent never showed up. Xiong says he is currently waiting for the third-party agent to hand over the storage unit in his name.
“This is where we feel helpless,” Xiong said. “We’re just being pushed around and everyone we’ve reached out to so far continues to refer us to someone else.”
WCCO contacted the third party agent, but they refused to speak to us.
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