Meloney Williams was on a budget and needed to hire movers fast.
Williams went online and came across Home Movers in Garland. She didn't do much research, but went with the cheapest service she could find.
"They just left me high and dry with all my furniture outside," she said. "I look like I'm getting evicted."
Williams hired Home Movers in Garland and was quoted $65 per hour for a full service move. By the time they reached her new home, though, four hours had gone by, which meant she would owe more than she expected.
"I had a dispute about the four hours, so I was trying to call the office," she said.
Williams said the office told her it is what it is. She already signed the contract, and that she'd have to pay $342.50.
"I ended up having to leave, go to the bank, get more money," she said.
Williams said she paid and went upstairs, but then heard the moving truck start up. She ran downstairs and saw that everything she had packed was left on the sidewalk.
"The first thing I did was cry," she said. "I was embarrassed. I was humiliated."
Home Movers told NBC 5 Responds it would have taken the movers an additional 90 minutes to move Williams' items upstairs and that she refused to pay for the additional time. The total charge should have been $407.50, but she only paid $310.
Home Movers said after 30 minutes of discussion with Williams, she finally agreed to pay the $310 that was due, but refused to pay anything else.
Williams said the movers never informed her that she was short on the bill, they just drove off.
The claims department said Williams "started to scream and cuss over the phone." They continued:
"In no way are we here to take advantage of clients but we can not work for no pay either. There is no refund cause [sic] we did do the work for her and if you look at the contract it stated everything in detail... At the end she could not pay to finish the move so we could not finish the work she wanted."
Williams says she paid the exact amount on the contract, but wasn't given a receipt. So now it's her word against theirs and a signed contract that doesn't back her up. She initialed a provision that says "I agree to accept this proposal with an hourly rate quote and DO NOT require the estimated number of hours to complete this proposal."
In the end, Williams and a neighbor spent hours carrying her items up the stairs. A cautionary tale of what could happen and of what not to do.
"This is a hard lesson to learn," she said.
Here are Samantha Chatman's Solutions:
- Always check reviews online. Go with a company that has a lot of reviews, and read through them. Sometimes a customer will have a bad experience, but sometimes you will find bad patterns in reviews you may want to avoid.
- Read through your contract thoroughly before signing. Check to see if the estimated price can change.
- And if you ever are in a situation where you feel stuck, take pictures or video on your phone so you have some kind of proof.