Sleeping on air mattresses when movers don’t deliver
Hundreds of people move to Arizona every day. And many use moving companies to move their belongings.
For many domestic movements, however, there is no longer a written estimate or a list of exactly what is being moved.
It’s mostly done by an hourly rate, the number of bedrooms, and an estimate of how long it will take.
Kim McKellar and her husband found that it can be a real nightmare when things don’t go as planned.
They slept on air mattresses for weeks and ate from a card table, refused to pay a bill and received no delivery.
They moved from Maricopa to Tempe and hired Light Brothers Moving to do it.
Kim says she knew exactly what to move.
She says Light Brothers took the number of bedrooms and then worked out an hourly estimate.
They never saw or listed the things.
The estimate was around $ 875 for a seven hour move.
But Kim says when the movers came it was very slow.
She says the moving companies didn’t bring a large enough truck and even one outdoors.
Kim says, “After 12 1/2 hours they hadn’t even removed all of the items. I had to move the rest by myself the next day.”
She says the moving company had to make multiple trips.
When everything was finally out of the house, she got a bill.
That estimate of $ 875 was now $ 1,315.
There are a number of emails going back and forth.
Light Brothers repeatedly requests delivery.
Kim didn’t want to pay the extra money.
Since the couple’s belongings were left in the warehouse, storage costs increased.
Brandon Light with Light Brothers says, “She wasn’t ready to move them when we got there. They weren’t finished packing.”
He also says, “She had more items than expected and our boys helped pack some of her items. Any little extra adds to the time it takes to move, which is partly why it was longer.”
And this is the problem when there is no inventory or written contract on what exactly should be done. It’s hard to go back and come up with evidence of an agreement.
Kim says she called the police. She says when they got out they were trying to work out a payment contract.
When it didn’t happen, she says the delivery didn’t happen. But it should have.
Arizona Statue 44-1613 reads in part, “A homeware dealer must not refuse to deliver or unload a consumer’s homeware.”
Law enforcement agencies can take possession and the payment will be worked out later.
Kim still refused to pay and there was no forced delivery.
Light Brothers says they repeatedly tried to deliver and did it without asking for prepayment.
But Kim points to an early text when the mover says, “I’m done talking unless you’re willing to pay and let us unload.”
More than a month later, the moving companies were delivering without getting paid.
Kim still refused to say the extra cost wasn’t her fault.
She says she now has her own bills after buying missing items for weeks.
Light Brothers says they likely won’t fight to get that money.
Before you move (not on the day of the move), request a written contract with the total price indicated.
Make sure the agreement has an inventory of what exactly should be moved.
You’ll also want packaging and other expenses or something that says no packaging is required.
This is the only way to protect yourself later.
In an email to us, Light Brothers said in part:
“We still do personal and video walkthrough estimates, however. All of the prices we talked about were agreed and signed before we even started the job. They went beyond the estimated time, and so was me willing to work with her on price, I mentioned to her several times that I would pick up and deliver whatever was left for free so she could get what she needed.
The contract will be sent to her when we schedule her in the system, but it’s the same thing she signs when we arrive and start the clock. The inventory was taken but only based on what she told me. It’s usually easy to measure the size and length of movement based on the number of rooms you have.
Yes, I tried several times to get them to give me a day to be there and deliver their items. I think there was a lack of communication on both sides which I am sorry because this could have been resolved much sooner.
Overall, I would like to apologize to Kim McKellar and her family for the stress this move may have caused. We never intended to make things happen, and no matter how you look at it, we couldn’t benefit from it either. “