Ferguson Moving was hired to move household items from PODS into a condo unit and 5 movers were sent on December 4, 2014 to do the job. In addition, they were responsible for taking all cardboard boxes once unpacked back with them per condo regulations.
Summarily, a mid-sized tapestry-like rug was carried into the new condo by the Ferguson movers and was actually seen, held and identified by the owner that day as his most dear and most expensive. And then was subsequently discovered missing after the movers left. Ferguson Moving came back two weeks later to search the condo (owner of the condo is on assignment overseas and left the country two days after the move). One of the movers recalled the specific item, but the item was not located. After that day, the owner of the moving company stopped answering the phone or responding to voicemail messages with regard to this situation. With all that said, I am the person who hired the company and I would like to note that the movers did a good job and were polite and respectful. Unfortunately, I am now absolutely convinced one of the crew that day was a thief.
The whole story….
I hired Ferguson Moving for one of my colleagues at UC. My colleague is also a professor at the University of Cincinnati and is currently on assignment abroad and so this is why I arranged the moving contract. I checked 8 companies prior and although Ferguson gave the most expensive quote, I decided to hire them based on two things: 1.) the owner, Wayne Carlton, told me they had previously done a move at this particular location (Meridian in Columbia Tusculum) and were therefore familiar with the layout/rules and 2.) the owner assured me he was fully bonded and insured and his movers were “tops”, as he called it.
On December 4, 2014, five guys showed up to transport the contents of 3 PODS sitting outside the building to the particular condo unit. The movers were polite and took reasonable care of the transported items. Several of these items constituted my colleague's collection of Persian rugs and tapestries. Many items were moved throughout the morning and then my colleague bought the movers lunch. Shortly thereafter, we got back to work. One of the first things my colleague did after we ate was unroll his most prized Persian tapestry and he held it up and said it was most dear and most expensive. I recall this distinctly, but specifically only noted that it was maybe about 3x5, blue and brick red in color and malleable, like a throw rug. That afternoon, we tried to lay this particular item in the family room, however, it was too small. This was at approximately 2:00 pm. The movers worked for 2 more hours, helping to unpack as all empty cardboard boxes needed to be taken with them per rules of the condo association.
Shortly thereafter, as my colleague was getting ready to return to his oversees assignment and leave the country, he discovered this tapestry rug was missing. He notified me just prior to his leaving for the airport and so when he called me, I figured he was stressed and therefore was just missing it. And so early on Monday, December 8th, after his departure, I went and searched every square inch of his condo. The day after that, I searched the storage unit and interviewed the condo staff. (As a side note, the building manager of 20 years reported she overheard one of the movers commenting on the high worth of the rug/tapestry collection.) Previously, I had crawled in the dumpster and searched it. The next week, I returned because I decided I needed to search under all the furniture. And I can say with utmost certainty that the tapestry was not on the premises.
Although my searching took the course of two weeks, I had notified Wayne, the owner of the moving company, early on regarding the disappearance. He decided to send two of the movers (Scott and JT) to check the condo as well. They came to the condo on Thursday, December 18th. JT did recall the piece and our trying to lay it in the family room, however, they also ascertained it was not in the building.
After this, I called Wayne the next day to find out what I should do and should we file a claim. However, he never again answered my calls nor returned my messages after that point. Despite several attempts on my part to get in touch with him. As a matter of fact, one morning I called and when his voicemail picked up, I left a message asking that he please return my call at his earliest convenience because I was not sure what to do next. Later that afternoon, I had our secretary phone him using her cell phone.
Her call was promptly answered.
I have never been involved in a situation like this before and quite honestly, I had been the one to hire Ferguson and I felt partly responsible for the loss my colleague had endured. At this point, I have reported Ferguson Movers as the guilty party in the theft of personal property to the Cincinnati police, District 2 office. And because the owner will not respond to my inquiries, I have also located their insurance carrier and notified them of the incident myself.
I started this thinking there was no way someone would steal. I am now convinced that is what happened. As an objective observer, I have explored every possible scenario and there is no other explanation.
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Ferguson Moving and Storage Company
Cincinnati, OH 45232
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