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PUC Acts To Stop Illegal Movers
SAN FRANCISCO, August 11, 2003 -- The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), in its ongoing efforts to clamp down on illegal moving companies, had telephone service shut off to K&T Moving and KW Moving, both based in San Francisco. Owners Stanley King Chee Wong and Tina Xiu Ping Cui had been operating moving businesses without valid PUC licenses. Their application for an operating permit was denied by the PUC on December 3, 2002, for failure to file evidence of public liability insurance, and failure to furnish required documentation.
On June 24, 2003, PUC staff obtained an order signed by a judge of the Superior Court of San Francisco, to terminate the companies' telephone service. Cutting off phone service has proven an effective tool for the PUC in curbing unlicensed companies and protecting the public.
In addition to operating without licenses, the companies also allegedly advertised sixteen different telephone numbers and unlawfully used an invalid "Cal -T" permit number in advertisements in SBC's SMART Yellow Pages, the West Coast Yellow Pages Telephone Directory, and two major Chinese daily newspapers (Sing Tao Daily and World Journal).
Under Public Utilities (Pub.Util.) Code section 5133, no one may engage or attempt to engage in transporting household goods without a PUC license. Consumers using unlicensed movers may suffer irreparable losses of personal belongings with little means of recovery. Pub.Util. Code, Section 5322 authorizes the PUC to request a local phone company to cut off service to a carrier using the phone to operate illegally as a household goods carrier.
Despite the termination of telephone service, K&T Moving and KW Moving subsequently obtained telephone service to four new numbers and again placed unlawful moving advertisements in the Sing Tao Daily and the World Journal. On July 31, 2003, Commission staff filed in Superior Court a complaint for temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and action for recovery of civil penalties. A hearing on the Order to Show Cause is set for August 26, 2003 at 9:30 a.m.