Things 'turn ugly' with Clack. Co. movers

Things 'turn ugly' with Clack. Co. movers

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by KGW reporter Chris Willis

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisWillisKGW

kgw.com

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 20 at 5:02 PM

PORTLAND -- A Clackamas County moving company is facing allegations of doing business without a license. And the local couple who hired them said their experience with Lancaster Relocation Services, or L.R.S. Moving, went from bad to worse.

Karen Conner and her husband decided to retire in Arizona. They hired Lancaster Relocation Services, based in Beavercreek, to help load their furniture into the POD-type units they reserved for their move.

“We were just hiring help to get our stuff into the units,” Karen Conner said. “He walked through the house saying ‘We’ll take care of that. We can wrap this. Oh and by the way, I can probably help you out.’”

Frank Lancaster is the owner of Lancaster Relocation Services. Conner said he told them he could do the entire move for them, from Oregon to Arizona, for less money.

So, the Conner’s hired Lancaster, and in the beginning, everything went smoothly. But when they arrived in Arizona, they discovered major damage to a lot of their furniture -- some of it beyond repair.

Lancaster told them he would repair the furniture, Conner said. Then he stopped returning their calls and emails.

“Once a moving company picks up your furniture, it’s in their hands,” said David Quinlan of the Better Business Bureau.

In Oregon, moving companies make up 40 percent of the most asked about industry with the Better Business Bureau.

“We really want to keep businesses honest, and we want to protect the consumer,” Quinlan said.

After no response from Lancaster about the damaged furniture, Conner called officials within the moving industry, and said that’s when she finally heard from Lancaster. He threatened her and said, “You don’t know who you’re messing with.”

Lancaster’s response eventually led the Conner’s to change their contact information.

“He made threats that we don’t know who we were messing with,” Karen Conner said. “And things turned real ugly in a hurry.”

“It's alarming,” Quinlan said. “It makes your stomach turn. It’s completely upsetting if these allegations hold true.”

KGW’s Unit 8 started checking and found Lancaster Relocation Services, or L.R.S. Moving, is not licensed to move anyone anywhere. A check of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Motor Carrier Safety Division lists Lancaster as “unauthorized.”

When Unit 8 went to visit Lancaster, to ask him about a license and the Conner’s’ move, nobody answered. KGW did eventually speak with Lancaster on the phone, and he said he did not move anyone and he would not make any further comment.

Department of Transportation officials would not confirm or deny an investigation into the company, but did say they are aware of Lancaster Relocation Services and L.R.S. Moving.

DOT officials said the law is clear: If a person transports household goods without a license, they will face “no-less” than a $25,000 penalty for each violation.

Quinlan said, the company is not responding to customer complaints.

“Right now they have an ‘F’ rating with BBB and the reason for that because of the most recent complaint the company refused to respond and do anything about it,” he said.

--General consumer protection information and resources: https://www.protectyourmove.gov/

--Looking up the complaint history of a household goods mover: http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/hhg/Search.asp?ads=a

--Filing a complaint against a household goods mover: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/

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