Florida sues F-rated Broward moving company

03/19/2014 3:16 PM

03/20/2014 7:04 AM

After Virginia Funk’s husband died last year, the 71-year-old widow paid a Broward County moving company that called itself Ryder $1,460 to haul her belongings 486 miles from Lakeland to Pensacola.

When the movers arrived at Funk’s new apartment, she said they refused to unload her items unless she paid an extra $2,500 in cash. She did, only to discover boxes missing and possessions damaged.

Funk is one of 105 people who lodged complaints against Ryder Moving & Storage, which has no affiliation or connection with Miami-Dade’s Ryder System Inc. This month, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a lawsuit in Broward Circuit Court alleging that Ryder Moving and its principals deceived customers, reneged on contracts and mishandled goods.

“These customers entrusted their clothing, furniture and family heirlooms to this company, only to have them broken and, in many cases, lost,” Bondi said in a news release Tuesday. “We will continue to shut down intrastate moving companies that prey on our customers.”

The lawsuit seeks $115,742.77 in restitution for the consumers who filed complaints with the attorney general’s office. It also would permanently shut down Ryder Moving & Storage and prohibit defendants Jose Pino, Joshua Socher and Jodi Socher from doing any future business in Florida.

Ryder Moving & Storage has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have pulled the company’s licenses to operate.

Ryder System, a Fortune 500 company that provides supply-chain and fleet-management services to businesses across the globe, won a federal trademark-infringement lawsuit this year against Ryder Moving & Storage. The latter company stopped using Ryder in its name and on its website but continued to operate as Storage & Moving Services.

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