The Greenwalt Complex in Pawnee is the home of the former St. Mary’s Parish Hall. Tina Burgess has an office there for her business Focus on Moving Solutions. The business is about just what it sounds like, finding solutions to problems that happened during a move. With over 25 years working at the Illinois Commerce Commission, Tina took her experience after retiring from the State of Illinois in December of 2015 and now she solves problems, processing claims for moving companies, when they run into trouble with consumers! She hung out her shingle in January of 2016, first working out of her home and moving to the office in 2018 and hiring help at that time.
“I didn’t want to go to the rocking chair after retirement,” Tina said, so I do lost damage claims for movers. I’m a processer for the moving companies. Movers send information to me on customers that have damages.”
She shared that this is a big problem that a lot of people are unaware of, and one that the Federal government really doesn’t do a lot about, however it is strictly regulated how this is handled. Tina is a Certified Mediator through the Center of Conflict Resolution in Chicago and a Certified Claims Analyst from the American Moving and Storage Association. She also holds a certificate in Interstate Household Goods Regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Basically, this all means that she knows the rules and helps resolve the problems between the movers and the consumer in a legal and timely manner!
One thing that many consumers do not realize, Tina pointed out, is that trying to keep the cost of a move down, they quickly sign off on liability forms not realizing how little they may get back in the event of damage to an item. Look closely at what you are signing and realize what will be paid if something goes wrong. “When something happens, they, the consumer is upset because of what they signed and they don’t realize that is all the cost will cover,” Tina said.
“I do investigations into what happened, sometimes the movers want to do better,” she added, and they will send more money to cover the cost of the item after taking off depreciation.
“There are a lot of rules and regulations and I have to write letters and make sure that the mover is compliant with the law. I speak before police agencies, and I am a mediator as well. My name hit a mover Facebook page and my email went wild,” Tina added.
Things can get dicey sometimes in ways that no one would ever guess. Tina shared that sometimes police officers get involved when movers won’t release goods if not paid. This happens sometimes when a mover gives an estimate, then the estimate is too low. For example, the consumer may forget about items in the basement and the attic, then the mover comes to load up and the estimate goes up when they see the items in these places or the storage area that the consumer forgot about! “Estimates are not binding,” Tina added.
With clients all over the US, the Internet is her friend. “I have clients in New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin, California, Illinois and did have some as far as Maine. Her first year in business, she had to work out of state because she could not work in Illinois for a year.
Besides speaking to police officers, she also speaks at moving conferences advising them about what they are supposed to do and not supposed to do. She would like to provide information to consumers as well. She advises those getting ready to move to be as ready as possible before the move and think about their options before signing the dotted line. “Get estimates from there different movers. Check out complaints from the Better Business Bureau, you don’t need the ratings, just look at the number of complaints. After four or more complaints, the mover starts to develop patterns. If moving from point to point in Illinois also check for complaints with the Illinois Commerce Commission.”
Tina loves working in Pawnee. She and her husband Larry live in the country between Pawnee and Divernon. “I like the small-town atmosphere.”
Originally from Dewitt, Tina graduated high school from Clinton and was a Distribution Manager for Revere Ware for years. Then she attended Illinois Central College in Peoria, Illinois where she became certified in Transportation and Traffic Management, compliance enforcement on interstate regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The college helped her find her job with the State of Illinois and she said, “When transferring from Clinton to here, Springfield was too expensive for me moving alone. I looked at the small-town area and ended up here, it was so attractive.”
To reach Tina Burgess at Focus Moving Solutions her business number is 217-646-8161.