Moving company accidentally sells Chesterfield family’s storage unit

Moving company accidentally auctioned family's items

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield family says they rented two, 16-foot storage units from “Pack Rat” moving and storage and filled them with everything they own. One unit containing most of their valuables like furniture, clothes and sentimental possessions was accidentally put up for auction and sold online.

Pack Rat called and apologized to the couple and said they would make it right three months ago.

“We have no dishes. We’ve been eating off paper plates. We still have boxes that we have no dressers to put stuff in," Yanna Griffin said.

Things they require on a daily basis are all gone after being sold to the highest bidder.

“If it would have spilled on the highway or burnt up in a fire it would have felt better than this. My kids said they said it feels like we’ve been robbed,” Yanna Griffin said.

“A refrigerator was in there. We have a son who has allergies. We had really expensive air purifiers. He has chronic kidney disease. Our couches, recliners, their beds all gone," She said.

They were left to deal with Vanliner Insurance, Pack Rat’s insurance provider but movement towards reimbursement eventually stopped. Yanna Griffin says when the family and their attorney asked for $40,000, “they just stopped answering their phone. He stopped replying to emails. We didn’t know what to do.”

Pack Rat says it was the Griffins who did not respond to their counter offer. In one of several emails, the company’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing James Burati says they apologized.

“As soon as we discovered the error we immediately called them. We are doing our best to compensate them properly and quickly,” Burati said.

“We have no hope that we are going to get our stuff back. They didn’t even tell us when they auctioned it off. We don’t know who got it. Where it went. They just said it’s gone,” Yanna Griffin said.

NBC12 found out many details that Yanna Griffin said Pack Rat did not share with them. NBC12′s Diane Walker showed Griffin online the company that sold their furniture and belongings and for how much. Griffin says their stuff was sold one month after Pack Rat got it.

Strange Auction Services handled the online sale and Griffin’s container sold for $775 in December.

“They’re selling containers for pennies. This is people’s stuff. Their items, and they’re selling our containers for pennies. We didn’t find out until January. So our stuff was gone that long and they didn’t say any thing to us,” Yanna Griffin said.

She says she thinks Pack Rat realized its mistake when they went to pull the container for delivery to the Griffins the day they closed on their home.

The Richmond office manager says it’s never happened on his watch before and since the accident nothing has changed. The manager said the system works and it was a fluke in the Griffin’s’ case.

“The numbers were not transposed. The numbers that are on there - they stay on there. But some numbers are very similar. This number here, I could have another box somewhere where the 6 and 4 are flipped and that’s it. So, it was just a human mistake,” the manager said.

Haggling over what’s fair compensation ended on Monday after the Griffins and Pack Rat reached an agreement.

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