Miserable Move - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Miserable Move

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Have you hired a mover lately? Were you happy after it was over? If so, you are lucky because many people tell 7News their price doubled, their furniture was held hostage, broken, leaving them fuming. And it's why one man called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- It's a wonderful feeling. Moving into a new apartment or house.

Steven Hinesley: "We love the new home it's beautiful."

Moving in is nice. The mover can be a nightmare.

Steven Hinesley: "I felt scammed and it's basically robbery basically it's a legitimate company-robbery."

Steven and his family were moving a mile away from their rental to their new home. They went on a website that compared the prices movers charged and chose the cheapest one offering to do it for $310.

Steven Hinesley: "Was really reasonable for three movers and three hours. According to Thumbtack this was a highly rated company according to their reviews."

The estimate does say price does not include any packing supplies. But when the guys showed up and started bubble wrapping things, at first Steven didn't know it was not included in the price.

Steven Hinesley: "They just took it upon themselves to wrap it themselves without telling us ahead of time that it was going to cost for each box and each item that they use."

Then in the one mile drive to Steven's new house, the movers stopped for 30 minutes to enjoy some refreshments.

Steven Hinesley: "I was upset, really upset because I'm paying for three hours and they are taking advantage of my time."

When they finally pulled up to Stevens' house before they delivered the furniture, they delivered some news. During the one mile ride the price had gone up from $310 to $655.

Steven Hinesley: "And if I don't pay it they were going to leave with my stuff and I would have to pay a storage fee every day that is in storage."

When Steven asked how the price went up, he heard a similar sage that we hear from so many Help Me Howard viewers about moving companies. For example:

$85 for the extra hour. $88 for the four mattress covers. $80 to bubble wrap two TVs. $12 to wrap a glass table.

Steven Hinesley: "I thought it would include wrapping boxes and tape and stuff like that. People are under the impression everything is included and if not they should tell them upfront of what the fees are going to be."

Faced with the movers threat to take everything hostage if Steven didn't pay them in cash, Steven paid the $655. Later he called the owner of the moving company.

Steven Hinesley: "He was nonchalant about it, well yeah you contacted the Better Business Bureau and whatever, brushed it off and yeah we get complaints all the time and hung up."

Steven says a lot of people would have just paid the movers and given up. Not him. But Howard, legally can Steven do anything?

Howard Finkelstein: "Several things here were illegal. The movers have to give you a written estimate before they leave your property. They didn't. They cannot demand cash like they did. They have to also accept a credit card or a check and they cannot hold your furniture hostage as long as you pay the written estimate amount. If it's more than that, they have to work that out after they unload your furniture."

We contacted the owner of the moving company. He told us his mover added wrong and that Steven was overcharged and that he was refunding him $108. He also told us he had fired the three movers adding he has been in business for 19 years and is concerned with overall customer satisfaction.

Howard Finkelstein: "Before you hire a mover, they need to come out and give you a full written estimate for the total amount due. Don't let them add things when they start moving, and before you hire a mover, check around. Find one that your friends have used. Go online check for complaints. Do research so you don't have regrets later."

Steven's moving experience was bad. For others, it's worse, leading him to a conclusion.

Steven Hinesley: "Move your own stuff. Move your own furniture. Do not hire a moving company. Treat your friends to some beer and pizza and have them come over and move your stuff for you."

Of course there are many good movers. I know a few and have used a couple. But if you get a bad one you can file a complaint with the state or the federal government

Hauling around a problem that's weighing you down? Ready to pack it in? Don't. Unload on us. We don't own a truck, but Howard has a box of law books somewhere.

For More Information:

Some tips on what to do before you move: Http://www.Freshfromflorida.Com/divisions-offices/consumer-services/consumer-resources/consumer-protection/moving-within-florida

To file a complaint with a move inside Florida, file a complaint with the state's dept. Of agriculture at: Http://www.Freshfromflorida.Com/divisions-offices/consumer-services/consumer-resources/consumer-protection/file-a-complaint

To file a complaint on an interstate move go to: Www.Protectyourmove.Gov.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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