‘Darn movers’: Dying woman voices frustration in final pages of journal, family says

YORK, S.C. — A senior citizen moved to the Charlotte area to be closer to family but relatives say she ran into problems with the moving company and then passed away before she could get them resolved.

Keith Houser says his stepmother, Helen, was battling cancer. He says she moved here from Louisiana to be closer to him and bought a house over the summer.

She hired Blue Lion Moving and Storage to move her belongings.

“It was an ordeal from the beginning,” Houser said. He says Helen kept asking when her items would arrive but couldn’t get answers. “She was just exasperated,” he said.

He says days turned into weeks and that she passed away about a month later on Sept. 21. Houser says just hours before she died, she wrote this in her journal, one of her last entries: “Darn movers done!”

Houser says the movers dropped off her items a few days after her death, but some were broken and a lot were missing.

“There’s no real furniture. No bedroom furniture, no living room furniture, no dining room furniture,” he said.

He says he called Blue Lion repeatedly, but that he got the runaround. “When are you going to deliver? When are you going to deliver?” he says he kept asking.

That’s when he emailed Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke. “If I really just got her stuff, I would be happy,” Houser said.

So Stoogenke reached out to the company and a representative told him the problem was that when Helen died, they needed legal permission to turn over the rest of her belongings to her family. She said that for some reason, the business never got that. So, Houser got the ball rolling and the rest of Helen’s possessions finally showed up on Christmas Eve.

Stoogenke asked Blue Lion for its response. A representative emailed a statement saying the company may pay Houser for the damaged items and delays, but if it’s a large refund, it would probably require Houser to sign an agreement not to share their story publicly. Action 9 asked Houser if he still wanted to go through with this news report and he said yes, even if he doesn’t get the money because of it.

As of Monday afternoon, the Better Business Bureau gave Blue Lion an ‘F’ rating.

Advice from Action if you hire a mover:

- Search reviews of the company.

- Get quotes from multiple companies.

- Make sure the mover has insurance and you know what’s covered and what’s not.

- See what your homeowners or renters insurance covers because in many cases, it won’t cover your belongings during the move. So, you may want to buy the extra insurance the moving company offers.

- Learn about your rights at protectyourmove.gov.

VIDEO: ‘How did I get other people’s stuff?’: Customer upset with storage company